Friday, 27 April 2007

Men from the Ministry have solution to resource consent delays

On the heels of the Housing Corporation report into the exploding cost of Auckland housing -- which pointed to increased demand and a severely reduced supply due to crippling regulatory restrictions (the report cited excessive regulations on both land and construction through the RMA and the Building Act) -- comes the news that the Ministry for the Environment is "on to" the problem of the interminable time that councils take to process resource consents.

You see, the men from the Ministry have surveyed the country's councils, they've found the problems -- and they have a "solution."
Last week the Ministry for the Environment announced it would be talking to up to 20 councils after a biennial Resource Management Act survey revealed some local bodies were struggling to process even half of their consent applications in time. Of the 85 city, district and regional councils surveyed, 19 processed fewer than 60 per cent of their applications within the timeframe. The worst offender was Kaipara District Council, which processed only 23.01 per cent."
That's it. The solution to the country's resource consent woes is the Ministry of the Environment "talking" to up to 20 councils! Heavens! Why did no one think of that before?! Even state-worshipper Peter Nielson is unimpressed. "He said the delays were occurring at a vast cost to business and the community and were a source of huge frustration... [and] the government needed to take tougher action than just gathering reports from the “tardy 20” worst performers." But don't worry, Environment David Benson-Dope is "confident." See: “I am confident that the reasons for delays in consent processing can be addressed,” said Benson-Dope.

Lucky us. We should all be oozing confidence, shouldn't we. With the Ministry "talking to" councils and Chris Carter "talking to" developers (mandating "affordable houses" on land made unaffordable by regulatory restrictions on land), there's really no reason for anyone to complain is there -- and Alan Bollard, would-be home-owners, and exporters struggling with record-high exchange rates can sleep easy, can't they. Can't they?


  1. David and Chris on the job aye? Now theres a thought. I'm hoping the dynamic duo pull a double act to follow through on Whangamata and the Tennis Ball.

  2. Economists calling Bolard wont raise rates again - wrong, he's facing down Cullen and Hel's.

  3. Not looking good for Labours watch leading into election. Cully would have wanted to drag out this boom for few more months and then hot potato to next govt.

  4. Meanwhile, the Greens have a 7 point plan to solve the problem, starting with more taxes and ending with Government Controlled Pricing.

    They throw in "improving mass transit" but fail to mention improving other infrastructure - water and power for example - because supply of those things involve changing the environment and would be forbidden by the Greens in any event, stopping the whole process before it takes off.

    And on top of that, they fail to mention the need to fix the RMA and open up land access.

    Taxes and price controls is their solution. Have a hammer, and every problem is a nail. And they are all going into a coffin.


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