New Zealand’s current growing housing crisis will be the least of recurring issues if the new government does not address key factors blocking effective development in the cities.  Property Council New Zealand CEO Connal Townsend said the council has identified the systematic roadblocks to urban development, which need to be rectified now if New Zealand is to have well-functioning cities in the future.

“Currently our planning system is ineffective and those within it are working at cross-purposes,” Townsend said.

“Councils are struggling with outdated funding tools, which has led to ongoing underinvestment in public infrastructure, and the construction industry is facing rising input costs, poor procurement practices and skills shortages.”

He said all those factors together mean that getting development projects to completion is expensive, difficult and increasingly lengthy. The result is the lack of enough homes, schools, transport and social spaces in our cities to cater for those who need them, he said.

The Council expects that rising housing unaffordability in the main centres will increasingly spread to the regions.

Townsend said: “And we’re seeing decisions that affect the liveability of our future cities being made by councils and government departments with often opposing desired outcomes resulting in lengthy tugs of war within the system.

“We’re asking the new government to work alongside local councils and the property sector to together address the issues that have created the current development bottleneck, which will allow the property sector, get on with the job of designing and building the 21st-century cities that New Zealanders expect and deserve.”