New Zealand Labour Party

Productivity Commission report welcome, but Nats lack will

Labour is welcoming the Productivity Commission’s new report on urban planning, saying many of the recommendations reflect Labour policy.

“It is great to see Productivity Commission backing infrastructure bonds, targeted rates, more competitive urban land markets, and urban development authorities – all policies Labour has been championing to restore housing affordability,” says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker.

David Parker says many of the proposed changes could have been implemented eight years ago but National has been sitting on its hands.

“The National Government wasted eight years trying to weaken the RMA with constant tinkering, instead of tackling the real road blocks to urban growth that have been a major cause of the housing crisis.

Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says the Productivity Commission highlights the failure of Government to provide national direction under the RMA.

“This is a polite way of saying National has dropped the ball for eight years. Freeing up restrictive land use rules so our cities can make room for growth could have been achieved eight years ago by a strong National Policy Statement under the RMA. Labour has been calling for that for the last five years.

“National has had eight years in Government. They have shown comprehensively they have no appetite for the bold reforms needed to fix the housing crisis. That is only going to happen with the election of a Labour-led Government in September,” says Phil Twyford.