Advocacy in a Nutshell | September 2019
Welcome to the September 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:
- National Policy Statements on Highly Productive Land and Urban Development
- Hamilton to Auckland Corridor update
- KiwiBuild reset
- Recent submissions, including:
- Submission on Productivity Commission's Interim Report on the Inquiry on Local Government Funding and Financing
- Submission to Ministry for the Environment on proposed scope for a comprehensive review of the resource management system
The Government is proposing a National Policy Statement on Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) and a National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD). Now is the time for members to get involved and have your say on these important policies.
Last week 14 members of Property Council's Waikato Branch meet with Minister Phil Twyford and Ernst Zollner of the NZTA to discuss the Hamilton-Auckland Corridor Initiative. This exclusive meeting discussed a range of issues of importance in the Waikato region from the need to develop a collective spatial plan and implementation plan through to alternative funding and financing options for local government.
Throughout the last couple of years Property Council has acted as a conduit, providing members with access to Ministers to discuss important issues and solutions to the property sector. This is a key benefit of Property Council membership.
This meeting will likely see a follow-up wider event in the Waikato region – planning is underway – watch this space.
Last week Housing Minister Megan Woods announced a reset of the KiwiBuild initiative, scrapping the 100,000 homes target, adopting alternative ownership models and a reducing the amount developers receive for triggering the government underwrite. But what does this mean for developers?
In essence, not much. The key changes for KiwiBuild developers is ensuring the focus is on building the right houses in the right place where there is demand and the amendment to the Government underwrite, which is triggered if the KiwiBuild home fails to sell within 60 days. The reduced underwrite serves to incentivise developers to sell to KiwiBuild first home buyers, however, it is our understanding that this rule has been in place for a number of months being tested.
With the right leadership, KiwiBuild could be a valuable tool for boosting supply of affordable housing. While it is no silver bullet, the scheme sits alongside several other initiatives such as resource management reform, infrastructure financing and the creation of Kāinga Ora that collectively inch us closer to solving the housing crisis.
Local Government Funding and Financing
In late August, Property Council submitted on the Productivity Commission's Interim Report on the Inquiry on Local Government Funding and Financing. We agreed with many of the recommendations of the draft interim report. However, we continue to suggest the current system is broken, and it requires a systemwide approach to fix it. Our members are happy to continue working with the Productivity Commission and the Government to look at innovative ways to assist in this area to help build better communities.
Scope of the RMA review
Last month we submitted to the to Ministry for the Environment on the proposed scope for a comprehensive review of the resource management system (RMA). Overall, Property Council supported the intent of the review and commended the Government on addressing the system-wide issues we've been highlighting for several years.
We have some recommended changes to the scope of the review - see submission for more detail.
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.