Moving the Department of Building and Housing's (DBH) building and construction policy unit into the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will align it better with other infrastructure areas such as energy and communications, the government says.
The move would mean the development and operation of New Zealand's housing market would be considered in a better light.
Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce confirmed today the government would go ahead with creating MBIE - dubbed the Super Ministry - from July 1 this year. DBH, the Department of Labour, the Ministry for Economic Development, and the Ministry of Science and Innovation will all merge to form the new entity.
DBH's building and construction policy, regulatory, and support functions were closely linked to the government's business growth agenda, Joyce said in a media release.
"Many of the policy decisions needed to make our economy more productive and competitive relate to the building and construction sector," he said.
"It also makes sense to align building control and regulation with other infrastructure areas to create a more integrated regulatory environment and to consider the development and operation of New Zealand’s housing market in the same light as other markets," said Joyce.
Speaking to media about the new Ministry, Joyce said those other infrastructure areas included energy and communications infrastructure.
The new Ministry would be responsible for market regulation, competition and consumer rights, Joyce said.
Ensuring access to housing, through functions such as assessment of need and provision of assistance, already rested with the Ministry of Social Development and the Housing New Zealand Corporation.
'We'll be better and faster'
Once the new Ministry had been successfully consolidated together, businesses would see the Government moving faster and in a more joined up way to address the issues that made a difference to them and their employees – including market access, innovative ideas, capital, skilled workers, resources and infrastructure, Joyce said.
Many of the business facing services would be cheaper, faster and simpler to use. The new Ministry would engage earlier to get business input and draw on businesses’ knowledge of what works, he said.
"Ministers will be getting a better picture of what decisions and actions they need to consider, as the new Ministry combines best-practice joined-up policy thinking with closer connections to business."