Advocacy in a Nutshell | October 2019
Welcome to the October edition of Advocacy in a Nutshell; the latest update from our advocacy team, featuring all of the projects, policy and issues that matter to you.
This month we're talking about:
- Help determine our 2020 advocacy priorities
- Kāinga Ora is established
- The Wellington Insurance Taskforce needs your input
- RICS Commercial Property Monitor and Construction & Infrastructure research
- Latest submissions, including:
- National Policy Statement on Urban Development
- National Policy Statement on Highly Productive Land
With election year fast approaching in 2020, Property Council is embarking on a review of our advocacy priorities. As part of this we are consulting with our members – and we would appreciate your feedback. This survey will take no more than 2-3 minutes of your time and will form the basis of what Property Council will prioritise in advocating for on your behalf.
As of October 1 2019, Kāinga Ora has been formally established as the new crown agency to transform housing and urban development throughout New Zealand.
The Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill brings together all the Government's major housing entities into one single unit – Kāinga Ora. It replaces Housing New Zealand (HNZ), its development subsidiary HLC, and the KiwiBuild Unit.
Kāinga Ora will have two key roles: being a public housing landlord and working in partnership to enable, facilitate and build urban development projects of all sizes.
We will continue to work with government to ensure the companion bill introduced later this year is fit for purpose and provides the right powers to undertake specified development projects.
In recent months, Property Council has been actively engaging with the Wellington Insurance Taskforce; making recommendations to improve transparency in the insurance market, examining the high cost of brokerage fees, and providing incentives for property owners to invest in building improvements to ensure they are earthquake proofed, sustainable, energy efficient and fit for purpose.
Property Council invites members to take part in a short survey. We will collate and anonymise responses so that we can input into the Taskforce’s final report to the Minister. This gives you the opportunity to influence recommendations to Government and push for key reforms in the insurance market.
It's only 11 questions and should only take five minutes of your time, but could have a significant impact on our industry.
Help us measure the sentiment of the construction sector by being part of the RICS Construction and Infrastructure Survey or the Global Commercial Property Monitor!
Your response to this survey helps us measure sector sentiment, providing valuable insights that help our members make informed business decisions.
The bigger the sample, the better the data - so have your say now!
National Policy Statement on Urban Development
What is the aim of the NPS-UD?
The NPS-UD aims to provide councils with new rule for planning urban growth and development, with a focus on "up and out", mixing medium and high-density housing with steady expansion along pre-planned transport corridors.
What is Property Council's position on the proposal?
Although we are supportive of the NPS-UD, we do not think it goes far enough.
The NPS-UD introduces a policy that requires only high-growth councils to create a “Future Development Strategy” (FDS). We want to see this policy taken a step further, making it mandatory for all medium to high growth councils. Such a move would ensure medium growth councils aren’t left behind in planning decisions and are prepared for future growth. Aligning the FDS with council’s current planning system, in particular long-term plans and 30-year infrastructure plans, is also key to unlocking New Zealand’s growth potential.
We want to see a commitment to coordinated planning between central government and local authorities at an urban level. This would ensure planning and funding for future development and infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and transport is coordinated across local authorities.
National Policy Statement on Highly Productive Land
What is the aim of the NPS-HPL?
The overall purpose of the proposed NPS-HLP is to improve the way highly productive land is managed under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
What is Property Council's position on the proposal?
In March 2019, we submitted in opposition to a separate National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Soils. We continue to support this position, as the proposed NPS-HPL could be better incorporated into the NPS-UD. This would provide more certainty as to how competing interests can better align and what trade-offs are to be made.
We are concerned with areas being protected where there is no need to protect. A blanket protection could lead to a restriction in supply of land for urban growth and an increase in land prices, directly contradicting the government’s housing affordability policy. We recommend local authorities prioritise land assessment towards what is “feasible and likely to be taken up” – as identified in the NPS-UD. In practice, this would require local authorities to prioritise classification of LUC 3 to 8 and work closely with the property sector, central government and neighbouring local authorities when creating a Future Development Strategy.
Aligning the two NPS’s would ensure a cohesive, strategic approach is undertaken and requirements around land, transport routes, labour markets and central and local government infrastructure can be assessed at the same time. This would help improve planning between medium and high growth councils and central government.
Author | James Kennelly
As Property Council's Head of Advocacy, James leads our advocacy team with sound judgement, a natural flair for communicating the complex and an easy-going manner that makes him approachable yet reliable. Based in Wellington but frequently found in all corners of the country, James has his finger on the pulse of central and local government, providing valuable insights for our membership and acting as the conduit between our members and the country's movers, shakers and policy makers.