New Conservative recognises that housing availability, affordability and quality all need to be addressed on multiple fronts. There is no simple solution to this critical area and therefore a number of initiatives are required including focus on the following 5 key areas.
Supply Management: Addressing the shortfall in the supply of housing on various fronts including more bare land being brought to market, time frames for undeveloped land, higher density, improved and sustainable regional growth, pre-consented plans and review of taxation levers.
Demand Management: Find innovative ways to manage the demand on housing such as initiatives to help New Zealand families into their own homes. Reviewing immigration policies and long-term plans. We would also look at the use of levers like tax incentives and Kiwisaver changes, along with rent-to-buy schemes and moving government departments to smaller areas.
Cost Factors: Cost is creating one of the single biggest hurdles to home ownership. We would address this, encouraging and developing greater efficiency in property markets and removing unnecessary regulation and compliance costs, particularly from the residential housing sector. To enable housing suppliers to gear up and build more houses for the government’s “Kiwibuild”, the government would have to provide surety of demand. Regulations would also need to be changed to enable greater pre-fabrication.
Skill Shortfalls: Introduction of new apprenticeship schemes (designed by builders, for builders) and work hard to identify tradespeople at school to ensure the right personality types are doing the appropriate training early in life, thus meeting the shortfall in trained tradespeople for the long term. Introducing trade streaming at year 9.
Building Regulation: Many areas can be addressed here such as better standards regulation, greater use of public/private partnerships, learning from nations that have shown over time to be effective (e.g. Europe). Use building methods that are time-proven and reduce maintenance moving forward. Streamlining the codemark process to allow greater competition.