The Government is considering forcing local authorities to face competition in approving building and resource consents.
The Building and Housing Minister, Nick Smith, has told the National Party's annual conference in Auckland this could help speed up the planning process and get more houses built sooner.
Dr Smith says the processing of building consents is already contestable but it is a difficult issue describing existing liability laws as "very tough".
"A building consent authority such as a local council can be pinged for up to 100 percent of the cost of faults."
Dr Smith said the solution would likely involve limiting in some way the liability of those issuing building consents.