Cut red tape now: Smith

Anthony Smith believes the high cost of housing is pushing costs onto taxpayers. Photo supplied.

Red tape is strangling business and growth and needs a massive shake-up, according to Anthony Smith, the ACT Party candidate for Hunua

“Businesses at all stages get over-regulated slowing down or stopping their potential for growth in New Zealand,” he said.

“We would reform the Resource Management Act which is the biggest brick wall in the way on New Zealand business. Also we would look at reforming any form of loopy regulation.”

Housing presented a range of problems.

“The cost of housing is unacceptably high especially in Auckland where we also have a significant housing shortage,” said Smith, 27, who loves travel, arguing politics and spending time with family.

“The high cost of housing is pushing costs onto taxpayers as the Government increases spending on emergency housing.”

He suggested tools such as income-related rent subsidies and accommodation supplements could help those struggling to get into affordable accommodation. .

“(We need to) incentivise councils to consent more land for development and build more infrastructure, by sharing a portion of GST collected from construction,” he said.

“Get councils out of the building standards process, by replacing council building inspections and compliance with a mandatory private insurance regime for buildings.”

The other key issue for Smith, a software developer from Pukekohe, is education, “because the state system, whilst it’s world class, it currently leaves too many students disengaged and not achieving their potential”.

“Growing up in the public school system I have seen this too many times myself.”

Smith, who grew up in Karaka and went to Te Hihi School and then onto Rosehill College, favours opening more partnership schools which would increase choice in New Zealand’s schooling system “which so far have been very successful”.

“(We would) also allow for state and integrated schools to voluntarily apply for partnership school status, giving those schools who want it the same flexibilities enjoyed by partnership schools.

“(We would) increase the government funding of independent schools. ACT will remove the funding cap and will increase the per-student funding – independent schools would receive 50 per cent of that of a state school student.”