ACT’s practical solution to solving the construction materials crisis

“Excessive regulations impede home construction and inhibit market competition, which is why ACT offers a Material Equivalency Registry to allow access to approved foreign substitute materials that can be used to build homes. “, says ACT chief David Seymour.

“ACT’s solution tackles the core problem, reducing bureaucracy instead of creating it. The government’s announcement of a ‘gypsum board task force’ to tackle the problem of too much bureaucracy is like the start of a bad joke, not a solution.

“We know there are good substitutes for name brand plasterboard and other rare building products. We just need guidance to accept them. This policy will force them to do so, making it easier for builders and architects to build houses.

“How it would work: MBIE would be responsible for maintaining a materials equivalency register. They would initially focus on plasterboard substitutes for dry areas of buildings, e.g. not bathrooms, where the risk is most A material can be entered into the register in two ways. The first way is for an applicant to apply for a material to be deemed equivalent. This can be an importer or a producer of a The second way is that MBIE proactively assesses material equivalents in foreign countries, starting with Australia, and considers all products available there as equivalent.

“Councils would then be required to accept material equivalence as a matter of course, if they refuse, consent is granted as of right. The councils would be released from any responsibility in the event of a decision to accept a reputable material equivalent.

“People will say it’s all terribly complicated and we can’t allow it to happen. It’s the thought that got us into this mess. The truth is that plasterboard is a sandwich of plaster and cardboard. What first industrialized country in the world finds itself in such a mess? Too bureaucratic and it has to stop today.

“A recent report from Castalia found that regulatory barriers around materials are a major contributor to New Zealand’s woes, it says: “Relaxing planning and approving standards could both directly and indirectly solve the problem of lack of competition and innovation in the building materials market.” And suggested streamlining the substitution process for approved products as a solution.

“The fact is, home building has slowed as the industry has been stifled under layer upon layer of regulation and government intervention. ACT has listened and is delivering real change that will give the industry more choice and make it easier to build homes.

“The Government’s ‘Gypsum Board Task Force’ should adopt ACT’s policy to rationalize substitutes and immediately address the shortage that is preventing the construction of houses.

“This is a convenient solution that will deliver better results almost immediately. It will also lead to more competition and choice in the building materials market over time.

“ACT offers real solutions to New Zealand’s construction challenges. We believe in better and more sustainable solutions. As a country, we deserve better when it comes to housing to ensure we can live our best and most fulfilling lives.

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