The Government is bringing together Kiwibuild and Housing New Zealand under one mega housing authority to drive urban development, with the power to override local councils.
The Housing and Urban Development Authority (UDA) would lead the Government's large-scale urban development projects while remaining the state landlord, Minister for Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford said.
The authority, made up of Housing New Zealand and its developer subsidiary HLC and the Kiwibuild unit, would have wide-ranging powers to speed up development.
It will be able to override existing council designations, cut the planning and consenting process time from five years to one year, build and change infrastructure, change bylaws and even reconfigure green spaces.
But Twyford emphasised that the Government would be working alongside councils and there were checks and balances in place.
But he said councils would not be able to veto any proposals and public consultation periods would be shorter.
"There are so many things that slow down and get in the way of developments. It's not just the planning system. Often developers have to deal with 10 or 15 local government and central government agencies, it's a nightmare for them," he told Newshub Nation.
"We're creating a really joined up, one-stop shop that can sit alongside council and unlock these big developments and allow us to crack into it at pace and scale," he said.
"We have put checks and balances around it. They are, for example, a number of decisions will end up having to go to be signed off by the relevant Cabinet minister. The plan for a given project will be open for public submissions."
Twyford said no changes were planned for the current powers within the Public Works Act to be changed around compulsory acquisition and it was unlikely people's private property would be acquired for developments.
But he told Newshub: "You need to have those Public Works Act powers in your back pocket so you don't get a single land-owner blocking large development in order to make a windfall gain."
On the ability of the authority to acquire green spaces, Twyford said it had to have the ability to reconfigure them but any changes would have to be signed off by the Conservation Minister. Councils would be consulted over their parks.
"We recognise that the public rightly cherish open spaces and reserves," he said.
"The authority will transform the way New Zealanders live, work and play by building communities with a mix of public, affordable, and market housing, as well as the jobs, transport links, open spaces and facilities people need. It will do this at scale and pace so we can build our way out of the national housing crisis."
Legislation to establish the authority will be introduced to Parliament next year and it is expected to up and running in early 2020. The Government has allocated $100 million to get it started.
The Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) said the approach was good to speed up the brownfields development in cities experiencing strong population growth.
"Many of the powers of the new authority, eg: compulsory acquisition of land, already exist in the planning system but this authority has greater power and an approach that allows it to speed up decision-making on developments," EMA chief executive Kim Campbell said.
"The authority will be able to override existing planning law and consent its own plans and complete developments in shortened time periods."
He said it would require genuine consultative approach with existing communities.
"If development is managed properly, people requiring affordable housing will not be displaced from their communities so that fears of gentrification need not be a problem.
"We welcome this new model but its creation also highlights shortfalls in our wider resource management system, including urban planning. The rewrite of that must continue while the authority provides immediate relief to the urban housing crisis," Campbell said.