Government welcomes Productivity Commission report on urban planning

Finance Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s report Better Urban Planning.

“The report is a comprehensive study of the workings of New Zealand’s current urban planning regime and it proposes major changes to it. The issues raised in the report cross over a significant number of ministerial portfolios,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government shares the Commission’s view that well-planned urban areas and cities that function effectively are hugely important to the wellbeing of New Zealanders. Ministers will carefully review all of the recommendations and opportunities identified in the report.”

The Commission’s report makes 105 findings and 64 recommendations, including:

Replacing the Resource Management Act and other statutes with a single new planning law that governs both the built and natural environment
Clearer central government stewardship of the planning system
Using statutory principles to set expectations for fair, efficient and proportionate planning decisions
Making greater use of targeted rates and alternative infrastructure funding tools
“As New Zealand becomes more economically successful and our population grows we need better and more responsive planning for growth and more investment in the infrastructure that supports that growth,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government has made a number of changes to existing planning and funding tools over recent years. These include the National Policy Statement on Urban Capacity, the proposed Urban Development Authority legislation, the Housing Infrastructure Fund, and the current round of RMA reforms, all of which progress some of the areas of work the Productivity Commission identifies.

“However in this report the Government asked the Productivity Commission to take a blues skies approach and provide a longer term view at what a future planning system could look like.

“The Government will respond formally to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations in due course. We would like to acknowledge the Commission’s time and effort in considering this issue, and the wide engagement it has had with individuals, local authorities and firms throughout New Zealand and Australia in the inquiry,” Mr Joyce says.

The full report is available here.

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