Joseph Mooney - MP for Southland

2 minutes read
Posted 26 June, 2024
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Every season in Queenstown is spectacular, but winter brings an exciting energy to the area with the opening of Coronet Peak and Remarkables ski fields.

Preparations start well before the first snowfall in anticipation of another bustling season where new chairlifts and facilities will be put to test, along with the countless snow enthusiasts hitting the slopes.

I have to admit I’m a snow enthusiast myself and hope to get into the mountains with my skis this winter, if my parliamentary responsibilities permit.

The Government is working at pace to address multiple challenges facing our communities. Supply of accommodation is one of our region’s biggest challenges and has been for a long time, and can become particularly acute during winter. The Government’s recent announcement about consents for granny flats is good news for the Queenstown Lakes District.

We are changing the Building Act and Resource Management Act so that granny flats can be constructed without the need for a resource consent or building consent as long as they are up to 60 square metres inside, making it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them best.

Over a quarter of non-homeowners spend over 40% of their income on housing. Unlocking backyard spaces for granny flats not only accelerates construction but also saves up to $6,500 in fees, contributing to economic recovery and reducing living costs.

Cutting red tape and reducing the cost of construction is all part of our plan to rebuild the economy and ease the cost of living.

These legislative changes should be in place by mid-2025 and fit within this Government’s wider package of work to address our housing crisis through the Going for Housing Growth Agenda.

I’d like to close by acknowledging some outstanding individuals in our community. Firstly, congratulations to former Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult on his appointment as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Jim was always a staunch advocate for our district during his two terms as Mayor, setting up the Mayoral Housing Affordability Taskforce in 2017 and helping Queenstown navigate the Covid pandemic.

Lastly, National Volunteer Week has just been which celebrated the dedication of countless individuals who selflessly contribute to our community’s well-being. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many great people volunteering on important projects in our community and know how much time and effort you put into making things better for others. On behalf of everyone in our community, thank you for all you do!


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