Labour would build 10,000 affordable homes in Canterbury over four years and increase the accommodation supplement in the region

Labour would build 10,000 affordable homes in Canterbury over four years and increase the accommodation supplement in the region

Labour says it would build 10,000 affordable new homes in Canterbury over the next four years if it can form a government after the next general election.

Under its plan it would build 100 new homes immediately which would be used as emergency housing, plus another 300 in its first six months in office.

In the longer term it intends to build 10,000 new homes over four years, which will likely be a mix of stand alone houses and medium density home units.

The first 3000 homes to be built would be managed by Housing NZ or other social housing organisations to provide rental accommodation for those people with the highest needs.

The remainder would be sold to first home buyers, with stand alone houses to be priced between $350,000 and $400,000, and medium density homes priced between $300,000 and $350,000.

Announcing the plan, Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said it would also increase the accommodation supplement in Christchurch by around $35 to $50 a week, which would bring it up to the levels paid in Auckland.

"Failure to get the residential rebuild going fast enough has allowed a severe and prolonged housing shortage to develop," Twyford said.

"Labour will talk a more hands on approach. We will roll up our sleeves and actually build houses.

"The current Government's approach has been to hope a a broken market will fix itself.

"The fact that fewer than 1000 of the 12,000 to 15,000 houses needed have been built, shows that approach has failed.

"We would earmark the first 3000 houses built for affordable rental housing as a way of immediately making rents more affordable.

"The homes would be retained as rentals until the [housing] crisis has been fixed and then sold to first home buyers.

"We would also fix the anomaly that has denied Cantabrians the same level of accommodation supplement that people in Auckland get when they are paying the same rent." 

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?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

58 Comments

The devil is in the detail !
How?  Considering the current skilled shortage.  I guess cheap labour from Asia is one option or a few gaint 3D printers

Why ?
Why dont they provide the right environment for people to do this for themselves , instead of being the nanny ?
Instead:-
1)They are going to try to build these housing units when there is no Government infrastructure the manage the construction process
2) There is a skilled labour shortage in almost all the trades so how are they going to find workers to do the work?
3) Big constrcution frims like Fletcher building shareholders will be the only ones to benefit    
3) Government will incur massive debt which wil have to be funded by overstretched middle class taxpayers
4) Looking at governments track record in these projects over the past centruy we see nothing but blowouts and waste
Its another hare-brained scheme by Labour based on  1930's - 1970s socialist ideology
And........... what happened to the proposed "under $300k brand new houses " for Auckland . The silence is deafening ......... BTW we need three of them , one for each of my children, and we will be paying cash  .

Boatman
 
If they leant on the insurance companies to pull their finger out and do the right thing, people would get on and do it themselves, no mucking around

I agree with Boatman and CM - how and why?
 
"Labour will talk a more hands on approach. We will roll up our sleeves and actually build houses." That's a blatant lie. They aren't Licensed Building Practitioners, they already presumably have full time jobs being polititians - they don't have the numbers, time or skills to actually build houses.
 
What they mean is that they will contract the Design, Consenting, Construction and Management of the projects to ... someone. Then they will find out that these people are only willing to work if they earn money for working and that they are operating in a marketplace along with everyone else. Then all their vote-buying promises will turn into nothing as the tenders come in. 
 
  

But Bob, the clueless punters who only read the headlines will fall for this - yet again.
 
We're just lucky that there are prolly only three of them.....

The "why" presumably is different motivation to property developers, who reasonably enough will want to maximise the return they get on any piece of land. In Auckland and presumably Christchurch that generally means building a relatively high spec house and selling it at also a relatively high price. If you start with a mindset that you wish to build a lot of fully functional modern houses as cheaply as practical, then you clearly would likely taka a different approach. Maybe Hugh Pavletich's Houston model gets to the same result, but its not obvious we can overturn 200 years of planning process history.
In the UK, the rules force any developers of scale to build a proportion of affordable homes in any reasonable sized development; usually such houses are reserved for essential but lowish paid people- that maybe could work here.
Failing any of that we do not currently have an affordable housing policy, other than the landlord subsidy of the accommodation supplement. Build a good number of affordable houses, and the landlord subsidy should disappear. Tax dollars going into taxpayer owned assets rather than property owners, but on balance, no more tax dollars.
 

