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Dr Muriel Newman

Housing Affordability – the underlying problem

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Housing240716The recent political debate over the shortage of housing has been more heat than light. The real issue that needs addressing is the policy framework that’s preventing the housing market from operating properly and meeting the growing demand for houses – especially those in the lower and medium price brackets.

The housing shortage, has, of course, been driven by demand, caused largely by record immigration – more Kiwis returning home and fewer leaving in particular. House building all but dried up during the global financial crisis, so gearing the industry up to meet the increasing demands of immigration and the Christchurch rebuild has not been easy. Nevertheless, the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show that the number of new building consents is continuing to grow, with 28,387 issued in the year to May, compared with 13,917 five years ago.

Twenty years ago, the late economist and resource management expert Owen McShane, produced a report for the Reserve Bank, which warned that National’s then new Resource Management Act was responsible for increasing the cost of land and housing. Among other things, the report pointed out that urban containment policies were leading to a shortage of sections for houses, that excessive consultation – including with iwi – was causing major delays, and that a disproportionate focus on environmental protection was undermining private property rights.

However, rather than fixing the fundamental problems with their new law, the National Government, has done little more than tinker.

In fact, the RMA has essentially been a disaster. Not only is it the primary cause of New Zealand’s serious housing shortage and lack of affordable homes, but it has significantly constrained the country’s economic growth.

An OECD report in 2014 on the economic cost of environmental policies confirmed this, ranking New Zealand 28th out of 34 member countries for having the worst administrative burden, alongside Israel, Canada and Iceland. They found that while many countries had more stringent environmental controls than New Zealand, the associated costs to their economies were relatively minor, compared to the excessive bureaucratic compliance associated with the RMA.

The RMA was the brainchild of the 1987 Labour Government’s former Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment, Geoffrey Palmer, who used the law to give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi.

His complex 314-page Resource Management Bill was presented to Parliament in 1989, but he was unable to get it passed before the 1990 General Election. However, thanks to the support of National’s Minister for the Environment Simon Upton, this radical omnibus Bill, which consolidated more than 70 statutes relating to planning, resources and the environment, became law in 1991.

The RMA replaced the traditional rules-based approach of the long-established Town and Country Planning Act, with an “effects-based” regime, which allowed development, just so long as any adverse environmental effects were mitigated.  While this was meant to create a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to resource management, by 1996, the new law was already becoming a major impediment to growth.

In particular, policies to protect rural land from residential encroachment were leading to shortage of sections for housing – as the Minister for the Environment Simon Upton noted in a speech to the Planning Institute in 1995: “I would like to talk about rural subdivision today. I’ve heard all sorts of well-intentioned rubbish spoken by both advocates and opponents of subdivision alike. The Resource Management Act requires those who exercise powers under the Act to focus on the effects of resource use on the environment. Clearly, there will be a need for environmental controls. But those controls must relate to the diverse effects of development – not some inherited prejudices against urban expansion.”

He acknowledged that “Owning a place in the country is a cherished ambition… it’s amazing what sacrifices people will make for a slice of the rural lifestyle – space for a pony, some calves, or a bigger garden…”, concluding that the pressure for rural land would be unrelenting.

Under the old Town and Country Planning Act, planners were expected to make choices for people, by ensuring that subdivisions would “most effectively promote and safeguard the health, safety, convenience and economic, cultural and general welfare of people”.

But the RMA altered that presumption by assuming that people were able to make their own choices about the use of resources, and that councils were there to ensure the effects were consistent with sustainable management. The system was also meant to deliver efficiency in resource allocation, through price signals, including the costs of remedying environmental impacts.

However, it quickly became obvious that the vision of Geoffrey Palmer and Simon Upton was rather short-sighted.

Owen McShane found that planners and politicians alike regarded the new law as an opportunity to control environmental effects – in addition to their long standing right to control land and resources. The situation was much worst in those Councils that had embraced Agenda 21, the United Nations sustainable development framework, with its focus on the precautionary principle, inter-generational equity, and prioritising the public good over individual freedom and property rights.

