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Quake report likely to spark building cost hike

Building costs could increase if the government toughens up on building regulations.

Prime Minister John Key says the final report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Canterbury earthquakes contains 189 recommendations which have “potentially wide-ranging ramifications for the entire country, not just Canterbury”.

Mr Key expects to first present the reports to the families of the 115 people who died in the CTV buildings, before publicly releasing the reports, with a government response early next year.

He says there are likely to be a number of building changes as a result of the report with potential cost implications.

He is confident recently announced housing affordability plans will improve access to home ownership and stop runaway property prices.

“It’s not the government’s intention to lower property prices – that would undermine the value of everyone’s property and probably wouldn’t be welcomed by the bulk of New Zealanders, certainly not by home owners.

"The government doesn’t want to see rapidly escalating property prices.”

He believes the government’s plan to release more land, modify the Resource Management Act and reform the building industry will address some of the issues around “rampant price increases”.

Mr Key says the problem is largely an Auckland one, but he has rejected Labour leader David Shearer’s plan to build 100,000 Auckland homes for $300,000 each.

The plan is based on a section price of between $50,000 and $80,000.

“If they’re going to do it in Auckland, they’re going to do it on a cloud, because you’re not going to buy a section for $50,000 in Auckland.”

More by Blair Cunningham

Comments and questions

Well David, building a new house every hour on the hour 24/7 for 10 years and then being 12,400 short may have seemed a good idea at the time. But making them affordable to withstand earthquake and disaster? Get real! Also ask how force building in the UK has gone for them. Thousands of houses flooded as a direct result of the Blair scheme.

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