The Government has today formally jumped on board Phil Goff's housing taskforce – a collection of public and private sector organisations trying to ramp up the pace of home building in Auckland.
The Mayor's taskforce – whose members include Fletcher Building, Bank of New Zealand, Todd Property and Willis Bond - was set up last year as a way of addressing an ever-increasing shortage of properties to house Auckland's growing population.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford and Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa today committed the Government to working with the taskforce.
"Work will commence on reviewing specific elements of the Building Act, the Building Code and the building product assurance system to produce quick wins that can deliver more homes in Auckland. The taskforce will also assist with the delivery of the Government's KiwiBuild programme in Auckland," a statement from Goff's office said.
KiwiBuild aims to construct 50,000 homes in the country's biggest city over the next 10 years, together with the 50,000 elsewhere in New Zealand.
Goff said that all members of the taskforce and the Government "share the view the current regulatory regime for building products is not fit for purpose and holding development back".
"The housing taskforce will work with Government to review existing building regulations to support innovation in construction and land use, most notably modular, offsite and pre-fab construction for medium-density housing," Goff said.
"A key focus of our work will be to develop new revenue sources such as targeted rates and infrastructure bonds for infrastructure investment in Auckland. There is a clear link between the development of transport infrastructure and intensive housing which could help deliver the Government's KiwiBuild programme.
"We will review risk allocation across all organisations involved in the development process to reduce liability to local government. The council was left carrying the can during the leaky building issue and has naturally become risk averse. We want to encourage innovation and speed up consenting and delivery timeframes.
The mayor's office this morning said progress is being made against the 33 recommendations made in the taskforce's report from last June, although few tangible gains appear to have been had.
The chief breakthrough that Goff's office trumpeted was a programme called "consenting made easy" – a new system that Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore claimed would better manage the "consenting processes that will reduce timeframes and fast-track developments in Auckland".
Building consents for 1024 Auckland dwellings were issued in January, according to Statistics New Zealand.
This was up almost 25 per cent from the same month the year before but below 2017's peak of 1045, reached last November.