Published 19 February 2007
Auckland City Council acknowledges its error in a trans-Tasman housing comparison, sticks by its point but isn’t about to launch into the deeper research which would show why it costs more to build in New Zealand.
The initial report to the council’s economic development & sustainable business committee put the extra cost at 85% for small houses, 91% for large. The figures have been corrected to 60% for small, 65% for large.
The call for a comparison began back in December 2005, when Cllr Richard Northey had a chat to Dennis Family Corp executive director Grant Dennis at a meeting of the Brisbane-Auckland Business Council. The company was a major housing construction & development business.
Mr Dennis told Cllr Northey housing construction costs in New Zealand were too high, largely because of the near-monopoly on key housing construction materials held by a small number of New Zealand companies.
The council’s economic development group said that, given its workload, a consultant would have to be contracted if the committee wanted more detailed analysis. The staff report recommended no further work on comparative building costs be undertaken at this stage.
However, the committee agreed to call on neighbouring councils, Local Government NZ & the Government to address construction costs, including a study on high housing costs and developing policies for ensuring affordable housing in metropolitan areas.
4 October 2006: Councillors launch attack on monopoly-based high building costs
Attribution: Council committee agenda, subsequent release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.