Increasing the supply of land to make housing more affordable will involve some tough trade-offs in terms of landscape and heritage values.

That’s the warning from Act MP Simon Court, who’s under-secretary for Resource Management Act reform and infrastructure.

Speaking to Mountain Scene last week, he was familiar with how expensive Queenstown is in terms of buying and renting property.

‘‘One of my son’s friends is an apprentice builder, and he was looking to move down here.

‘‘He was offered some work but he said ‘there’s nowhere to live and even if there was I couldn’t afford it unless I’m sleeping in someone’s front room’.

‘‘So we have to solve that problem, and we can only do that by reforming the resource management laws we’ve got [and making] it easier to develop land.

‘‘That’s going to come with some tough choices — like, do we really want to preserve all these paddocks full of rabbits and gorse, and call them outstanding natural landscapes?

‘‘Or are we going to let somebody build houses there?

‘‘It involves trade-offs, but this government’s up for it.’’

Later, he also refers to the need to make tough trade-offs on heritage concepts, too.

Court also had a crack at the previous government and NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi for addressing traffic congestion by pushing for more public transport.

‘‘The solutions [they] were offering were all based around low carbon, they didn’t like cars, they didn’t want people driving.

‘‘And so what that’s meant is when it comes to transport, Queenstown is behind, and the investment you really need to get people going to places efficiently means you have to build additional road capacity, and you have to make all of those intersections and places where main roads intersect much more efficient.’’

Both roading and public transport needed to be provided for — ‘‘what’s important is … we don’t try to create some sense it’s one or the other, it’s us or them’’.

On that subject, Court says the government will provide new funding and financing tools, ‘‘which means the people who get the benefits from the roads will actually be paying for the roads’’.

‘‘It won’t all fall on councils.‘‘

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