Property editor of the NZ Herald

PM: We're eyeing up surplus Crown land

Prime Minister John Key announcing his Cabinet reshuffle at the Beehive. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
Prime Minister John Key announcing his Cabinet reshuffle at the Beehive. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

The Government is eyeing up surplus Crown land to boost Auckland's chronic land supply shortage.

Prime Minister John Key addressed more than 450 Chamber of Commerce members in Auckland today, saying state land would be used.

"For its part, the Government is identifying surplus Crown land that can be freed up for new housing and we'll soon be in a position to make further announcements about the process," Key said at The Langham Auckland.

He also signalled further legislative moves.

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"The Government's National Construction Pipeline Report predicts an extra 80,000 new homes will be built in Auckland in the next six years to 2020 - more than double the rate of the preceding six years.

The Government is determined to ensure this busy pipeliine delivers the houses Auckland needs s quickly as possible. One priority is reforming the Resource Management Act to support more housing alongside better environmental management," Key said.

He also cited new measures the Government has introduced.

"In the Budget last year, we moved to ensure residential property investors - particularly those from overseas - pay their fair share of tax when buying and selling residential property for profit. And we provided Inland Revenue with extra funding for compliance and enforcement."

"Housing supply, especially in Auckland, is a long standing issue. There is no quick fix.

That's been the experience in fast-growing overseas cities. Today I want to make the Government's expectations absolutely clear. We must continue lifting the supply of new houses in Auckland to meet the demands of this growing city.

Housing supply, especially in Auckland, is a long standing issue. There is no quick fix.

Everyone has a part to play - the Government, the council, developers and community organisations. And it's encouraging to see a broader consensus emerging that this is a supply issue. Around 9000 building consents were issued in Auckland in the year to November. That's the highest figure for just over 11 years, although it's still short of the 13,000 new houses forecast to be needed each year. Officials estimate government initiated projects will deliver at least 10,000 extra houses in Auckland by 2020, including developments at Hobsonville Point and Tamaki," Key said.

Key empahasised the need for RMA reform.

"We introduced legislation just before Christmas and it's currently before select committee. It's important we improve the RMA so we can tackle planning issues standing in the way of getting houses built faster. So if other groups say they're concerned about Auckland housing, you should tell them they need to support the RMA reforms.

"Another priority is working intensively with the Auckland Council and others to free up land so more houses can be built sooner. That includes the Auckland Housng Accor which has seen almost 24,000 dwellings and sections consented in its first two years. The target is 39,000 consents before the end of this year," Key said.

- NZ Herald

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