Iwi consultation was also proving problematic: “The requirement to consult with iwi has generated a new set of uncertainties. Potential subdividers may have spent much time and money preparing their application only to find that their proposal may fail to meet the assessment criteria.” He pointed out that no applicant could be certain of obtaining a consent when there was always the possibility that iwi could challenge a proposal over spiritual matters – a situation that he believed seriously undermined the rule of law, which had traditionally ensured that no one could use the force of the law to impose their beliefs on others.

Owen also warned of iwi opportunism: “The Hurakina Development Trust, acting for the Tainui, have advised the ARC that they regard the collection and piping of water as an inherently ‘adverse effect’ on the environment because of Maori spiritual values and hence the Trust is insisting that it be notified of all stormwater discharge applications.”

While there has been much talk throughout the twenty years since Owen and others identified major problems with the Act, there has been no fundamental reform. As a result, the RMA remains a major impediment to the country’s economic growth and the key cause of the shortage of housing and lack of affordable homes.

In January last year, just before the National Party lost the Northland electorate seat to Winston Peters, the Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith outlined his plan for major RMA reform.

He explained that the Act has some fundamental design flaws that need to be overhauled, especially the ‘purposes and principles’ in Sections 6 and 7, against which every plan, rule, and consent is tested. He wanted some of the current provisions removed, and others added, including references to natural hazards, the urban environment, and infrastructure. He also wanted to include a requirement for affordable housing, since before the RMA was introduced, “thirty-five per cent of new homes built were sold below the then median house price as compared to just five per cent today”.

The Minister wanted economic benefits included as a key factor, so that whenever councils considered any new development, they would be required to weigh up the benefits of growth, jobs and exports, against the environmental effects.

Nick Smith also wanted greater recognition of property rights – to provide a better balance between the rights of an individual to use their own land and the wider community interests – through giving local authorities greater discretion to waive the need for resource consents where the environmental effects are minor.

He acknowledged the unacceptable delays caused by the Act, by explaining that the Government has had to pass a number of special laws to bypass the RMA – the latest being the 2013 Special Housing Areas legislation, to fast-track house building.

The Minister also admitted that the RMA was making the provision of affordable housing almost impossible – through three main areas: firstly, through constraining the supply of land; secondly, through focusing consent decisions on environmental values such as landscape, natural character and heritage without any regard to the cost implications; and thirdly, through consultation with neighbours, whose interest was in protecting their property rights and amenity values, not in facilitating the building of affordable homes.

The Minister could have added a number of the other factors that have been identified by this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Frank Newman, an investment analyst and former councillor, who, in a comprehensive review of the cost of housing, has this to say about the RMA:

“In 1991 the RMA was heralded by the politicians of the day as a visionary piece of legislation. In reality, it has been an utter disaster and significantly contributed to housing shortages and increased housing costs. While the Act has been amended more than twenty times, the fundamental problems remain. These include defining affected parties, the ‘compensation’ needed to appease those who object, and the costs and delays of the hearing process. Those costs may run into hundreds of thousands of dollars should the consent be publicly notified (which is commonplace given councils are now more restrictive about permitted activities) and end up in the Environment Court.”

Frank spells out the costs associated with project delays, explaining that the length of time taken to obtain a consent boils down to four key factors – environmentalists blocking development, iwi needing to be consulted even if there are no sites of significance to Maori on the land in question, council staff taking a precautionary approach and requiring endless expert reports, and the Environment Court process being long, complex, and expensive.

No-one is saying that addressing these problems with the RMA will be easy, but it is surely the responsibility of the Government of the day to fix it – especially since they were the ones that introduced the law in the first place.

Unfortunately, National’s RMA reform bill that is presently in front of Parliament is yet more tinkering – a case of being seen to be doing something, rather than actually doing it.

Worse, the new initiatives the Maori Party wanted introduced – in return for supporting the bill to a Select Committee – will not only strengthen iwi consultation rights, but will also facilitate their move to become resource consenting authorities, both of which will further compound the problems with the RMA.

