English right about ridiculous house prices – Banks
"Both Labour & National have failed to address adequately NZ's housing crisis, so it is a bit rich coming from English when they are part of the problem."Featured comment
ACT Leader John Bank welcomes Finance Minister Bill English’s comments at a weekend business breakfast that "house prices are ridiculously high" and that housing affordability was a "turn off" for young Kiwis.
“These statements echo ACT’s belief that unless we take action to resolve the housing affordability issue, we will have a whole generation of New Zealanders who grow up as tenants in their own cities,” Mr Banks said.
“We would like to see National heed the advice of the Productivity Commission by removing restrictions on land supply for residential housing.
“The cost of land has been identified as one of the major factors behind increasing house prices. In Auckland, land now accounts for 60% of the total cost of a home, as opposed to 40% elsewhere."
Mr Banks said radical reform of the RMA is also required.
"The original intention of this legislation was to make development easier. It has done everything but. The vague language has turned it into a bureaucratic nightmare.
“ACT’s preference is for a full review of the RMA, starting from the presumption that you should be able to use and develop your property as you see fit, so long as you are not directly harming others. This might include something similar to the Germans’ 'right to build' clause"
“But, the adoption of the Technical Advisory Group’s recommendations to amend sections six and seven of the legislation would be a very good start.
“These sections, as they stand, give too much power to those who like to interfere with the property of others, and not enough rights to property owners.
“Adopting the Advisory Group’s recommendations would get councils focused on real economic and environmental costs and benefits, instead of the current sea of fluff that is the principles of the RMA.
“The housing affordability issue we face today is not a result of market failure, but of poorly drafted legislation and government interference. These changes would go some way to resolving this," Mr Banks said.