“The report states that the building regulatory system “has a number of features that prevent competition from working well” and that flexibility for using new products is “too slow, costly and uncertain to get them accepted for general use.”

“When Megan Woods was mucking around assembling her ‘plasterboard taskforce’, ACT proposed a practical solution that cuts through to the central problem by establishing a Materials Equivalence Register to automatically allow building materials approved by jurisdictions with high-quality regulators and similar seismic situations.

“The fact is building houses has slowed down as the industry has been suffocated under layer upon layer of government regulation and intervention. ACT has listened and is proposing real change that will give industry more choice and make building houses easier.

"ACT also identified these problems with its housing policy five years ago, that would get councils out of the building inspection game, instead requiring mandatory insurance on new builds.

“Creating a marketplace for insurance would mean insurers could compete by allowing more innovative solutions, if they're prepared to take the risk.

“There are clear barriers to building homes that have gotten us to this point. ACT is proposing genuine solutions that will make a tangible difference and lead to more houses being built at lower prices.

“ACT also announced a suite of new housing policies in our recent Cost of Living document.

ACT would:

  • Incentivise and resource councils to provide infrastructure for new homes by sharing half of the GST with them
  • Scrap the Resource Management Act, replacing it with a new Urban Development Act that respects existing property rights while making it easier to increase housing supply
  • Automatically allow building materials approved by jurisdictions with high-quality regulators and similar seismic situations to ours (e.g., Japan and California) to be used in New Zealand
  • Require councils to accept any ‘equivalent material’ certified by MBIE for use in building projects

“In the case of GST sharing, I already have a bill in the member’s ballot that’s ready to go. The Government could use it to create real change in housing immediately if they had the political fortitude.

“We know that good substitutes for name-brand plasterboard and other scarce building products exist. Our policy would require councils to accept them and let builders and architects get on with building houses.

“ACT believes in better, longer-lasting solutions. We need real change to ensure young Kiwis can achieve the dream of home ownership.”

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Brooke van Velden