Shane Jones – Minister of Building and Construction – is looking to change portions of the Resource Management Act, aiming to reduce the costs associated with building homes. Affecting both a range of project scales, the proposals represent a relaxation of the Act’s strict dictates.
On the smaller scale it looks like DIY-ers will face less restrictions when performing minor alterations to their own property. That is, as long as there is no significant danger involved.
It also seems that something of a bundled plan will be available for new residential projects, possibly trimming up to $3000 from the costs of garnering consent. While this is really a pittance for individual projects, the ramifications for large scale developers under this House-Super-Combo is that developers can potentially merge groups of identical housing plans into a single application – largely bypassing individual certification. However, this is limited only to “established group housing building companies,” and so will presumably only be employed in large scale projects.
It’s difficult to read into this. Will it only be used in huge developments, where plans are copy-pasted en-masse across a single site? Or in contrast, will it also be able to be used in to apply similar plans across a diversity of sections? Furthermore, how big does the project have to be in order to qualify?
Slightly worryingly, the changes seem to encourage ‘copy-paste’ architectural development. But then again, that is generally the status quo in those circumstances regardless. I guess I’m sceptical that there will be a sudden influx of huge affordable housing projects any time soon, especially at the scales they are suggesting, and especially in the light of the affordable housing bill having failed spectacularly.
Time will tell I guess, but these changes hardly seem to be a ‘radical plan’ – just a little price trimming for mega developers. The major problems with both resource consent and the housing market are much greater than this proposal.
But hey, at least putting in a new deck could get easier.