Working party to help Auckland housing

Auckland Council and the Government will create a working party to look at urgent issues relating to the city's housing crisis.

The announcement follows a meeting between Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Housing Minister Nick Smith today.

The pair have previously been at loggerheads over how to deal with housing problems facing the city with Dr Smith earlier saying more land should be made available for housing on the city's urban fringes and flagging the possibility of intervention to speed up land rezoning.

Mr Brown has said Auckland's house challenges cannot be solved by land supply alone.

Mr Brown today said the establishment of a working party would give the council an opportunity to work even more closely with the government on some of the more pressing housing challenges facing Auckland.

"I'm pleased that the government agrees with Auckland on the need to address housing challenges on a number of fronts, not just through land supply.

"It's right that we respond to Auckland's housing challenges through the framework of our draft Unitary Plan and the broader vision set in the Auckland Plan," he said.

The plans reflect two and a half years of consultation with Aucklanders.

Speaking to TV One's Q+A programme yesterday Dr Smith's approach to the issue appeared more conciliatory.

"Me and Len are in the same paddock," he said.

He described his relationship with the mayor as constructive and robust and said he agreed with Auckland Council's policy of building up and out.

The council and Government agree there is an estimated shortage of 20,00-30,000 houses in Auckland.

- APNZ

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