Auckland mayoral candidate John Palino is calling for the removal of the urban-rural boundary to improve housing affordability.

The boundary, known as the metropolitan urban limit, was restricting land supply in Auckland and driving up house prices for ideological reasons, Mr Palino said today.

"It is time council stopped flogging the dead horse that is the compact city and started releasing large amounts of land for residential development," he said.

It is Mr Palino's first policy announcement since he brushed aside any links to the Len Brown sex scandal at a combative mayoral launch two weeks ago.

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The cafe operator, whose 2013 campaign became embroiled in the Mayor Brown, Bevan Chuang, Luigi Wewege love triangle, got peppered with questions about what he knew about the scandal and his links this time round to players in the book Dirty Politics.

Today, Mr Palino was keen to move away from these events and push the idea of a more linear city between Auckland and Hamilton, and further north, with population hubs along the spine.

With Auckland due to grow by 1 million residents over the next 30 years, Mr Palino said the city needs to expand, and quickly, to free up more land for housing.

He disputed claims it was more expensive to build infrastructure on greenfields land, saying it cost more to retrofit existing and old areas.

"Creating land supply along the spine of existing infrastructure means making the most of that infrastructure at the same time as allowing greenfield development."

Mr Palino said Auckland did not have a land supply problem, but a regulation problem.
"The regulation that is causing the most problems is the metropolitan urban limit (MUL). There is not clear, practical path to making housing affordable while the MUL remains," he said.