Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Mayor Brown says Govt on right track

Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / File
Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / File

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is generally pleased with the Government's latest housing proposals so long as they protect the interests of communities and funding continues to be made available for infrastructure.

Mr Brown agreed with Finance Minister Bill English that the housing market was not working at present.

About 4000 new houses a year are being built in Auckland - a long way off the figure of 10,000 needed every year for the next decade.

The last time Auckland built 10,000 new houses was 2004.

Mr Brown said most of the Government's proposals fitted with the council's plans and initiatives, including the view that urban sprawl was not the answer to housing affordability.

"This is a complex issue that requires the Government and councils to work together with developers, the banks, the building industry and other players in the housing market to find long-term solutions," he said.

It is understood the council is comfortable with a six-month timeframe on processing medium-sized consents. Mr Brown urged caution about the funding of infrastructure, which could only be funded through development contributions, rates or taxes. "In the end, someone has to pay. The question is who," he said.

Tamaki Housing Group spokeswoman Sue Henry said the Government's measures aimed at using the housing crisis to pander to property developers.

"Previously the red tape cutting deregulation saw the Auckland region crammed with shoddy, leaky houses which will cost ratepayers billions of dollars in the foreseeable future."

- NZ Herald

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