It's been one year since the announcement of Rotorua's first special housing area and the development is yet to be approved.

Time is running out for the area's approval following news the Government will allow the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act to expire.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said he was disappointed it had taken so long for a decision to be made.

He said the SHA legislation had increased home building around the country but that hadn't happened in Rotorua.


"Rotorua still has an increasing demand for new and affordable housing."

McClay said in signing the Special Housing Accord in 2017 the council committed to consenting an additional 900 homes and 1050 sections over four years.

He said not renewing the SHA legislation would make it harder for the council to meet that commitment and for landowners to build the homes that were needed.

"The Special Housing Accords are working in other towns and cities. [Housing Minister Phil Twyford] shouldn't be taking away a tool that actually works."

Waiariki MP Tāmati Coffey said he welcomed "any initiative that helps to combat the housing crisis this Government inherited, by increasing access to affordable housing".

But he said Special Housing Areas had not achieved that.

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"I would like to see our community back the rise of papakāinga housing and maximise the opportunities to increase land supply and fast-track residential construction ... to create a wider range of affordable housing options."

Coffey said he understood the delay was due to a request for more information from the developer.

Rotorua-based New Zealand First deputy leader Fletcher Tabuteau said while the fact it had been a year and the process was still under way was "less than ideal" and he hoped to see some traction soon.

Rotorua-based New Zealand First deputy leader Fletcher Tabuteau. Photo / File
Rotorua-based New Zealand First deputy leader Fletcher Tabuteau. Photo / File

"I am in favour of seeing an increased affordable supply of housing for first-home buyers whether it is called a special housing area or not.

"Because the Ngongotahā development's intent was to provide affordable homes for first home buyers, I am in favour of it and there is still time for the consent process to be fast-tracked."

Tabuteau said the Government still had a comprehensive plan to make housing more affordable and was setting up a housing and urban development authority.