Property policies urged to be regionalised

  • 18/10/2015

Auckland's roaring property market seems to have prompted a think-tank to argue for policy settings tailored to individual regions.

In a report "In the zone: creating a toolbox for regional prosperity" the New Zealand Initiative argues for "regionalised policy zones" where policy can be changed for regions that ask for it.

The public policy think-tank says special economic zones would also pilot policy reforms.

Resource Management Act reform targeted at Auckland housing, and restricted to the Auckland region, could track housing affordability as well as other measures, the report says.

It highlights China's Shenzhen as a spectacular success, which showcased the possibilities of special zones.

It says different policies work for different regions in the same way that different things work for different people.

"Unfortunately, policy making does not happen like this. Instead, we have a system which tends to deliver the very opposite: anodyne, nationwide-mandated policy reform that suits the need of at least a few regions with the least complaint from any of them."

Still, federal systems, such as in Australia and the US where different provinces set their own legislation, would be an overkill for New Zealand, the group says.

The group has organised a panel discussion in Wellington on Monday to showcase the report and prompt discussion about the ideas it presents.

National MP Chris Bishop, Labour MP Clare Curran and NZ First's Ron Mark are talking at the event, as is well known Wellington investment banker Rob Cameron of Cameron Partners.