Agree with all the above, in particular where are the builders, especially cheap ones.
I understand Cunliffe is the only Labour MP to have been self-employed, and I think this shows through in most of their thinking, which, to the self employed, seems to come from another planet(or the Greens)

Good news that Labour supports the accomadation supplement in Christchurch going up to match other high cost cities. Good that Labour is providing real policies that acknowledge Canterbury still has problems re the earthquakes/ rebuild.
Re the 10,000 houses for Canterbury the devil will be in the detail. We need to know so much more. Land costs, build cost per m2, will there be a transport package included and so on.

Good for who, landlords? Because that's where the money will end up. Well meaning legislation sure, but anyone with ECON101 under their belt will know why this is a bad idea.

Yes the accomadation supplement benefits landlords as much as it does tenants -agreed I passed Econ 101 too. Giving Cantabrians the same level of accomadation supplement as other expensive NZ cities is just a temporary solution to an inequitable situation. Reform of the wider housing market is what is needed.

I dont think it benefits tenants at all, its just a pass through.
A temp housing supp boost doesnt seem that bad an idea until things are sorted.
(edit) though again Im sure if you improve the ability of renters to pay the landlords will up the ante.
regards

Post-EQ rents in Canterbury looked like price gouging to me - IMO it should have been stopped in its tracks before it got started using the unilateral powers government gave itself under the second CER Act. Now however, the horse has bolted - and moving the A/S is an absolute requirement as an interim measure.  At the same time, however, they should regulate as well - as it could get much worse before it gets better.

I dont agree its a must, if you assume the landlords are extracting rentier rents then they will put up the rent the second more A/S is on offer IMHO.
In terms of regulating, well insurance has gone up, any maintenance to be paid for will be more expensive as labour will be at a premium etc...
regards

This is the moment you know Labour should not hold the reins of power. Christchurch could have been an election winner for the Left with the right policy statements. This housing package  is a band aid when there is a gaping wound to plug.
 
After fours years of central government disdain for the people whose lives have been wrecked and the stultifying inertia of CCC the people of CHC have had to look after themselves. A policy package that resonated would have included:
- overhaul of EQC (ie firings)
- threat to suspend the licences of insurance companies who don't resolve outstanding claims within three months
- Immediate start on Belfast bypass and Northern Corridor
- moratorium on education restructuring
 
Those who can have moved outside the city and rental accommodation is filled with people waiting for insurance companies to give up their delaying tactics. building new houses one day doesn't address the new reality.

Absolute agreement Kumbel
 
Jong-Ki-dum is too busy floating around the world stage, his media-tart photo-op in christchurch long forgotten, spending money on applying for a seat on the UN security council etc etc .. his priorities are elsewhere
 
As for 10,000 houses next year, or the year after, or sometime-never, is a political gesture
 
As you say, a complete clean-out of EQC and suspend the licences of all insurance companies, immediately, freeze their funds and accounts and put them in statutory-management - they've had long enough

The irony is that my suggestions cost nothing and only need to be promised not necessarily actioned. The Nats have pumped up Vote Transport in the right places so anyone could make a real difference to the northern arterials today without even having to find new money.
 
Votes in CHC will fall into the laps of anyone who shows they know what it's really like here today rather than buying into Brownlee's Pollyanna view.

Kumbel your political radar is way off. #TeamKey have determined the roading needs in Arthur pass is more important... WTF is that about?

Nats to CHC: Hell and High Water will continue until morale improves.
 
As far as I can tell from from the government's press release these projects are being shunted up the existing list. In the case of the first five they can be because the legal and engineering prep work is all done and the projects are just waiting for funding. They are not any more important they have just got their party frocks on already.
 
It is bewildering that the Belfast Bypass doesn't get a mention anywhere which leads me to conclude that an August announcement is still on the cards.
 
We tend to forget that the Centre-Left vote in the last election was only 10,000 fewer than the Centre-right. And that Christchurch was the only (?) part of the country that bucked the overall trend of a small drift of support away from National compared to the 2008 election. The Nats probably can't count on the same level of support in Christchurch this time around and will want to maximise the emotional impact of any regional policies.
 
The Nats have to sprinkle goodies in the last three maybe four weeks before polling day or they run the risk of the rosy glow wearing off and everyone remembering how crap the Nats have been for the last three years.
 
PS Same applies to Labour. The houses thing is nice but doesn't really say "we feel your pain". If they have any sense they will also have some promises up their sleeve for late August-early September.

Kumbel Re: Same applies to Labour. I understand your logic but suspect Key would win a battle of manipulating voter emotions. Labour and Cunliffe would do better to take the high road and do something that appeals to voters heads.
 
