Minister backs New Zealand housing boom

11 Jan 16

Housing construction has hit an all-time high in New Zealand thanks to the government’s housing policies, the country’s building and housing and environment minister has declared.

Nick Smith said figures from national statistics body Statistics New Zealand show the number of residential builds gaining regulatory approval hit one billion dollars in a month for the first time in December.

He said this confirmed the success of government policies to grow housing supply.

“We are continuing to free up more land faster through the Auckland Housing Accord and the eight other accords we have with councils across the country. We have initiatives in place to constrain building material costs, rein in development contributions, cut compliance costs and invest in improved sector productivity.”

The Auckland Housing Accord, part of a plan to address a housing crisis in the city, works to accelerate the delivery of housing by identifying ‘special housing areas’ for quicker development. Special approval processes and requirements for affordable housing were also put in place in these areas.

Smith said he was “particularly encouraged” by the 966 new home consents – which confirm a build matches building regulations – in Auckland. The city needs 1,000 new homes per month to match demand for housing.

Christchurch, Wellington, and a number of other New Zealand city councils also signed up to housing accords and Smith said they too are seeing the benefits. There were 328 new home consents in Wellington – the highest number since April 2008.

Further planned steps include advancing new housing on Crown-owned land in Auckland, consulting on a new urban development national policy statement and reforms to address long-term issues affecting housing supply and affordability, Smith concluded. 

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