“The Government’s incompetence in dealing with construction sector issues has contributed significantly to today’s record inflation numbers,” says ACT’s Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“According to Stats NZ: “The main driver for the 7.3 percent annual inflation to the June 2022 quarter was the housing and household utilities group, due to rising prices for construction and rentals for housing.”

“Prices for the construction of new dwellings increased 18 percent in the June 2022 quarter compared with the June 2021 quarter.”

“These construction costs wouldn’t be so high if we allowed for more competitiveness within the building materials market, which is suffering under the weight of unnecessary and illogical regulations that greatly impact our ability to build. Most notably we’re currently dealing with a plasterboard shortage.

“Plasterboard is a sandwich of plaster and cardboard. What first world, industrialised country gets itself into such a pickle where we have a nationwide shortage? An overly bureaucratic one and it needs to stop, today.

“Instead, Labour’s farcical response was to establish a plasterboard task force which has predictably achieved nothing.

“ACT’s solution is simple and would provide an immediate fix – establish a Materials Equivalence Register that would allow suitable substitute materials to be used in New Zealand construction.

“ACT’s solution cuts through to the central problem, reducing bureaucracy instead of creating it. 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.

“The Government’s relentless focus on regulation and redistribution is further fuelling inflation. We need real change, not more taskforces and higher prices.”

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Brooke van Velden