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Planning approvals on the up in New Zealand

Residential building approvals soared by almost a tenth in New Zealand in December 2012, official data has revealed

Statistics New Zealand announced that 1,381 dwellings were given planning consent in the final month of last year.

This was up 9.4 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms from the previous month.

It also meant dwelling consents in 2012 were almost a quarter higher than in the previous year.

Annual residential approvals hit their highest point since the global downturn began in 2008.

The South Island region of Canterbury saw a massive 69 per cent hike in dwelling consents in 2012. The region includes the city of Christchurch, which is rebuilding after a devastating earthquake in February 2011.

Auckland, the country’s capital, had the second highest leap in dwellings over the calendar year, at 21 per cent.

Across New Zealand, housing consents were up 17 per cent in December 2012 from the same month the previous year.

Apartment approvals were up 57 per cent over the same period, but still represented a far lesser proportion of the total consents.

Home building led the construction sector at the end of the year.

The value of non-residential building consents in December 2012 was up just 0.3 per cent on the same month a year earlier.

Offices and administration buildings represented 21 per cent of the non-residential total in the final month of last year.

Social, cultural and religious building approvals amounted to 13 per cent, as did consents of shops, restaurants and taverns.

In January, AJ reported that BDP had secured a key role in the rebuilding of Christchurch.

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