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Building consents drop cause for concern

The dream of home ownership is being further undermined by the National Government’s failure to boost construction, as shown by the slowdown in building consents, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Despite Nick Smith’s statements that there is a ‘record building boom’, the latest building consents data from Statistics New Zealand shows a slowdown in building around the country, not just in Christchurch

“Even when the statistics are adjusted for seasonal changes, the number of dwellings consented in January was down five per cent on where it was in January last year. The number of consents is down 15 per cent from August.

“The data also shows the current level of consents in Auckland is not enough to keep up with the city’s rapidly growing population.

“Since September, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented fell in Auckland by seven per cent, nine per cent in Waikato, 15 per cent in Canterbury, and four per cent across New Zealand.

“It’s clear National still don’t have a plan for building more houses. Whatever they are doing, it is not working.

“Today’s building consent data underlines the need for Labour’s Kiwibuild programme. Labour will build 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers, we’ll tax speculators, and reform the planning rules to allow our cities to make room for growth,” says Phil Twyford.