Local Government New Zealand welcomes the increased support that the Government’s Budget 2018 will provide for communities through housing, regional development and environmental preservation.
Funding for an additional 6,400 public houses over the next four years and a $15.0 million spend over the coming year for papakāinga housing recognises the issues around supply and affordability long identified by local government and the $143 million in grants to insulate and heat owner occupied lower income homes aligns strongly with LGNZ’s healthy homes workstream in the Housing 2030 initiative.
“The Budget’s commitment to public, community and transitional housing is heartening as housing is a key issue for our cities, towns and regions,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.
The Budget recognises the need for economic growth as well as a transition to a net zero emissions future by setting aside $100 million of new capital funding for a Green Investment Fund.
“The Government’s investment in high value, low carbon industries and new jobs in clean tech is a good start towards fresh economic growth and a transition towards a zero emissions economy.”
LGNZ is leading significant work on climate change and sees that future budgets need to also make provision for proactive climate change adaptation measures.
On the conservation front, a significant spend on initiatives to protect biodiversity is welcomed.
“The importance of New Zealand’s biodiversity cannot be underestimated and an additional $181.6 million for conservation alleviates the pressure on regional councils who have been working hard on biodiversity and conservation.”
Funding that will respond to issues raised in the first stage of the Government’s Three Waters Review has also been identified as a step in the right direction, but LGNZ sees this as an area where substantially more expenditure will be required in the future.
“Future three waters infrastructure provision and funding is one of the biggest issues for local government and we’re pleased to see a modest inclusion in the Budget towards addressing the issues around water infrastructure.”