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ACT Housing Policy


All New Zealanders should be able to live how and where they choose, and be able to aspire to home ownership if that is their preference.


  • Constraints on the supply of residential land mean that New Zealand cities now have some of the least affordable housing in the Anglo-American world. Housing is now unaffordable for many people who could have afforded a home of their own in the recent past. In particular, Maori and Pacific Islanders and other low income groups are being priced out of housing.
  • Too many people are paying too much for their mortgage and are at risk of foreclosure if their circumstances change.
  • Maori are priced out of making best use of their communal land by high compliance costs.
  • Many Councils assume that they know best where people should live, work and play.
  • Council planning rules reduce adaptability and regulations inhibit innovation - the slightest departure from the rules requires notification and high processing and compliance costs.
  • Excessive land prices reduce standard of construction - one result is the leaky building syndrome.
  • Land is released in such small packages that all builders are now cottage builders, with little opportunity to increase productivity.
  • Most solutions proposed by Government make the situation worse because they require further interventions and subsidies and do not address the root problem.


Freedom - People should be free to live and work where they choose provided they do no harm to others or to the natural and physical environment.

People's Needs Come First - Transport should serve the economy and the people of the region.

Light Regulation of Land Supply - Regulation should be light handed so that people can choose between competing housing types, competing development designs, and competing locations.

Long-term Financing of Infrastructure - Development contributions directly impact on affordability and are highly regressive.

Limited Council Liability in Favour of Private Insurance and Guarantees - Councils' liability for construction failure and other problems with land and buildings is effectively unlimited, and this leads to 'gold plating' by excessive and costly regulation.

Minimise Compliance Costs - Too many Councils and their consultants now regard consent processing and fines for breaching planning rules as a revenue gathering exercise.

A commonsense approach to Affordable Housing would involve the following:

  • Recognising that more government interventions and more bureaucrats will not provide better and more affordable housing.
  • Increased competition in the provision of land and housing to reduce prices and improve quality.
  • Increased competition between District and Regions to reduce compliance costs and improve affordability.
  • Reduced obstacles to residential development.
  • Encouraging the growth and development of insurance and guarantee schemes to protect home buyers from hazards and construction failures.
  • Enabling flexible and innovation solutions for special groups with special needs e.g. Maori Land.


  • Reform the RMA to
    • reduce compliance costs and promote certainty of outcome
    • enable urban areas to develop multi-nodal centres of employment so as to reduce travel times, commuter distances, and congestion.
    • enable people to buy rural lots on an “as is - where is” basis.
    • focus on adverse effects on the natural and physical environment rather than on letting central planners direct and control how people live their lives.
  • Reform the Local Government Act to severely restrain the use of Development Contributions.
  • Reform the RMA and LGA to prohibit councils from artificially restraining the supply of land and to remove all existing Metropolitan Urban Limits.
  • Reform the Building Act 2004 in recognition of the limited term of liability of councils.
  • Reform LGA and Transport legislation to make transport serve efficiency and mobility rather than be used as a tool for directing and controlling where people live and work.
  • Reform the appropriate legislation to encourage long term financing of infrastructure including the use of private/public partnerships.

If you believe that every New Zealander deserves a choice of housing types and location and should be able to choose between affordable rental and ownership, then give ACT your Party vote, for a homeowners' democratic New Zealand.