In Labour's 2020 manifesto, it mentioned "removing barriers to building homes" and amending laws "to deliver a better building consenting system".
The very few who may have been swayed by these promises would have been just as stunned as the rest of us with the cross-party housing move announced this week.
But it appears the impetus didn't naturally germinate from the Labour manifesto. Newshub reports Judith Collins wrote a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in January, proposing a bipartisan solution.
In her letter, Collins said the consenting process for building homes under the Resource Management Act was too restrictive. She suggested emergency legislation to open up housing supply, in advance of longer-term reform of the Act.
In April, Collins presented legislation that would give city councils powers to fast-track building more houses, similar powers to those used after the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.
Lo and behold, Labour has found itself on the road to Damascus and the Housing Supply Bill will allow up to three homes of up to three storeys to be built on most sites without the need for costly and frustrating resource consent.
City dwellers will be looking at their backyards and dreaming of instant riches with three, three-storey homes sandwiched in where the clothesline currently sits. But it's not that easy. Auckland councillor Chris Darby points out the real obstacle to building houses is the lack of investment in infrastructure, supply chain challenges and a shortage of skilled workers.
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Finding builders is one thing, if they can scrounge the materials from somewhere, but still getting connected to power, water and sewage may be another. Councils already have their hands out for more money to deliver on this.
Don't count the not-in-my-backyards out yet, either. There are already exemptions being built into the policy, such as preventing intensification where there is a high risk of natural hazards, or a site has heritage value. Lawyers love those kinds of vague assertions.
Still, professor of construction management at AUT, John Tookey, is calling the cross-party measure "a significant step forward".
Like the resident seeing dollar signs as they eye their clothesline, watch this space.