How Judith Collins has more in common with her arch nemesis, Phil Twyford, than one might be led to believe

How Judith Collins has more in common with her arch nemesis, Phil Twyford, than one might be led to believe

Interest.co.nz sat down with National's housing spokesperson, Judith Collins, to get a sense of how National would address the country's housing shortage. 

See part one of the interview on RMA reform below, and part two on KiwiBuild, Kainga Ora, infrastructure levies, the foreign buyer ban and bright-line test above.   


National’s housing spokesperson Judith Collins is more supportive of the policy changes Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford is making than one might be led to believe.

Collins backs Twyford’s draft legislation that will enable government-approved large-scale urban development projects to go through a streamlined consenting process.

She’s enthusiastic about draft legislation that will enable private developers or local councils to levy landowners (with government permission) to cover the costs of infrastructure in their areas.

And, like the Coalition Government, she wants to see rent-to-buy and shared equity schemes introduced.

However Collins assured: “It’s not my job to defend Phil Twyford - definitely not.”  

Repeal of the RMA 

At the top of Collins’ agenda, should National be elected into government in 2020, is repealing the Resource Management Act (RMA).

A working group will report back to Environment Minister David Parker on how to overhaul the law by mid-2020. New legislation is unlikely to be drafted before the election.

Collins is open to replacing the RMA with two separate pieces of legislation - one that deals with the environment and the other urban development.

If in government, she would pass a piece of transitional legislation, which she’s drafting (but won’t release publicly), while drawing up the two new laws.

ACT recently came out in support of National’s idea to replace the RMA with two pieces of legislation, but Collins didn’t know whether it would support her draft Bill.

A lack of political consensus has in the past prevented RMA reform.

Foreign buyer ban, government underwrite and five-year bright-line test not going anywhere

Collins said the Coalition Government’s decision to extend the bright-line test from two to five years was “ridiculous”. However she wouldn’t commit National to winding it back to two years.

While critical of the foreign property buyer ban, she said the party was yet to make official announcements on whether it would repeal it.

As for KiwiBuild, this has given Collins a platform from which to hammer Twyford.

National has committed to scrapping the policy, however Collins wouldn’t rule out a National-led government underwriting private development - a mechanism central to KiwiBuild.

“It would have to be a very compelling reason for the National Party to be underwriting developers building houses for the private sector when the private sector may not want the houses in the first place. And that’s the problem with KiwiBuild,” Collins said.

“I don’t see that there’s a need [for a government underwrite]. Around 40,000 houses are built every year by the private sector without the government poking its nose in.

“The best thing that we could do to encourage that development, and more of it, would be to reform the RMA and the planning rules that go with it.”

Social housing differences

A key point of difference between National and the Coalition Government is their treatment of social housing.

National wants community housing providers to play a greater role managing social houses.

It’s consulting on whether government should underwrite the building of social houses, to encourage community housing providers to build more

It also wants to apply a “remind, remedy, and remove” approach to social housing, where if after a warning and assistance to fix an issue, a poorly behaved tenant refuses to change, they are evicted.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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judith had the opportunity to prove her ability when they let her reform the family court,that was found to be unfit for purpose.

Great logic - if a pollie has previously come up short, they are forever discredited.

sorry about that,i didnt think anyone would be offended by a statement of fact.

Wasn’t commenting on whether your were factually inaccurate, just your implication that the propositions of someone who has allegedly erred in the past should not be given credence.

Oh well, just add all the other stuff in then

Well lets not forget the corruption, lies, and general bully behaviour.

But hey, this is NZ, land of a million chances.

. .. which one ... Crusher or Twyford ?

GBH, re Twyford; the kiwibuild reset/recalibration is under way, please don’t rush to judgement

.. hee heeee ... they ought to put one of those " men working " style roadsigns next to this COL :

" government under re-set / recalibration , sorry for delays " ....

Thus quoth Spike Milligan. “We can’t hang round here standing on the corner doing nothing. People will think we’re workmen.”

as you say everybody deserves a second chance and she expressed regret over the oravida affair.

Probably had her fingers crossed behind her back. The worst by far was the association with the whole swamp kauri and thing and when asked about wetlands being drained, responded with "Ask someone who care, they are swamps and I don't like swamps". Sealed the deal

Don't forget the Auckland fuel pipeline was believed to be damaged by a kauri digger, and her company was operating in the area at the suspected time it was breached.

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Hey, Judith did a great job in the past...for her husband's company Oravida. Not so much for Kiwis.

I am still waiting to really understand the reason NZ taxpayers sent Judith to China that time.
I hear in her role as Justice Minister it was a fact finding tour.

I hope NZ cannot learn anything from China on Justice....

.. maybe they wanted to learn from her ... you know , how to administer justice .... how to crush ...

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Sad to see that cutting back on both the bright line test and foreign buyer ban are possibly on the table.
Neither will help with housing affordability and potential speculation issues.
While having been involved in property for many years, I am opposed to housing being a speculative investment. Investment for providing rental purpose tends to be long term and not - or should not be - speculative where a 5 year bright line test is an issue.

Five years is too long. Its not capturing speculative property investments (which are already captured under provisions of the Income Tax Act) but is a de facto capital gains tax. Circumstances can change a lot in 5 years (higher interest rates, lost jobs, relationship breakdowns, ill health etc), and people who intended to hold property long term who end up needing to sell are punished. Two years is more than sufficient to capture those who never intended to buy and hold for the long term.

owner occupiers are exempt, so long as they don't try it on too often. And other exemptions for transfer on death, and relationship property. Two years was too short, buy it, rent it for a year/18months then renovate and flick it off..

