Boosting Auckland housing development

Thursday 8 March 2018

Auckland building regulations and development funding will get a shake-up now that the Government and Auckland Council are set to tackle the city’s housing shortage together.

By Miriam Bell

Housing Minister Phil Twyford and Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa today formally committed the Government to working with Auckland’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce.

The Taskforce, which was established early last year to address the city’s severe housing shortage, is a multi-sector enterprise whose members include Fletcher Building, BNZ and Todd Property.

The Government’s commitment to the Taskforce reflects its desire to increase the pace and scale of house building in Auckland.

It means the Taskforce will become a key forum for the development and implementation of housing policy to better address housing shortages and unaffordability in Auckland.

Twyford says there is a strong overlap between the Taskforce’s objectives and the Government’s own reform projects.

“Fixing Auckland’s housing issues is the key to addressing the national housing crisis. Central government can’t do this alone; we must partner with Council, the community, business and iwi.”

He says that while the Council is taking the lead, the work is a priority and government officials will be doing all they can to work with the Taskforce to implement the necessary reforms.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the agreement ensures the right people from across the housing supply chain, council and government are in the room working together to build more houses in Auckland.

“We all share the view that the current regulatory regime for building products is not fit for purpose and holding development back.”

To this end, the Taskforce will work with the Government to review existing building regulations to support innovation in construction and land use – particularly modular, offsite and pre-fab construction for medium density housing.

Another key focus of the work will be to develop new revenue sources such as targeted rates and infrastructure bonds for infrastructure investment in Auckland, Goff says.

But the Taskforce will also review risk allocation; work on speeding up consenting and delivery timeframes; and progress the unlocking of land for development opportunities.

Further, it will work with the Government to help deliver its Kiwibuild programme which aims to increase the supply of housing and make it more affordable.

Goff says they and the Government see opportunities to link new transport infrastructure with intensified housing to address Auckland’s challenges of congestion and housing shortages.

“Working collaboratively is the best way we can deliver robust and standardised solutions that work practically for the market, and put more houses on the ground in Auckland.”

According to the Council, progress is being made on the 33 recommendations contained in the Taskforce’s Report from June 2017, with a formal progress report due later this year.

But it has been promoting its recently introduced “Consenting Made Easy” programme as an example of positive developments.

Read more:

Taskforce reveals way forward for Auckland 

Making a difference for housing supply 

Speeding up the consents process 

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