Using land for housing

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The Productivity Commission has completed its inquiry into using land for housing.

We are very grateful for the insightful submissions and observations received from many participants including from local government and the development community - thank you!

Using land for housing

Timeline

  • Our brief
    September 2014
  • Consultation and engagement starts
  • Issues paper
    5 November 2014
  • Submissions closed 22 December 2014
  • Draft report
    17 June 2015
  • Submissions closed 4 August 2015
  • Final report
    21 October 2015
  • Evaluation
    December 2015
  • Government response
    19 August 2016

The inquiry

The Government asked the Commission to examine the processes and practices of local planning and development systems across New Zealand’s faster-growing urban areas. We were asked to identify councils that are effective in making enough land available to meet housing demand and processes that could be adopted more widely. The Commission also examined overseas approaches to identify leading practices that could provide valuable lessons for New Zealand.


What did the inquiry find?

Chair of the Productivity Commission Murray Sherwin shares the key findings and recommendations of the inquiry in this short video:


Key recommendations

The Commission found the operation of our planning systems needs to change if New Zealand cities are to have enough land for housing.

In our final report, the Commission makes a number of recommendations to increase the responsiveness of planning to demand, including better cost-recovery for infrastructure, proper cost-benefit analysis before planning rules are introduced, and more support from central government to help councils develop higher-intensity housing on inner-city sites.

It recommends that councils and the government need to create a credible commitment to release and service more land and to bring land price inflation under control.

A sufficient supply of land for housing, an adequate supply of affordable housing, and the effective functioning of our cities, are topics of national importance. Central government has a legitimate interest in resolving those issues, where local councils cannot.

Find out more, by reading the following key documents:

Government response

In August 2016, the Government announced its response to the Commission's inquiry into Using land for housing.

Included in the response is the development of a National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity and the creation of the Housing Infrastructure Fund

Read more details of the Government's response on the Treasury website.


Evaluation

An independent evaluation of the Commission’s performance has been undertaken and the results are available: