The Government is keen to reduce housing costs. Eric Crampton has a way they can do this:
Donal Curtin pointed to some less-than-helpful government action that helps increase construction costs. New Zealand initiated anti-dumping action against Chinese wire nails, Malaysian galvanised wire, and Thai plasterboard, among other things. And so we have a specific tariff helping to keep prices up for plasterboard. While we’re trying to rebuild after an earthquake.
So one part of central government is all mad about excessive construction costs. Another part of central government penalises foreigners for selling us construction materials cheaply.
It’s a fair point. If foreigners want to dump cheap materials on us, let’s take advantage of it!