New Zealand removes barriers on foreign building products to cut prices

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand will remove barriers for construction companies to use overseas building products in a move it hopes will bring down prices, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said on Thursday.

Building costs have increased 41% in New Zealand since 2019 in part due to the increase in the cost of materials.

House building was also curtailed by a shortage of plasterboard in 2022 when Fletcher Building, which produces more than 90% of plasterboard used domestically, could not keep up with demand.

“We expect a lot more competition on a range of products,” Luxon said at a news conference.

The government said it would recognise building products from trusted overseas jurisdictions, allow authorities who certify new builds to accept the use of products that meet with specific overseas standards and approve building products certified through reputable foreign schemes.

Fletcher Building did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; editing by Costas Pitas)



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