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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard



Question No. 1—Building and Construction

1. GREG O’CONNOR (Labour—Ōhāriu) to the Minister for Building and Construction: What recent reports has she received on competition in the market for residential building supplies?

Hon Dr MEGAN WOODS (Minister for Building and Construction): Mr Speaker, kia orana. This morning, the Commerce Commission released their draft market study into residential building supplies. The report indicates New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies. While the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, the Commerce Commission’s draft review finds that changes are needed to make it more competitive. The commission has pointed to a few areas of specific concern that may be impeding competition, including the building regulatory system, the use of quantity-forcing rebates by building suppliers, and restrictive land covenants. The report ties in very well with both the plasterboard taskforce work and the building consent system review currently under way to modernise the system by ensuring it is faster, more efficient, and flexible.

Greg O’Connor: Why did the Government ask for this market study from the Commerce Commission?

Hon Dr MEGAN WOODS: We asked the Commerce Commission to undertake the market study because of longstanding concerns about potential competition issues, and the draft report confirms there are issues that need to be addressed and explored further. With warm, dry, affordable housing underpinning so many other social, economic, and health outcomes, and given population growth and an increase in building consents over the last decade to over 50,000 houses per year, it’s vital consumers get the best deal. We had a sense that there was work to be done to improve competition and outcomes for New Zealanders, and that’s why we committed to delivering this building supplies market study as a key Labour Party manifesto commitment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER: Before the next supplementary, that was actually enough answer for two question but—a bit more concise.

Greg O’Connor: What is the remaining process for the Commerce Commission’s market study into the residential building supplies?

Hon Dr MEGAN WOODS: The process from here is the commission will be seeking feedback on those preliminary recommendations, and I encourage everybody to input into the process via the Commerce Commission’s website. Consultation on the draft report is open for four weeks and closes on the Thursday, 1 September. The commission’s final report will be released by 6 December 2022, with final recommendations informed via the consultation process. The Government will then consider those final recommendations.