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Government flags big changes

A major shift in direction.

The Coalition Government agreement between the National and ACT parties makes the Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) optional for councils.

Other key parts of the party agreements that affect the construction industry include:

  • Repealing the Natural and Built Environment Act 2023 and the Spatial Planning Act 2023.
  • Amending the Resource Management Act 1991 to make it easier to consent new infrastructure including renewable energy and get more houses built.
  • Introducing financial incentives for councils to enable more housing, including considering sharing a portion of GST collected on new residential builds with councils.
  • Legislating a requirement for councils to ratify any use of MDRS, including existing zones.
  • Exploring allowing home builders to opt out of needing a building consent provided they have long-term insurance for the building work.

21 December 2023




Embodied carbon assessments published

Examples to help industry.

MBIE has published embodied carbon assessments completed for a Nelson townhouse development, offices and a school building as examples for industry.

MBIE says the examples outline which building elements accounted for the most significant embodied carbon emissions. “These insights can support design teams and others in the construction sector, to reduce the embodied carbon of future buildings they work on.”

You can find the assessments on the Building Performance website.

21 December 2023




Milestones in solar, wind generation

Renewable energy boom.

In the last week of November the first megawatts of solar power were sold on the wholesale electricity market. The generation came from Lodestone Energy’s Kaitaia solar farm, which aims to produce 56GWh of energy each year. While New Zealand has over 300MW of solar power connected to the grid, Kaitaia is the first generator big enough to connect to the transmission system and sell into the wholesale electricity market.

Over 200MW of solar generation capacity is under construction. Transpower says it has received connection enquiries for more than 8000MW in solar projects.

November also saw milestones in wind generation, when the share of weekly generation coming from wind hit a record 13.3%. The total wind generation across a week reached more than 100GWh for the first time.

21 December 2023




Simple guide to flood risk assessments

Auckland Council guidance.

If you’ve ever wondered about what gives a flood risk house a category rating of 1 or 2P or 2C or 3, Auckland Council has published a very short and simple guide.

The categories were developed in 2023 following the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

They are:
Category 1 – the overall risk to life at a property is low.
Category 2P – there is an intolerable risk to life at a property but there are feasible changes the property owner could make to their property to reduce the risk.
Category 2C – there is an intolerable risk to life at a property but there are feasible changes the council could make in the community to reduce the risk.
Category 3 – there is an intolerable risk to life at a property and no feasible changes that would reduce the risk to life.

21 December 2023