New Zealand launches housing agency

The New Zealand government is to establish an agency with wide-ranging powers to expedite the delivery of urban developments.

The Housing and Urban Development Authority will be responsible for leading the government’s large-scale urban development projects and for being a ‘world class’ state housing landlord. It will bring together three existing agencies that build homes – Housing New Zealand, its subsidiary HLC, and the KiwiBuild Unit.

It will lead a range of large and small urban development projects in partnership with local government, iwi (Māori groups) and the private sector. For some large-scale complex development projects, it will have access to a range of statutory powers including:

  • shortened planning and consenting processes;
  • building and changing infrastructure;
  • funding infrastructure and development;
  • bringing together parcels of land; and
  • reconfiguring reserves.

New legislation to establish the Housing and Urban Development Authority will be introduced to Parliament in 2019, with the first projects expected to be up and running in early 2020.

Minister for Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford said: “I look forward to public submissions as we work through the detail of the new authority during a full select committee process.”

Chief Executive of Infrastructure New Zealand Stephen Selwood said: “The new Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will help the government cut through red-tape to deliver urban regeneration in our largest cities, but to deliver affordable housing the government must now turn its attention to greenfield development and wider policy reform.

“The government’s 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 houses.”

As previously reported a pathfinder partnership model was announced earlier this month for the Milldale development north of Auckland.