“Councils up and down the country are lashing out at the Labour/National housing deal, with the Christchurch City Council the latest to stand up to the law,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“The Christchurch City Council has just voted against applying the density rules – meaning a showdown with central government.

“In Auckland there are disagreements between council and government about how the law should be applied.

“Meanwhile in the Waikato, a Hamilton councillor has said he fears parts of the city will turn into a “dump”, Waipā’s mayor says the rules risk harming the village feel of local towns, and Waikato’s mayor believes they’ll need expensive infrastructure upgrades to cope with intensification.

“All of this opposition was predicted by ACT, who’s said from the beginning the law was unworkable and worst of all, won’t actually deliver more houses.

“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.

“The government needs to look at the relentless opposition from councils and realise this law needs to go.

“This won’t be the last we hear of the consequences of this bad law. ACT is committed to resolving these issues in Government.”

More from

Brooke van Velden