This was foreshadowed earlier this month when a Rotorua-based Maori Resource Management Act hearings commissioner, Gina Mohi, explained, “Maori interest in water is not just a cultural one and any allocation needs to consider economic allocation as well. There’s a perception that Maori are just conservators… but they also want a slice of that pie for financial benefit as well, which is only fair I reckon.”

Her comments raise extremely serious concerns about the bias of commissioners appointed to represent a Maori world view and the advisability of laws that give iwi resource consenting powers.

In fact, instead of strengthening iwi involvement in the RMA through their new bill, National should have been removing it.

In January, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters announced he would support proper reform of the RMA, just so long as all provisions in the bill that provide separate rights based on race are removed. While the Prime Minister said at the time that he would consider the offer, to date, there has been no indication that he intends to do so.

So here’s the question: Given that it’s been more than 20 years since the fundamental problems with the RMA were first identified, are we as a nation going to have to limp along for another 20 years, struggling under this disastrous law, because National won’t collaborate with New Zealand First – or will they put politics to one side and work together to resolve the problems, before yet more damage is caused to the country and our future?


How concerned are you about the Government’s on-going failure to fix the real problems with the RMA?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


I don’t believe I’ll ever own a home in this lifetime, certainly not in NZ. Andy
Housing and projects must be moved along or the lack of affordability for everything will wreck NZ! HIlary
All New Zealanders should be concerned. Ian
Iwi objections on spiritual mythology must be stopped. It would be funny, but stupid lawmakers have changed all that as maori more and more gain rights above other Nzs’ and it comes with money demands. Dene
The Independant Hearing Panel should be applauded for their approach to the Tangata Whenua issues in the Unitary Plan. Council needs a bullet. Brian
The whole thing is a hand-brake on the progress of the economy of the country. Rod
I consider that National has done all NZers a grave injustice especially the bringing in race based agendas. These will be a real deterrent to the country as a whole. If not remedied there will one day be a backlash of some sort. Brian
Another wonderful thing to thank Geoffry Palmer for – and he got a knighthood for his efforts!? Laurie
The National Government led by Prime Minister Key needs to immediately rescind the worst legislation that a National Govt has ever put in place!!! Aided by G Palmer!! Michael
Have been struggling through this for 3 years. Duncan
Isn’t it time to rescind racist and disastrous laws dreamt up by the odious Geoffrey Palmer? Monica
Winston Peters is on the money. National should cooperate. This lack of common sense will cost them votes. KEVIN
Failure to fix the RMA this term is Failure to secure either candidate or List votes of this entire family for National. NATIONAL NEEDS TO STOP SITTING ON ITS HANDS and presuming its polls will give Victory. Winston is waiting in the wings to soak up every disaffected vote and Winston is unafraid to revise the RMA and remove the Waitangi troughing provisions. Urgent Positive Ation is needed. Richard
Despite promises of reform, its appears that National have failed miserably in this area. Craig
Mr Key. Utilise the opportunity offered by Winstone Peters to FIX the RMA and remove race based politics from NZ at the same time….PLEASE. Murray
It is time for the Government reduce the cost of bureaucracy and pandering to Maori. This only requires the application of common sense. Peter
Make it simple, make it cheaper, remove everything to do with race. Is there anyone with the capacity to do that? Sherie
Andrew Little continues to bleat on about the Government needing to provide cheap housing which is nonsense. If you want a house built you don’t go to the government you go to a builder. The Government’s only responsibility is to get rid of the interference of the Maori Party and other opposition parties preventing the removal of the hindrances the RMA causes to subdivision. Huge costs have been added to building by for example the ridiculous health and safety regulations such as the thousands it costs to hire and erect scaffolding for any work 2 metres above ground. It’s not as if falls were harming hundreds of workers a month. Does the occasional fall justify adding thousands to the cost of every house? I’m not talking about multi storey building in saying this. The bureaucratic costs of obtaining a permit from council have increased enormously with the RMA nonsense. Demand for housing is caused by the increasing flow of residents returning from overseas and demand leads to raised prices, again not the Government’s fault. Chris
