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How Can New Zealand Builders Become More Productive?

Housing affordability is a hot topic in New Zealand at the moment, and it has been bothering the Government for some time.

  • 21 February 2014
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1335
  • 0 Comments
How Can New Zealand Builders Become More Productive?

There are a number of things the Government can do about it, and one of them is reducing the cost of construction by increasing productivity. They are confident this can be achieved, because studies have shown that productivity in the construction sector is relatively poor compared to other parts of the economy, and labour productivity growth in this sector in New Zealand is about half of that in Australia.

Are Our Houses Too Expensive?

The affordability of housing in New Zealand has become such a hot topic that the Government has asked the New Zealand Productivity Commission to look into it.

  • 22 July 2011
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1668
  • 0 Comments
Are Our Houses Too Expensive?

As the first step in that process the Commission has put out an Issues Paper which reveals some interesting facts about New Zealand.

The New Tree Protection Rules

You may recall that in 2009 the Government announced changes to the rules relating to the trimming, felling, damaging or removal of trees in urban areas.

  • 17 June 2011
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1366
  • 0 Comments

This was part of the reform of the Resource Management Act 1991 that was a central plank of the National Party’s election manifesto in 2008. The newly-elected Government wasted little time in introducing the Resource Management (Simplification and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 which came into effect on 1 October 2009.

Streamlining The Resource Management Act

This is a short history of the Resource Management Act 1991.

  • 11 February 2009
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1840
  • 0 Comments
Streamlining The Resource Management Act

The Act stems from the old town and country planning legislation that first emerged in countries such as England in the 1800’s when country people started flocking to the cities. Believe it or not, we had a “Plans of Towns Regulation Act” as early as 1875, and planning legislation has been with us ever since.

Waste Not, Want Not?

Just when we are faced with a declining economy and a skyrocketing cost of living,

  • 9 September 2008
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1742
  • 0 Comments
Waste Not, Want Not?
you’ll be depressed to hear that we are about to be faced with yet another cost we haven’t had before. This is the cost of waste, which until now we haven’t had to pay, in money terms at least.

The Government's Dilemma Over Climate Change

Whether or not you believe that the world is warming up,

  • 12 August 2008
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1549
  • 0 Comments
The Government's Dilemma Over Climate Change

and whether or not you believe it is caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases (as distinct from something natural like increased sunspot activity), the fact remains that the majority of scientists and educated people in general are currently convinced of it.

The Irony of the Resource Management Act

Every time business people are asked to name the laws that cause them the greatest headaches, the Resource Management Act (“RMA”) consistently rates in the top three or four.

  • 22 July 2004
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1846
  • 0 Comments
The need to involve the general public in the resource management process is the thing that most irks developers. Not only does it delay their development, but it gives busybodies, special interest groups, and competitors an opportunity to object to the development even though they might be motivated solely by self-interest or driven by irrational or emotive thinking.

How will the Kyoto Protocol affect our clients?

We all know that the Government has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

  • 2 March 2003
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1639
  • 0 Comments
We also know that a special tax is going to be introduced to discourage the use of fuels that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But it all seems a long way off. Will the Protocol have a substantial impact on our clients, and is there anything they can do about it in the meantime? 

Do We Need The Resource Management Act?

The Resource Management Act 1991 is copping a lot of flak at the moment.

  • 1 November 2001
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1729
  • 0 Comments
It was thought to have derailed Leigh Hopper’s Whitianga Waterways project after 5½ years and $2.5 million battling red tape, when it was in fact the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act (a touchy-feely piece of bureaucratic gobbledegook) that nearly did it in. Then it was unfairly blamed for the rejection of a mining company’s bid to prospect for gold in a South Island national park. But there is no doubt that it is a major bugbear of the business community. It consistently ranks in the top three of most annoying statutes along with the Health and Safety in Employment Act and the Employment Relations Act.

Beware The New Local Government Bill

Western democracies like ours generally try to limit the extent to which central and local governments can interfere with our lives.

  • 9 August 2001
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1234
  • 0 Comments
Beware The New Local Government Bill

There is a strong school of thought that the proper role for governments is to provide only those services that the private sector wouldn’t want to provide – such as defence, a justice system, a welfare safety net, parks and reserves, and similar services that the public needs but are destined to always run at a loss. This argument is just as applicable at the local government level, where local councils could confine themselves to things like civic activities, parks and reserves, street lighting, civil defence, litter collection and environmental management. The theory is that all other services would be provided by the private sector in a much more efficient and cost-effective way, and we would all pay much less tax and rates as a result.

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