Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Think tank urges housing rethink

Oliver Hartwich. Photo / David White
Oliver Hartwich. Photo / David White

The taxpayer, rather than developers and home buyers, should pick up the bill for connecting new homes to water, sewerage and other council infrastructure, think-tank the NZ Initiative has recommended as a measure to control house prices.

The proposal is one of three the think-tank came up with in a report on home affordability put out yesterday.

NZ Initiative executive director Oliver Hartwich said declining home affordability was down to "poor policy which has fostered an anti-development sentiment among local councils".

The think-tank proposes a "Housing Encouragement Grant", to be paid by central Government, be benchmarked on the GST levied on the cost of building the house, which would mean a $60,000 grant for a $400,000 house.

The report also recommends stripping the provision of water from councils and making that the responsibility of five specialised council-owned companies across the country, including Auckland's WaterCare.

The third proposal is to allow private companies to compete with councils for the provision of infrastructure.

• To view the full report, click here.

- NZ Herald

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