Councils can’t fund housing growth alone

4 July 2024

LGNZ has welcomed the Government’s commitment to housing growth today. However, the lack of support to make it happen is a major concern for councils.

“Local and central government agree on the need for more and better housing in this country,” LGNZ President Sam Broughton said.

“There are some common-sense changes here that we welcome, including an optional MDRS, and more clearly defining walkable catchments and rapid transport.

“Councils want more housing growth. However, the logjam on housing has happened because councils are not resourced to support the level of growth that everyone knows we need.

“We are concerned at the increasing central direction on planning that we’ve seen through successive governments, especially given this Government’s commitment to localism.

“If we are serious about solving the housing crisis, we must change how growth is paid for.

“New housing requires roads, footpaths, green space, and services, which are currently really expensive for councils and ratepayers.

“A 50 percent share of the GST revenue on new builds – as signalled in the Coalition Agreement – is a good place to start and it was disappointing not to see that commitment today. Rates alone simply can’t cut it.

“If the Government is serious about getting housing built, any changes should have both political consensus and buy-in from local government, otherwise we risk going through this all over again with the next change of government. Flip-flopping only costs councils and ratepayers,” Sam Broughton said.

LGNZ met with the Housing Minister last month to discuss how local and central government can work together to get more housing built. However, local government wasn’t consulted on the changes announced today.