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08-09-2016

Housing legislation passes

Parliament has today passed housing legislation which will ensure house building momentum continues in Auckland and enable the Special Housing Area (SHA) process to be used in other areas for a further three years, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“This legislation ensures a smooth transition from the Special Housing Areas in Auckland to the new unitary plan that takes effect next week. It ensures that eight special housing areas, involving 762 hectares of greenfield land, can be progressed and the $4billion investment deliver the estimated 7900 homes.”

“The extension of the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas mechanism for three years is to help free up land supply in other parts of New Zealand experiencing housing pressure. The new National Policy Standard on Urban Development will take three years to fully take effect and Councils have requested this extension to help ensure adequate land supply.”

“The legislation also removes any uncertainty about approved housing developments under the Housing Act and the offer-back provisions of the Public Works Act. The existing Housing Act explicitly provides that State housing purposes includes the building and development of housing for sale, lease or tenancy but the consequential exclusion of offer-back obligations is not explicit. Clarifying this law will ensure the momentum of the Government’s housing programme on public land involving thousands of new homes is maintained.

“Residential building activity has grown from $5 billion a year five years ago to a record high of $12 billion a year. This compound growth of more than 20 per cent per year is about as fast as you can grow a sector as large and complex as building.

“There is no silver bullet to New Zealand’s long standing housing issues, but this bill takes a further step in the right direction. The next steps in our wide-ranging housing plan are completing the second phase of our Resource Management Act reform, and introducing new law allowing urban development authorities. We also have work underway on reforming unit title law to better support apartment development and building law reform to support innovation and improving quality assurance.”

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