Something like devolving funding and responsibility for transport down to a democratic ECan and the other equivalent regional bodies. Those regional bodies being guided by a Bertaud formulation as a National Policy Statement in the RMA. This allows Labour to take the moral high ground of restoring local democracy. It allows the provinces to build roads, double lane bridges and make roads faster and safer by straightening roads etc. While allowing urban regions to put in place a variety of transport infrastructure -bike lanes, bus lanes, rail, motorways whatever opens up new areas for cheaper housing while allowing workers the possibility to access all urban workplaces in under an hour, preferably half an hour.
 
Of course this doesn't stop Labour also annoucing some Special Housing Areas of KiwiBuilds -one of which will be beside the Waimak and a Labour government would negotiate with Ecan to build a bridge....

You naive but lovable fool.
 
The votes will go to whoever promises the most ass-kicking not the most sensible policies.

Well insanity is my profession.....

I love it!!!  So true! Labour haven't yet figured that out. In CHCH, Gerry Brownlee's record is their best friend!!!!

But seriously how else does the 'Left' escape from Keys transport policy -Roads of National Significance and whatever this regional package is called -Roads of National Insignificance?
 
If the 'Left' keeps transport centralise the Greens will want to spend some/all of any extra infrastructure money on public transport. That might make sense in the cities but the provinces will never understand it. Key will use the Greens to scare voters. He did exactly that when interviewed on the radio this morning when asked if his regional road package was pork barrel politics.
 
If the 'Left' can't reform transport then their housing reforms will not stand up to scrutiny....

Public transport in NZ with such a dispersed population is an interesting problem.
a) The Green's public transport policy is only economically and environmentally effective in the case of heavy use.  So having a 12tonne? bus running around the streets, empty except for 2 or 3 OAPs using a gold card makes no economic or emisions sense what so ever.  The bus has to be something like 30%+ full to make sense.  The same applies to trains, it is crazy to run a Train needing 3 ppl to run it (plus points staff etc) for 10 ppl, 1/2 of which are on gold cards.
b) Once out in rural NZ commuter style and sized buses cannot be economic.
The problem is when fossil fuel gets cripplingly expensive or even rationed just how does rural NZ operate at all?   well it cant.
c) Pork barel politics, well if building roads is a way to keep the building sector going and even (classically) restart the economy it makes sense as a strategy.  However this time is different and National and indeed labour dont get it, they are yesterday's men (and women).
I dont see housing and transport reform as linked (in any obvious, direct way).
regards
 

Read 'Cities as Labor markets' by Alain Bertaud for the link between mobility and affordable housing.

Exactly. And three of the four bullet points are all about attacking the bureaucracy (both the private and the public sector bureaucracies) and giving CHCH back to the people. It's a simple policy platform that everyone can understand ..
Stop the bureaucracy - take back the city!!!!! 

Hear, hear Kumbel

... given that 95 % of the NZ Labour MP's are academics , and have never rolled up their sleeves to do an honest day's toil in their entire lives , one can only marvel at their audacity in proposing to " actually build the houses " ...
 
I doubt they're on the level ... both the MP's and the houses ... terribly warped methinks ... and as per David Cunliffe's self described " average Kiwi bungalow " in Herne Bay , each house will include a reflexology & palmistry room , a maid's scully ,  a sauna/spa bath wing , and a view to the ocean  ...
 
... as average Kiwis live , aye Davie boy ... unlike that rich pri*k John Key , who lives in luxury ...
 
And due to cost over-runs and budget blow outs ( lest we mention the builders gleefully ripping off the largesse of the idiot government officials ) ... each affordable home will clock in at $ 600 000 plus ....
 
.... plus the cost of the section ! ... ha ha ha deeeee haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

If mining companies like RIO and BHP can fly workers 1,000's kilometres to their mining operations on a fly-in fly-out basis it seems that the christchurch rebuild could and should have been opened up to international tender, or invitation to participate
 
Construction companies such as Hochtief Leightons Grocon etc could have shipped their heavy equipment over in a heartbeat and flown their engineers and construction teams in and out no trouble
 
Leightons, a large australian construction company, are or were very active in Dubai during the explosive development phase ie international capabilities - they can move around - easy
 
I just wonder why that wasn't done

... a friend said that a large firm of Italian stonemasons/engineers had wanted to rebuild the smaller bridges around Christchurch , and to give them a unique architectural flair , but the CCC preferred to give locals Fletchers and Fulton Hogan a " fair go " , instead ... sensible cold grey concrete is the order of the day ...