In my experiance Councils are using the RMA as a money generating activity. Peter
The RMA and how it has developed under the Bureaucratic Dictatorship of the Auckland Council Regime, is the main contributing factor. Pierre
Time they got off the grass and did something. They need to take a stand and be counted. Brian
There is an election next year, the status quo will remain. Nothing will be done to upset National or Labour election hopes in a fight to the finish. Brian
Dragging ther chain to the extent that the current Government is, is totally unacceptable. ‘Iwi’ have the same rights as all New Zealanders – not more!! JOHN
What a farce! Forget about amendments abolish the whole fiasco. Mabel
The RMA is the biggest can of worms ever opened by any NZ govt. Whats the difference between a politician and a worm? One is a squirming low-life maggot and the other is an invertebrate!!! Steve
The RMA was supposed to fix planning issues, not create a “gravy train” for the disunited tribes of Apartheid NZ. Tom
Bureau’racy and complex red tape is making a mockery of land development , that is of course unless you are a maori. Ralph
As a scientist involved in product development of new chemicals at the time the RMA was introduced I said then that the RMA was going to stifle or kill innovation and it has certainly done that. I always believed the RMA would be a disaster and it certainly has been and still is. Kevin
I am very concerned about legislated Maori privilege in everything. Talk about institutionalized racism. The situation is dire and getting worse and New Zealanders need to let the government know in no uncertain terms that the current trend towards Maori-isation is totally unacceptable. It is an insult to the people who have built this country to what it is today and it is time to reinforce the principal that all citizens have equal rights under the law. Dianna
Swallow your pride..get practical for our future..do a deal with Winston P. Derek
The RMA is a disaster. It’s just too tough, and I can’t be bothered anymore. After 45 years building it is now easier to buy existing properties renovating and modifying them than building new ones.thats what I and all of my builder friends are doing. Rob
Unless there are major changes it is totally useless tinkering with an act that is so fudamentally flawed. When will politicians realise that the RMA is at the base of so many problems and costs. Peter
While I agree with everything in the article relating to this I am also very concerned that the media, in particular, appears unwilling to address the elephant in the room and that is the immigration and offshore purchasing of existing housing stock. In other countries they have added land taxes and/or prevented foreign purchasers from buying existing houses. Why cant we stop the immigration unless people were born here or whose parents were born here and give our infrastructure time to catch up. this would include an overburdened health service. Trade agreements with larger countries should not end up disadvantaging our people. Is it part of Agenda 21 that we grow this country to 15 million people within a few years? this was a figure given by John Key a a year or so ago. Without a vision the people perish. Julie
I am disappointed in National It is quite clear they need to grow some teeth, and Take away the race based nonsense., from the RMA. Lloyd
This together with the fact that Chinese not just in NZ but all around the world do not rent their properties. The present Govt. should of known the problems this was going to manifest. But I guess John Key did not want to see beyond the influx of overseas funds to help manage the deficit. Gary
The National government is letting its voters down by inaction and god help the useless alternatives. Maurice
Scrap the RMA completely. Clark
Have experienced major delays and cost overruns recently with the building of a new house. Eric
I’m more concerned about the move to expand special interests input and control. Kynan
Yes there should be major changes to the RMA. but more importantly Maori (racist) say must be wiped out completely. John Key got into bed with the Maoris when he was first elected and has consistently added to their exclusive benefits ever since. Winston Peters offers us equality with Maoris, I’m going to give him a go this time. Eric
I will vote for NZ first at the next election. Barry
For heaven’s sake, when the problem has been known and accepted for 20 years how long will it take our beloved leaders to get off their well-fed bums and fix it properly? Rob
Yes, Key, work with NZ First why don’t you, and put an end to the race based Maori party. Huria
Politicians are demonstrating once again their short term thinking and fear of being politically brave enough to remedy the RMA. So we remain hamstrung by a “dog” of legislation. Rex
