As building markets in Christchurch and Auckland continue to gather momentum, the New Zealand government is seeking to curtail construction costs by suspending tariffs on the majority of building materials for at least five years, wiping more than $NZ25 million off government revenue in that time-frame.

As of July 1, the import tariff rate on a list of materials which together comprise about 90 per cent of the materials’ cost for new housing was reduced to zero per cent and will stay at that rate until at least June 30, 2019, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith…