"The next Government will have to fix the housing mess that ACT predicted, and has solutions to,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“The Herald is this morning reporting a fight is brewing between Auckland Council and government over how the law is applied. It’s not just Auckland Council that’s opposed to the new rules.
“We know there is a housing shortage, but ACT has said from the get-go that National and Labour’s housing deal was not the solution. It won't deliver the houses that it promised to a generation.
“That’s because it focused on changing our planning laws when we know it's not the planning laws that are the issue. If it was a matter of zoning, the problem would already be solved.
“National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has acknowledged he’s had concerns raised with him from councillors and said he was open to making amendments in Government.
“ACT has a real solution to the housing crisis. The real issue is infrastructure financing and funding.
“Councils can’t afford it. Without more infrastructure, there won't be more houses in total, they'll just be in different places.
“I have a Member’s Bill before Parliament that would introduce a GST-sharing scheme that would provide councils with more resources to cope with a growing population.
“Government would share 50 per cent of the GST revenue of building a new house with the local council that issued the consent to help them cover the infrastructure costs associated with new housing developments. This would provide the environment for local councils to approve more housing consents and enable builders to build houses with less delay.
“Meanwhile, the Medium Density Residential Standard will create enormous conflict in the community. It means someone can build a three story building one metre from your boundary with no design standards. It could mean floor to ceiling windows on the third floor looking into your living room, with no thought for existing homeowners.
“ACT proposed at the time, and proposes now, important changes to the law. The Medium Density Residential Standard should be replaced with Auckland’s Mixed Housing Suburban zone. ACT put up this amendment when the law was debated last year, we still have it ready to go.
“The MHS still allows more intensification than the status quo, but with design standards that are sympathetic to existing neighbourhoods and property owners. That would be a far more sensible approach than imposing the MDRS on the whole country.
“ACT also proposes that councils be able to unilaterally exempt areas from intensification beyond their current plans by allowing them to identify infrastructure as a Qualifying Matter in certain areas. The alternative is that we’ll get sewage in the streets when intensification happens where councils had asked people not to intensify for that very reason.
“These simple changes would put us in a much better place to go forward as a more united, less divided community, with more housing built for the next generation.
“This won’t be the last we hear of the consequences of this bad law. ACT is committed to resolving these issues in Government.”
Brooke van Velden
Boutique gin isn’t very bread and butter
“Chris Hipkins obviously has a different opinion of what ‘bread and butter’ is to most Kiwis, His Government has announced they’re doling out millions in corporate welfare to a distillery and film studio,” says ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.
Health staffing shortages only getting worse
“The glut of healthcare issues occurring across New Zealand are being driven by chronic workforce shortages, unfortunately workforce data shows they’re only getting worse,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
Sad scenes show importance of free speech
“Today in Albert Park we have seen something ACT has long warned of: The alternative to free speech and reasoned debate is physical violence,” says ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.