Scrap it. Colin
Race should not come into it. Water was here before any humans set foot on this country and should not be the property of any race. Damnation to any government for even considering that issue. NZ is getting what it voted for. Ray
Palmer has done this country more harm than good with his Resource Management Act and the Treaty of Waitangi he should be stripped of his knighthood. If you think the RMA is slow and expensive at at present just wait until iwi get more control. John
It’s time the “gummint” found a backbone instead of a hiver to address many policies that they think won’t get them votes in the next election. Mel
All the Agenda21 and RMA have done is impose additional red-tape increasing the costs of building permits etc and have interfered with our cultural and economic well being. Complying with UN dictates is stupid and gives away sovereignty – except to the privileged group that has been created here with apartheid type benefits at the cost of the majority. The forces behind the Nazis never lost WW2, they moved to the USA and created the CIA and the UN. And our successive governments have been puppets to them for far too long. Brian
Another race-related piece of legislation which is not in the national interest, and therefore must be modified accordingly. Bill
They seem to lack the political will to actually get change enacted. The RMA was drafted to give more freedom but seems to have been used in the opposite direction and has been used to be more controlling and restrictive. Roger
Like all of the problems in N.Z. at the present time, implementing apartheid, as this government is determined to do, is the main contributor.. A.G.R.
The whole RMA proses is a disaster that it adds huge cost plus time of which councils love as they charge more and require more detail from the applicant .get rid of the RMA.But of course this will never happen as it is a money maker for all including iwi. Ken
Being controlled in every aspect of operation on your own land is communism. Steven
Even the blind can see that this is a MAJOR problem. John
RMA has been a hand brake on Much development since inception. The time has come for National to man up and deal to it. Pete
A continued refusal to repeal bad law-typical!! Rex
Just playing into the hands of the Maori Mafia ! Kabe
The JoKe govt has been remiss in a lot of areas and are encouraging the ‘separatism’ development of NZ. What happened to ‘now we are one’. Allan
This National Govt will go down in history as one of the worse. So many missed opportunities to fix flaws. Instead, they have wheeled and dealed to benefit their mates, with no concern for the long term damage they’re causing to our society. Jo
Govt failure again. Edward
MP’s are so busy with traveling trying to impress on us that they are so busy Ha Ha Ha. They should get their act together and start doing some real work. Bring on the next election. Any election promise not kept within the first year you are fired with loss of pension and privileges. Johan
Queenstown council caused 7 months delay to Ok filling in 3 internal doors. Just crazy. Ray
What are they doing? Peter
You bet I’m very concerned, come on National let Winston in the door, as he is giving you a perfect chance to get rid of these greedy bloody Maoris for ever. Athol
I just hope that I live long enough to see a government with enough balls to put paid to all of this tripe. A government that wishes to do what is best for this country and not one that continually panders to minority groups. I seriously doubt that it will be John Key’s government though because he painted his government into a corner when he got in to bed with the Maori Party. A party that struggles to gain more than 1% of the popular vote. Jim
I am very concerned because as long as John Key is Prime Minister he will continue to cow tow to Maoridom, rather than address the critical defects of the RMA and will continue to promote legislation to support race based preferences. John
Tinkering only frustrates people. It is long past time to get this matter sorted for the good of all. Dennis
The word “tinkering” sums this up beautifully. First Priority is as Winston Peters said – all reference to Maori removed. Wondering if Nats now see their carte blanc screwing by the wealthy iwi corporations as having gone too far to repair. Di
Although the RMA is not a part of the U.N.’s Agenda 21 laws, it may as well be for it is almost as destructive in stifling progress and should be repealed. New Zealand was built successfully without this costly and unnecessary bureaucracy. Don
There is one more important thing todays workers do not have good work ethic and demand to have a mobile phone device as their#1 tool cant cut themselves a lunch and expect to drive down to local shops to buy smoko and again for lunch but then what would Palmer know about that he was too busy blowing his own trumpet. John
