National Party calls for emergency powers to fix housing crisis

It offers to support the law change

National Party calls for emergency powers to fix housing crisis

The National Party is urging the government to introduce urgent temporary legislation to make homes easier to build and fix the housing crisis, promising to support it through Parliament.

The law change would allow the government to rezone council land, making room for 30 years’ worth of housing supply growth through intensification and greenfield development. It would be a nationwide equivalent of the emergency powers put in place to build more houses in Christchurch following its earthquakes, which enabled the multiple between median incomes and houses prices to remain constant in the city between 2014 and 2020.

The law would suspend the appeals process, so district plans could be completed as quickly as possible. It would also suspend requirements for infrastructure to be built before zoning.

At her recent State of the Nation speech in Auckland, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins said it’s time for an extraordinary solution for the housing crisis.

“It is too hard to build houses in New Zealand. We need to make it drastically easier. With rents and house prices spiralling out of control, Kiwis can no longer afford to wait,” Collins said.

Collins has written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, suggesting establishing a special Select Committee to develop the emergency legislation, with the committee’s recommendations available for consideration by the end of March.

“New Zealanders have had enough. It’s time for the two major political parties to work together to fix this problem,” she said.

National’s housing spokesperson Nicola Willis also emphasised that rents have increased by an average of $100 a week in only three years.

“This means people are struggling to keep up with the other necessities of life – food, power, and doctors’ visits,” she said. “National wants more for New Zealanders. We don’t want a future where the only answer to being able to afford a place to live is to get on a government housing waiting list.”