Councils see Urban Development Authority as key to fixing housing woes

Published: November 24, 2018

News type: National news   

LGNZ welcomes the establishment of the Housing and Urban Development Authority, noting that housing affordability is a wicked problem for New Zealand that can only be tackled through a partnership between central and local government.

Under the framework launched today, the new Urban Development Authority will seek to partner with local councils to deliver infrastructure and housing projects that have proven too difficult to get off the ground under the previous regulatory settings.

“This is a huge opportunity to massively increase the supply of housing in our fastest growing cities, that was not previously possible because of the regulatory logjam created by our planning laws.  Local government has worked closely with the minister on this package of reforms, to ensure that we can kickstart development in a way that works best for our communities,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.

The Authority will have a special focus on the development of ‘brownfields’ areas, being land previously used for other purposes, that may have difficult, poor quality, aging or at-capacity infrastructure, making it difficult to develop.

“The Urban Development Authority is the thin edge of the wedge, and goes some way to fixing the regulatory issues with New Zealand’s convoluted planning system”

“We look forward to working with the minister on the next phase of reforms, to ensure that we free up the supply of housing across the country, not just in Auckland and other fast growing areas.”

Tackling homelessness and unaffordable housing will also be under the Authority’s remit, areas that local government currently play a significant role. 

“Councils deliver social and community housing to thousands of New Zealanders.  As the Government’s state landlord, the Authority will be a partner in helping to link our housing initiatives with the resources available from central government.”

“Councils hold key relationships with iwi and Māori, businesses and contractors, and have deep experience within our regions.  We’re looking forward to partnering with the Authority to share our knowledge and relationships to drive urban renewal in our communities.”

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