There will be far more of these if a Labour Government has a hand in it. Socialists only know how to tax and spend- not how to run businesses.

Builder goes bust: Homeowner loses out
BLAIR ENSOR AND CECILE MEIER
 28/06/2014
A Canterbury homeowner has been left hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket after a Christchurch firm seemingly went bust while building her house.

At least three other homeowners have also lost their deposit to the company, and several subcontractors were never paid for their work.
Erica McLachlan paid developer and builder Tectonic more than $220,000 in advances for a land and house package in Kaiapoi's Silverstream development. However, construction of the house stalled earlier this year before the painting, carpeting, cladding, plumbing and electricity work was complete.

Silverstream Estate said it was never paid for the land, and a former Tectonic Construction employee confirmed almost none of the subbies were paid.
 
Link:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/10209508/Builder-goes-bust-Homeowner-loses-out

... it's an age old story that one , where the public sector moves in , the private sector gets elbowed out ...
 
Give them their due , Labour are reliably consistent , they never learn ..... never !
 
... wouldn't be at all surprised if some of those 10 000 homes are plonked on the farmland at Lineside Road , near Kaiapoi , the one that's still 3 feet under water after the June 10 deluge ...
 
Got plenty of waterfowl as a selling point ... swans and ducks ... quack quack , David !!!

Won't matter, as it's Labour's policy to cover the insurance side of things, irrelavant of if you've taken out a policy or not. Nevertheless, I can't see them getting in to power anyway . . . I hope!

Silverstream sits astride the Kaiapoi River which looks innocuous enough on a map until you remember that until the thirties it was the North Branch of the Waimakariri and Kaiapoi was a genuine island. 
 
I wonder whether a private developer would have chosen that spot if the combination of (CCC-owned) Christchurch Airport and the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy had not restricted growth to swamps and bogs.

Does that mean growth was funneled toward and into swamps and bogs or restricted away from swamps and bogs ????????  not sure what you mean

I think Kumbel means that because of the UGB from the various Council plans, which has not been altered by the earthquakes, just the rate of planned rezoning was increased, that 'growth' has been channelled into boggy swampy areas around existing city/ local townships. Most of Christchurch/Canterbury urban areas were built around waterways that prior to drainage were prone to swamping and flooding.
 
If there was no UGB then probably people would have chosen to rebuild to the west of Christchurch on dry hard geotech stable ground.
 
For all those who are trying to construct a free market -National versus a socialist market -Labour division for how the two main parties are approaching Christchurch they should remember that six years into a National government and three years after the biggest disaster to residential housing in NZ history National have made no significant changes to the bureacratic red tape involved in housing.....

"If there was no UGB then probably people would have chosen to rebuild to the west of Christchurch on dry hard geotech stable ground."
 
And it is CCC subsidiary Christchurch International Airport Ltd that effectively stops all westward growth through its rabid protection of its flight path approaches. It prevents development west of SH1 from Kaiapoi to Rolleston.

It's an unintended consequence of the UDS and the post-earthquake incompetence of the government and CCC that one of the better development opportunities is along the Kaiapoi-Leithfield/Amberley corridor. Most of this land historically was swamp (and is again after rainfalls like we had last week).
 
D.L. Hawkins excellent history, North of the Waimakariri, has a lovely anecdote about two men walking from Kaiapoi to Rangiora - roughly where Lineside Road now runs - through waist-deep swamp. It's about 1km away from the brand-new Silverstream development.
 
The authorities are trying their best to "fix" Greater Christchurch without spending any money upgrading roads. As Brendon never tires of pointing out, the councils and the government could solve most of the area's housing and other woes by banging in a second bridge over the Waimakariri and opening up the north bank of the river which is really good building land - just remote by road without that direct access.

... that's been a Gummster idea for a long time too , to link Eyrewell across the Waimak , to Harewood ... a new bridge ... to take the pressure off the main north road , to quicken the Oxford/Chch commute ..
 
And maybe to create a new town " Eyrewell Forest " on that earthquake resistent dry stoney ground which is barely fertile enough to grow radiata pines and jack rabbits ...
 
... if you look at the old lands & survey maps you'll see a Harewood Road near the forest , heading towards the airport ... so , meebee the old timers had planned for a bridge linking the city and the Eyreton/Cust/Oxford area ..

