Labour housing, environment policies propose housing energy certification, replacing RMA

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Labour has announced its housing and environment plans today, largely continuing with its previous policies but also introducing building energy certificates and an earthquake remediation service.

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern at the Ranginui 12 Papakāinga development site in Tauranga on 8 September, 2020.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern. (file photo) Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Announcing the policies today, leader Jacinda Ardern alongside housing spokesperson Megan Woods and environment spokesperson David Parker confirmed the party would repeal and replace the Resource Management Act.

Resource Management:

  • Repeal and replace the Resource Management Act
  • Deliver better outcomes for natural and urban environments
  • Create jobs through fast-track consenting to help with the Covid-19 recovery

Housing:

  • Five-point plan to maintain construction momentum during Covid-19
  • A new mandatory energy efficiency certificate for residential buildings
  • Implement homelessness action plan
  • Continue the Building for Climate Change programme
  • Regulating property managers to protect landlords and tenants

The five-point plan for construction would include the $350m Residential Construction Response Fund announced in August to underwrite KiwiBuild homes, building 18,000 new transitional housing places, continuing the $400m Progressive Home Ownership scheme started last year, using the Construction Sector Accord agreed with the industry for stability, and removing barriers to residential construction – including investing in infrastructure and completing reforms on the Building Act.

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Ardern says the plan was building on the policies Labour had implemented over the past three years.

“We firmly believe that all New Zealanders have the right to live in warm, dry, healthy homes, whether we rent or own our homes,” she says.

She says the Energy Performance Certificate ratings will allow home buyers to make informed decisions about how much it will cost to heat and cool.

“We absolutely recognise that there is a significant issue with housing in New Zealand, but a number of actions are already underway to increase housing supply and get people into warm, dry housing. We have made a great start, and we need to keep moving.”

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