Bill capping development charges passed

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 11:32 30/07/2014

Relevant offers

Industries

Marlborough company CarbonScape to trial treatment of Auckland's water Chinese billionaire Wang Wenyin looks at investing in tiny Kiwi goldmine Tegel's sharemarket float could go either way, analysts say Wellington's retail and industrial properties are in hot demand Singapore Airlines celebrates 40 years in New Zealand with new cabin Explore ferries says demise of Waiheke service was like 'death by a thousand cuts' Westpac reports record half-year profit of $445m First night flight lands at Queenstown airport Crackdown on slave fishing crews: foreign charter vessels must reflag to New Zealand Heat goes on Hamilton City Council staff over incomplete work

A bill aimed at bringing down construction costs by limiting fees imposed on developers has passed its final hurdle.

However, a glitch in the Local Government Act Amendment Bill nearly led to it being shelved until after the election.

The bill passed its third and final reading in Parliament last night by 94 votes to 24, with the Greens, NZ First, the Maori Party and Mana opposing it.

The bill restricts the amount councils can charge developers building new subdivisions and limits where those levies can be spent.

The Government says it "paves the way for improved housing affordability and more effective local government".

Critics say it restricts the amount of money councils can raise to pay for community infrastructure and that ratepayers will be left footing the bill.

Associate Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-liga said the bill was the latest in a range of government measures aimed at bringing down the cost of building.

"The bill includes improvements to the development contributions regime, making them fairer and more transparent," Lotu-liga said.

"This will help keep the costs of building new homes down."

Local authorities would now need to "carefully manage community infrastructure", he said.

The bill also allows councils to limit the amount of community consultations they do.

"This will enable a better balance between cost-effective decision-making and constructive community consultation on the things that are important to the ratepayers of New Zealand," Lotu-liga said.

The bill was almost parked till after the election after Prime Minister John Key said the Government did not have the numbers to pass it.

His remark prompted Labour to say it had not been asked about supporting the bill and that it would vote to pass it.

Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford had described the bill as flawed, but said his party would support it because it was "better than nothing".

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content