“On Saturday, the
Government announced that it will consolidate Housing New Zealand, HLC and
Kiwibuild into a new fit-for-purpose urban development authority with powers to
zone and deliver new communities.
“This initiative is
desperately required to cut through an existing local government, planning and
funding system which is no longer fit for purpose.
Management Act’s effects-based approach to planning and consenting
infrastructure and development has not only failed the environment but tipped
the balance of decision making too far in favour of existing land uses and
prevented New Zealanders from access to housing.
restricted by the laws in which they work and by constraints on funding and
borrowing. Their world view also reflects the boundaries of their territory and
“HUDA will be in a
better position to manage wider and more complex national challenges around
growth management, homelessness and cumulative environmental impacts, to name
but a few.
“Like the Government’s
new infrastructure body, HUDA will have the capacity to integrate across
agencies to ensure we deliver not just individual services, but communities and
“Minister Twyford has
described HUDA as being a market facing agency. This is fundamental as
commercial expertise in urban development and the ability to work with private
land owners, developers and infrastructure providers will be key to success.
“HUDA will be critical
to light rail’s success in Auckland and Wellington. Without rapid
intensification along light rail corridors, demand for services will be
insufficient to justify investment.
“However, HUDA will not
be able to deliver a functional housing market on its own.
“To deliver housing
that is affordable on New Zealand wages and salaries, policies like Auckland’s
Rural Urban Boundary must be changed to enable new development at scale in
“Rural land prices need
to be leveraged to pay for infrastructure while delivering homes under
$400,000, not captured by a dysfunctional approach to zoning and growth
management which sees new sections alone cost more than this.
announcement two weeks ago of the Milldale development enables new
infrastructure to be funded and financed away from councils, thereby relieving
existing residents from concerns that they are subsidising growth.
“The next logical step
is for the Government to work with Councils and the private sector to acquire
greenfield land at scale in suitable locations, rezone it for development,
deliver the infrastructure and capture the value uplift to deliver affordable
“Major developers with
an eye on building new homes at scale and pace to crack the housing crisis will
now be keenly awaiting access to competitive land at prices New Zealanders can
afford, consistent with the Government’s Urban Growth Agenda.
“With both brownfield and greenfield policy
reform effected, our cities will be able to grow fairly, affordably and
sustainably and the Government can in 2019 turn its attention to the ultimate
solution to the problem – reforming New Zealand’s unworkable local government,
infrastructure funding and planning system,” Selwood says.