Are punished? What, are they taken to the back garden of the property and given a good caning?
All they have to do is pay tax on the profit only, and considering they never got into it for capital gains (no one ever does :) it won't be onerous.

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Have a Merry Christmas Printer 8.
Unlike most of the other narcissistic , self centered and often abusive property guys on here, you actually show some balance, empathy and intelligence.

Thanks very much Fritz - it is appreciated.
Issues related to home ownership concerns me and especially the affordability concerns for FHB.
As a boomer, home ownership was a post war ideal that could be achieved by all. It was common for factory workers on low wages to own their home, and as I have previously posted, for Pacific Island blue collar worker immigrants - who weren't well qualified or bringing wealth with them - to also achieve home ownership.
Home ownership has considerable intrinsic value and provides security for one's family, and for my and my parents and grandparents, their financial security was largely built on owning their own home.
I am alarmed that home ownership rates for 25 to 34 year old has fallen from 65% in 1988 to 35% today (see reference below).
I know that I am a little short (my wife reckons grumpy) with those who make unsubstantiated claims of crashes, but I feel that it is unnecessarily planting seeds of fear into potential FHB. There is always risk in life, but just like the risk in crossing the road or driving, we accept those risks and get on with life.
So I do wish everyone - including those I argue with - a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year; and I especially hope that those with aspirations of owning their own home and are working hard to achieve that, do achieve their goal in 2020.

Good article: https://population.org.nz/app/uploads/2019/07/3d-HomeOwnAge_Bentley2019_...

The concept of NZ as a golden land where new citizens with low equity can achieve early home ownership has been a fantasy for some time. Ever since we unleashed the social engineering experiment of allowing in a tide of low quality migration, the common lament about reduced rates of home ownership became increasingly decoupled from reality. Yet we bang on about falling HO rates even as we watch the huddled masses surging in, and don’t seem to make the connection, clinging to anachronistic notions of universal ownership being a right for all that the state should expedite. Of course it’s a travesty for long term young kiwis to be shut out of the market but , really , what on earth did we expect would happen when we knowingly and heavily overloaded the capacity of our infrastructure?

Happy Xmas Printer!

You too mike; and have a great New Year

If they roll back the foreign buyer ban, it is my guess they will also try to close the loophole that Labour found to do anything about it. Be warned, anyone even the least bit concerned about foreign buyers.

Agreed. Spot on

@printer8..............you are simply wrong !

If you extended to Brightline test to 100 years AND banned ALL non citizens from owning property , it will not solve the problem of a housing shortage of somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 housing units .

These measures are dealing with the symptoms and not the causes of the problem

I would not read too much into this. To put into context & but not seriously, and with previous contributions in mind, likening our politicians to The Muppets. One can’t help but think this is not much more than say Miss Piggy having a go at Fozzie.

this part amazes me from national, its a nonsense policy
what happens to these people, do we ship them to a island so we can forget about them, if not then what
the problem with this policy is it does not make the situation better, most times it makes it worse
turf them out let them turn to crime to fund a somewhere to live and lock them up in prison for three times the cost
or they will start to build shanty towns , which we had in the past, Green Acres Caravan Park in Favona Road which was an absolute eyesore and the Police referred to it as the 'boil on the backside of Māngere, was a cesspit of drugs and crime before it was closed down

"It also wants to apply a “remind, remedy, and remove” approach to social housing, where if after a warning and assistance to fix an issue, a poorly behaved tenant refuses to change, they are evicted."

So Collins admits to housing being clearly unaffordable. Might want to bookmark that comment.

@JC ..........Unaffordable for whom ?

And what is your point of reference ?

Houses are clearly affordable, because someone is buying each one as it comes up for sale , and new developments in the right areas are selling off-plan before a sod is turned

Housing in this country is not totally unaffordable, however, it is currently in places, grossly over-priced. But you know, not everyone has to live in Auckland. Do they?

They have got to absolutely clear about foreign buyers and the bright line test.

National are always good at enabling structures that the general populace are unaware of.

Signing over housing to social providers is poor economics and bad policy. I have been working alongside one for the past year and they are complete amateurs although they mean well. They have no scale. Low productivity, poor systems and dubious mandates...they push all that lack of sophistication back on their volunteers and pay their staff poorly. No asset base or capital raising capacity compared to HNZ then of course there is the religious bigotry...I don't want to prop up a non tax paying church group with my state owned assets.

By this metric we should liquidate most of the public sector.

Thats a thoughtless comment, do you have anything that is actually constructive to contribute?

Does Judith have a black eye? Surely she is strong enough to end an abusive relationship...?

... she's Joseph Parker's sparring partner ....

He's still in hospital .... sucking Christmas dinner through a straw ...

How is the infrastructure debt going to be secured ?

Is it going to be part of the rates and recovered by rates surcharges ?
Is it going to be a Mortgage registered on the title deeds ?

Given that infrastructure costs are a HUGE portion of the costs of a new section , who on earth will lend even more money to a section encumbered with such a massive debt ?

The idea is a rabid dog

Great post and i really like your article, Thanks for sharing this.
how to get rid of court cases