Add a road connesting SH1 north of Kaiapoi and south of Rolleston and you have a SH1 diversion plus a more direct link between Rolleston and Rangiora the two fastest growing parts of Canterbury. It all makes sense if only the useless b...ds. in Wellington would listen for a change......

... you , my friend , are a great loss to the infrastructure planners of our nation & province ..
 
I wish they had even a fraction of the good ideas that you do .... sadly , they don't !

No sure about being a loss to infrastructure planners but the patients down at the local mentally unwell hospital don't seem to understand my attempts at bringing sanity to infrastructure planning.... The 'insane' in the wider community also mostly ignore me too....

Silverstream - brand-new - about 1 km away from waist-deep swamp
 
crikey
 
That sounds like a pre-ordained, pre-determined, pre-programmed future event similar to the "leaky-homes" opera coming up

per GBH - silverstream - that tract of reclaimed swampland

Brendon & Gummy are planning a new town on the north branch of the Waimak , if you'd prefer to have dry feet in the morning , and fewer frogs and pukekos hopping around the lounge ...
 
... it'll be near Eyrewell Forest ... and named in honour of that clever orator David Cunliffe .. .. we'll reserve a section for you , buddy ...
 
How'd you feel about becoming  a " Cunninglinguist " ?

... if the developer had been less colourblind , he'd have called it " Greenstream "  .... 'cos the water moves slowly across that tract of reclaimed swampland ...
 
Friends have recently bought their 800 m section ( $ 180 000 + ) .... wouldn't listen to the Gummster ...
 
... fair enough ...  no one else does .... glug glug , gurgle gurgle .. ...

Wait, wut? I suspect most of my left of far right acquaintances would look at private sector failure in a region of the country with critical problems as a reason for the government to to something. When you comment socialists don't know "how to run a business", did you actually link to the story you meant to link to? The story you linked to was about someone in the private sector being unable to run a business, which kind of makes the opposite point to your comments.
Now there is a legitimate discussion to be had about if reviving state house building to historic levels is appropriate under the present conditions (and I certainly have my doubts about the plan), but in having that discussion we know from history: it was not bad for the building industry (it was bad for the property speculation industry, so you are welcome to try and generate a property pity party for speculators), and it was not bad for the country. If Labour "never learn" it is because last time it was actually pretty successful.

Agree.
regards

Kumbel if Labour announced some of those KiwiBuilds were going beside a new bridge over the Waimakariri behind the airport it would transform Canterbury as you say. This isn't my idea. Our friend GBH first suggested it here on interest.co.nz. I think we joked it could be called 'Cunlitton'.....
 
The interesting thing about Labour's KiwiBuild proposal is the numbers -10,000 houses a year for 10 years, between $300K to $400K. This is a significant amount -roughly half the annual number of new builds that the country produces annually. So it will have a significant effect. But it will not replace the private sector because they have to supply the other half and it is planned to only last 10 years.
 
Politicians may pretend that housing is not their responsibility but in reality they control all the various aspects of the housing market, how much and how quickly new residential land is supplied to the market, how much competition there is in the building supply market and the nature and quantity of transport access to the various urban areas. Government agencies at all the different levels combine with private sector to create what we know as the housing market.
 
KiwiBuild could be a targetted intervention into the housing market to correct a market failure that has seen house prices deviate from historic ratios since 2002. That it is part of a package of reforms involving 'right to build', infrastructure/ transport reforms and increased competition in the build supplies market that over the 10 year KiwiBuild timeframe will return NZ back to those historic ratios. 
 
Alternatively KiwiBuild could be a political game where Labour plays at building houses, they hand out contracts and cheap houses to favoured groups and not to others. In other words no different to National -pretend to be doing something about housing for everyone when in reality they are just favouring some groups over others.
 
Really we need more information. Labour needs to lay their 'cards on the table'. Honestly tell us what their intentions are. What harm can it do? They are in a 'hiding to nothing' situation in the polls.....

"They are in a 'hiding to nothing' situation in the polls"
The media are actually misreading what is going on there because there are some massively interesting things about the undecided. Stephen Joyce has been warning people not to get complacent because National are actually 2 points behind where they were in the same point of the cycle as last time.
I have been waiting for John Key to get to 85% on iPredict then was seriously thinking of shorting the prediction because the media have so got the wrong end of the stick.