Giving rights to one section of NZ will lead to greater costs and delays. Leon
Anything intiated by the Labour Goverment will always be a disaster. John
Too much bureaucracy. David
Time they fixed it. Carolyn
Good affordable housing is fundament to any successful society. All barriers to FIRST home buyers must be removed if NZ is to progress. Graeme
Maori should not have any rights under the RMA because that is racist and undemocratic. Kerry
The lost the numbers with Northland seat to push things through. William
Past time RMA was fixed. Jim
This only concerns Auckland? Not the majority of the country. Ngaire
It is a farce and a rip off, plus stifling the country. Simon
Also…please don’t overlook the substantial ccosts added by the over the top requirements oof OSH. Glyn
The Governments aim should be to simplify current RMA legislation and remove any opportunity for any particular race to benefit or control the outcome. Donald
We must stop this separatism once and for all and enable people to afford houses out of the urban limits. Chris
This is becoming a country run entirely for Maori!!! Jon
National will loose the next election due to there inability to see most Kiwis needs rather than an that of an out spoken racial minority. A split vote will cause the loss. Michael
The intent of Clause 38 in the amended RMA needs to be removed. National must listen and act on what is right for us all. Remove Clause 38. Richard
The cancerous creep of bureaucracy. Doug
Get it right if at all possible. I doubt it can be. Norm
Thanks for letting us know where the issue us! JC
Race based legislation is courting disaster and must be abolished. Keith
As a developer, I will not entertain initiating any subdivision requiring Iwi consent. Rex
Having recently been involved in the RMA process, I have to say I am aghast at the lengthy costly impositions and procedures that are put before you. Not only does it delay the ownership of the land for the desperate potential builders, but it also adds considerable costs to the process and development which I can see turns people off from wanting to expand building opportunities in not only urban areas, but rural areas as well. Inability of the regulatory bodies to make decisions and hide behind “consultants” and legal challenges put forward……spurious I would suggest in most cases……will continue to restrict the opportunity to create more land for building in NZ. Joe
The RMA is a dog’s breakfast, costing all of us far too much. Chris
I have been adversely affected by the RMA in the past and am currently constrained by it although I did not realise where the issue originated. It is an iniquity that needs to be got rid of ASAP. Paul
Mp’s have NO common sensence & SHOULD ASK ordinary peoples opinion about things as MOST people have MORE experience than MP’s. Cindy
Might go to show that many politicians have been less than careful with their miscegenation. Chris
National fails to fix the RMA and it’s costing everyone in NZ. Neil
Recently applied to build a car port .. no building consent required but the resource consent was $1500, three hundred pages and took 6 weeks to obtain. Totally over the top for a $1000 minor job. Tony
The government are trying to be popular leading to the next election instead of governing and doing what is needed for the country. John
We have to fix all aspects that add waste of time issues. The RMA is a big issue. Andrew
….brain washed by the Agenda 21″ mafia of the United Nations …. Chris
They need to stop immigration immediately!! Brian
It is a MAJOR disappointment that National has not implemented what it promised to do in amending the RMA Gordon
I believe there a number of other factors causing the NZ housing problem apart from the RMA, but this is certainly a major one. Ted
How long is the Govt going to pussy foot around to please Maori this has just become so stupid we need a Govt with some back bone. Russell
We are all citizens of NZ and one law should exist for all. IAN
The RMA is a bloody disaster and the suggested reforms will simply make matters worse and further entrench racism. The Government MUST work with NZ First on this most serious of issues. Martin
The problem is not the RMA. The act’s aims and objectives are exactly what’s required. The problem is vested interests from supermarkets to iwi (and let’s not forget grasping councils) hijacking an excellent piece of legislation for their own greedy and self serving ends. If the government of the day had the guts to lower the boom on these bastards the problems would go away. But that’s too hard so let’s gut the Act instead. Brian
Very PC and impractical. Martin
Fiddling while Rome…..? Roger
Very very concerned. We are being led down the garden path by useless grandstanding politicians. The National led government needs a swift kick where it hurts to wake them up to what is happening. Mike
This is another failure of the current government. Tom
