ACT welcomes National Party's acknowledgment of housing crisis

by Roxanne Libatique19 Dec 2019

ACT New Zealand has commended the National Party’s acknowledgment of the country’s housing crisis, particularly the replacement of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

National announced that it will repeal and replace the act and reform New Zealand’s planning rules if elected in 2020.

“National’s acknowledgement of the seriousness of the housing crisis and its adoption of ACT’s long-held position that the Resource Management Act requires fundamental reform should be welcomed,” ACT Leader David Seymour said. “The Resource Management Act is the most serious public policy failure in a generation. It is far too difficult to build housing in New Zealand, meaning house prices and rents continue to increase as supply fails to keep up.”

“National’s apparent willingness to start again on planning law is encouraging. We’ve been here before, however. Despite John Key promising in opposition to fundamentally reform the RMA, and National having multiple opportunities to do so with ACT’s support, it never happened.”

Read more: National Party to ditch KiwiBuild brand

Aside from replacing the act, the National Party also plans to ditch the KiwiBuild brand to focus on initiatives that will “actually put roofs over New Zealanders’ heads.”

Social Housing spokesperson Simon O’Connor said they will better manage the government’s financial investment in social housing assets to build more and improve the quality of our social housing stock.

“We will throw our weight behind the community housing sector, which wants to do more to help New Zealanders into homes but needs better support from government,” he said. “This support may be in the form of rent-to-buy schemes, the development of housing bonds, shared equity schemes, underwriting the building of social housing by community housing providers, or a policy shift to allow housing providers to manage state homes.”

“National is concerned about anti-social behaviours, such as violence and drug use, and is keen to make sure social housing is safe for everyone, including children,” he continued. “We will explore a Remind, Remedy, Remove system. This would see a housing provider given a warning (reminder) when poor behaviour is demonstrated; assistance to fix an issue (remedy); and in cases where a tenant refuses to change, they should be removed.”

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