Duties and tariffs on construction materials imported into New Zealand will be lifted from July 1 as part of a government move to cool the country's overheating housing market, Finance Minister Bill English announced in his annual budget Thursday.
Addressing concerns that huge house prices were posing a risk to financial stability and shutting first-home buyers out of the market, English listed a raft of measures in his annual Budget aimed at improving supply.
The government had taken a number of steps to free up housing supply, including reformed legislation to limit development contributions for funding infrastructure and increased support for those on low and moderate incomes to get into their first home.
"A Productivity Commission inquiry into housing affordability found building materials for a typical modest family home in New Zealand are 30 percent higher than in Australia. Duties and tariffs currently apply to most of the materials used to build a standard house," he said in a published speech to Parliament.
The budget included immediate suspension of anti-dumping duties on plasterboard, wire nails and reinforcing steel bar for three years.
From July 1, a zero concessionary tariff, to be reviewed after five years, would cover around 90 percent of the materials in a new home and was expected to save around 3,500 NZ dollars (some 3, 034 U.S. dollars) on the construction of a standard home.