Looking at the polls last time v this time and National are well down. 
What makes me scratch my head however is I can see nothing that explains why labour did so badly in the last election or look to do poorly this time ie I would have expected a far better % for Labour ie closer to 40% yet its still 30% ish.
What massive?
iPredict, not sure on its success rate but I thought it was pretty good?  Betting against JK if its a big asymetrical bid would be worth a few $s.
regards

"Really we need more information. Labour needs to lay their 'cards on the table'. Honestly tell us what their intentions are. What harm can it do? They are in a 'hiding to nothing' situation in the polls."
I thought they were pretty clear on quite a number of things myself.
regards

Labour has made some significant annoucements re housing and the Canterbury rebuild and I said so at the top of this comment stream. But the picture isn't completely clear and time is short....

Sometimes ppl want their cake and eat it.
At the end of the day "the left" will favour those worst off, and anyone in the middle is left to get on with it.  The problem I have with that is that allows monopolies to form and charge the max. This could have been avoided and should have been in HC's time, but that would have cost votes (perception of wealth), so didnt happen.
PS I wish we had a better way to run the economy of a country and not via Pollies who are obviously pretty useless.
One way would be to enact policy like the RB has to follow and then stand back, but even then we can see labour wants to bugger it.
regards

The airport doesn't want development in it's flight path or Operation Deepfreeze may not be able to land at night.
It is the development industry that lobbys hardest for immgration. Immigration adds to pressure on land and the public has to pay for infrastructure.

Christchurch architect Roger Buck, a longtime advocate of sustainable housing, says this could have been the moment to make the move to not just greener homes, but greener suburbs.
More innovative ownership models could have emerged, such as community designs grouped around shared garden spaces.
Instead, all he sees are cookie- cutter estates offering standalone houses on ever-shrinking plots. "They're short-life buildings to begin with, what I'd call stick houses," he says.
They look ritzy when first built, but use flimsy materials and are unlikely to age well.
Also, the sections are too small. Buck says people are clinging onto the old quarter-acre Kiwi ideal, but trying to make it work on half the land. We are building a rash of new suburbs that will never have vegetable patches, proper gardens or the shelter of trees.
"When the easterlies blow through, they will be utterly bleak."
Nor do these subdivisions allow people to capture the winter sun.
"You need do no more than orient your house to the north and that's free winter energy.
"However, developers just chop up the land at random to get as many sections out of it as possible. The house are then plonked down to fit the roads."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/6865085/Big-ambitions-for-small-sites?

When all you look at is short term, want to max profit or can afford but the first cost, the cookie cutter is the result.
So we do surburbia USA style, no one wants to look at things like expensive and even scarce energy, an elephant in the room no one mentions.
regards

For all the posturing on this 'ere thread aboot 'private sector failure' in the 'housing market', let's just recite, wearily, for the umpty-umpth time, the long list of factors which operate to ensure that there is no such beast as a 'market' in housing as things stand:
 

  • Land supply is tightly controlled, as to the area, timing, consented uses, layouts and standard of build.  This guarantees long development sequences, huge intest-on-capital cost components because of that lapse of time, and is a direct cause of land prices being on a par with build costs, instead of being 10-25% as of only a coupla decades ago.
  • Building has been crippled by a risk-averse and rule-bound approach to inspection and consenting by the TLA's involved.  An acquaintance at MBIE notes that for a simple (rectangular-footprint, non-fussy roof, standard materials) house, a one-working-day time to consent is plenty:  there jest ain't that much risk in such a deal.  But let yer local Council loose on practically any plan (and there are many, many such stories right here on the Interest threads - ask Kimy )  and you will incur Grief, Woe and mucho Cost.  The solution is multi-proof consents whereby the clueless Council cannot have a say apart from foundations (and these days, founds are Engineer territory anyways).
  • Just leaves one perfectly logical and heaviliy incentivised way through all of this, if'n yer unfortunate enough to want to Build stuff.   Build the Biggest hoose on the Smallest Plot, and make yer wages That way.  Because nothing else stacks up economically:  Build small, the land price gets ya.  Get a lotta land, land price gets ya.  Try a communal-development effort (sweat-equity) and the LBP certification gets ya, plus the land price, plus the non-standard builds and shared areas (= 'risk') so consenting will be a nightmare.
  • As Hugh P (where are ya when we Need ya, Hugh?) was wont to say, if the land price is wrong, everything's wrong.
  • And the land price is...wrong.

 

To buy land at rural prices for residential purposes you could get rid of UGB and let competition push the price down. Or the government could compuulsory acquire land at rural prices, rezone it residential, develop it into sections/houses and sell it off at cost. Or you do some combination of both.