Govt responds to land supply inquiry

  • Bill English

The Government has released its response to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry, Using Land for Housing, confirming it is already implementing most of the recommendations, Finance Minister Bill English says.  

At the Government’s request, the Commission reviewed the planning and development systems in the fastest-growing urban areas around the country looking for ways to increase the supply of land for housing.

It sits alongside a further Productivity Commission inquiry, into urban planning, which is expected to be released this year.

“The Government has adopted many of the Commission’s recommendations into its comprehensive housing supply programme, which address a number of the issues highlighted in the Inquiry,” Mr English says.

Key components of the Government’s response are:

  • The development of a National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS) which will require local councils to ensure land supply for housing keeps ahead of population and economic growth. A draft was released in June 2016.
  • The creation of the Housing Infrastructure Fund which will address constraints faced by high growth councils by providing access to finance for core infrastructure needed to unlock residential development.
  • The development of urban development legislation for designated large-scale developments anywhere in New Zealand.

Mr English says the Government’s response also includes work streams that are already underway but also address the Commission’s recommendations.

“Programmes like the Better Local Services reforms, which are aimed at improving operational efficiencies, asset management and investments in council controlled organisations, as well as the Auckland Transport Alignment Programme and the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill all meet the recommendations to improve alignment and efficiency.

“We’re going a step further than the recommendations by carrying out work to identify how local government debt constraints can be relaxed so councils can finance the costs of growth,” Mr English says.

Other new work commissioned as a result of the report includes a look at arrangements for responsive supply of water infrastructure and improved asset management tools for infrastructure providers.

“Together with a raft of other programmes, this Government response outlines a body of work aimed squarely at dealing with housing and housing affordability issues.”

The full response can be seen here: