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Reforms fall far short of a housing crisis fix

The Government’s proposed Resource Management Act changes fall a long way short of the reforms needed to fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“National has been blaming the RMA for expensive housing for ten years now. It is pathetic that the best they can come up with are modest process changes.

“If process improvements save the public time and money without trading off people’s right to have a say, that will be welcomed. But nothing in this Bill tackles the fundamental causes of the housing crisis.

“The way Councils regulate housing and urban development under the RMA is a root cause of New Zealand’s expensive housing. In Auckland, historic planning rules have choked off land supply and driven up section prices, and have stopped the city growing up and out.

“This Bill will do nothing to tackle those issues.

“Labour has consistently offered to work with the Government on changes to the RMA that would encourage more and better urban development, and increase the supply of affordable housing.

“The Government has never responded to our offer. Instead they have wasted seven years on failed piecemeal measures like the Special Housing Areas.

“And now the grand reform everyone has waited for is nothing but more tinkering from Nick Smith,” Phil Twyford says.