In the modern world government control and regulation is something that we are all used to let alone the fact that it has been increasing. We are currently confronted with increases in health and safety requirements and all measure of other government regulations and requirements. However, there are two things that urgently need to be fixed if New Zealand is to remain productive, and they are traffic congestion and constraints around building and resource consents.
The traffic one is simple, if you have ever tried driving around Auckland at any time of the day, let alone at peak hour, you will understand the amount of time that is lost simply going no where. This affects me going to see clients and clients coming to see me, but more importantly, it affects those whose livelihoods is based on either going to see customers or who deliver things for a living. It took me 80 minutes to travel less than 10km yesterday as an example.
While we may add more lanes to motorways and improve interchanges ultimately, traffic congestion is becoming a major issue. I don’t know what the answer is, but something has to give soon. With increasing population, it is only going to get worse, notwithstanding the improvements that are being made.
Similarly, the time and effort to get even the simplest of building consents and resource consents sorted is becoming ridiculous. We all don’t want a repeat of the leaky building problems that occurred in the past, but with the housing demand in Auckland, Christchurch and other places it needs to be much simpler and faster to get approval to build. If we don’t, it is going to leave New Zealand in an increasing disadvantage from a productivity viewpoint.