New Zealand’s New Building Law

Real estate developers have long complained about New Zealand’s time-consuming planning system for construction, which often takes years to navigate, and now a new law has been enacted …

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Real estate developers have long complained about New Zealand’s time-consuming planning system for construction, which often takes years to navigate, and now a new law has been enacted to accelerate that process. The new law, which will override the Auckland Metropolitan Urban Limit, will pave the way for the construction of tens of thousands of homes. The reform is been driven by low supply, which has greatly impacted residential housing affordability across the country. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

A new law to speed up the planning system and pave the way for tens of thousands of new home to be built has been approved in New Zealand.

It will mean that where previously planning in certain zones such as low rise greenfield sites used to take three years, it will now be around six months and on brownfield sites just three months compared with a year previously.

‘This new law will deliver tens of thousands of new homes. The increased land supply will help take the pressure off the over heated Auckland housing market and help the economic recovery. It will enable tens of thousands of kiwi families to realize the dream of owning their own home,’ said Housing Minister Nick Smith.

‘The game changer in this new law is the unblocking of the constipated planning system. It will enable plan changes and resource consents to be processed simultaneously. It will over ride Auckland’s Metropolitan Urban Limit,’ he explained.

The Auckland Housing Accord will be the first to be recognized under this new Act and will enable the Auckland Council to get on and give consent to around 39,000 homes deemed contentious in its draft Unitary Plan, rather than waiting three years for it to become operative.

The New Zealand government is also having discussions with other councils in high cost housing areas on how the law can assist in addressing the housing supply and affordability issues in their communities.

‘The new initiatives in this law are just part of the government’s substantive program on housing affordability. We also have work underway to reduce infrastructure costs on sections, address the costs of building materials, improve productivity in the building industry, and reduce compliance costs,’ Smith pointed out.

The next stage of reforms will require councils to plan for 10 years of land supply for housing. The government has also announced initiatives to increase the number of mortgages to help first time buyers.

‘This new law is a vital step to getting momentum and pace into residential housing development,’ added Smith who to have sufficient Special Housing Areas approved by Christmas for at least an additional 5,000 homes.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.

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