Property

New Government housing agency established

It’s official: the Government’s new urban development and housing authority, Kāinga Ora, has been given the go-ahead after the necessary legislation passed its third reading in Parliament this week.

Friday, September 20th 2019

The Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill brings together Housing New Zealand (HNZ), its development subsidiary HLC, and the KiwiBuild Unit to establish a single Crown agency, which will be responsible for housing and urban development nationwide.

Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says the intention is to create a one stop shop that will build thriving communities with a diverse mix of public, affordable and market housing.

“It will end the duplication, splitting of key roles, fragmented decision-making and limited coordination that occurred over recent years because house building programmes were spread across multiple agencies.”

Kāinga Ora will have two key roles: being a world-class public housing landlord and working in partnership to enable, facilitate and build urban development projects of all sizes.

Twyford says the agency will work closely with developers, iwi, local and central government and non-profit organisations to facilitate the development of urban environments where people want to live, work and play.

“Kāinga Ora is set up so it can work alongside others in a wide variety of ways – enabling and complementing, rather than competing with, the private sector. This will include working with the development sector on large scale urban development projects.”

Alongside this, the Government will be introducing companion legislation later this year to give Kāinga Ora the ability to undertake specified development projects.

These will be essential and complex projects that would struggle to progress under standard development processes, Twyford says. “Kāinga Ora will have a tool-box of powers to help housing and urban development be built at scale and pace.”

The new agency had long been intended to be a key part of the Government’s KiwiBuild programme. But, in the wake of the recent KiwiBuild reset, it is likely to gain greater prominence as the KiwiBuild Unit comes under its mandate.

Kāinga Ora, which will not be required to return a surplus to the Government, will become operational on October 1.

It’s worth noting that urban development is a key part of the Government’s plans in this area. To that end, the Government released its proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development, which aims to tackle restrictive planning laws, last month.

Read more:

Rent-to-buy scheme key to KiwiBuild II 

New policy to address “failing cities” 

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