Same old political claptrap from so called bereaucrats with shiny pants syndrome,, LOL. Ian
Has there been any politician that has had to go through the rma I’m bloody sure they don’t.  The sooner Winston Peters is in power the better we will be. Richard
Fix it and move quickly to resolving the housing shortage and the increasing property costs. Tom
How come house got so costly from 2002. One could buy a good home in the 1990’s So what has gone wrong. I would like to see crash and prices come back to were a working family can get a home. Robert
As usual, the Government fails to address the elephant in the room – APARTHEID in NZ – the most significant stumbling block regarding the RMA. Geoff
The RMA has for too long held up reasonable housing developments – it is a nonsense and MUST be revised. Hylton
There are too many regulations ,ie : health safety, building quality etc. we would not need so many if the Building inspectors and council did their job properly. When we had private inspectors the building standard was higher.as they were personally responsible for the result of the inspection. David
It seems that the only reason ShonKey won’t accept Peter’s support is that he’s afraid to give Peters any credibility. The election next year will be interesting. Alan
The present government needs to show some guts and they need to fix the problem and reduce iwi consultation requirements. The government need to accept NZ Fist support of this now for if they don’t, they will have to after the next election. Keith
In 8 years in Govt, name me ONE real achievement of this National Socialist Govt! They are weak, especially their leader, and easily bribed by the Maori Party in return for their support! Go Winston! CRolyn
Housing affordability- The RMA is only part of the problem. Closer to the practical side the use of diploma trained building inspectors without extensive industrial experience demanding compliance to plans that have areas of impossible practical application because engineers & architects’ are using theoretical applications with no knowledge of the practical applications. 2. The significant costs imposed by health & safety regulations in the scaffolding field. more than 80% of building claims are for accidents at ground level. Of all the builders I have spoken to only one knew of a builder falling off a roof & that was stupidity admitted by himself. 3, The expensive requirements by clients well above a level they can afford. A basic rectangular 3 brm home without an internal access garage & ensuite can be built vat a reasonable cost. Robert
Ever more separatist policies will be the death of this country. Stop hampering growth and development! Mark
The RMA is the cause of so many of the problems that increase the cost of building. Phil
It needs scrapping in its present form. Colin
I think the intention of the Act was good but it turned out to be a huge impediment to sensible progress. Ron
But that won’t change anything. Our self-serving, make-me-rich elected “representatives” are just a bunch of pussies only interested in lining their own pockets. key, little and all their sycophants can just feck off cos we are better off without the feckers. Mark
We, the voters are becoming increasing concerned that National is a do nothing/change nothing government. If they don’t listen they are likely to get a hard shock at the ballot box. Donald
The RMA should be completely abolished. RAYMOND
I can not understand why National are persuing this course. It is against everything conservatives stand for. John
It should not have been introduced in the first place. Politicians need to stop trying to justify their jobs by trying to fix things that ain’t broke! Gavin
The RMA should be scrapped as it is beyond reform. Mike
The RMA was always going to be a disaster, and the effects are getting worse. NZ is suffering very badly in many ways as a result. Peter
Have been from day 1. Palmer has been one of the worst politicians in our history. Hone
Failure by this weak government is par for their course as John Key smiles to the camera hoping to succeed Helen Clark to the United Nations! Stuart
One gets the impression the Government, deep down, couldn’t care less. Barry
The RMA is a prophylactic on the p…k of progress!! Andrew
This Government has a responsibility to do the right thing – National caused the problem in the first place, so they should fix it. Graeme
It is shocking that the problems have been going on for so long. Karen
I’m very concerned about the RMA – it is a disaster for this country. I reckon it is costing 1% in economic growth. Pete
National MUST work with NZ First to sort this mess out. Roger
Absolutely – National is holding back the country by playing politics instead of sorting out a major problem they helped to create. It is costing jobs and growth and they know it too. Funnily enough, they should just get used to working with Winston because that’s who they are likely to be working with after the election anyway! Larry