Thursday, 26th May, 2016
The $100 million boost to develop Auckland housing confirmed in today’s Budget was accompanied with a message to Auckland Council to lift its performance and pick up the pace or government will do it for them, says Michael Barnett, Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive.
“That is the clear message of Finance Minister Bill English’s Budget speech reinforcement that Government will soon be releasing a National Policy Statement on urban Development to direct councils to adjust their plans to allow for more development if necessary.”
The social issues that have surrounded this year’s Budget largely stem from a deepening housing situation – too few affordable houses and lack of clear evidence that the problems are being addressed with the required urgency and pace.
“I suggest that Auckland Council can’t solve these issues on its own, and that’s been obvious for some time. But neither can Government solve Auckland’s social issues on its own.”
The target set under the Housing Accord to provide 13,000 new houses a year for the next 30 years is nowhere near being achieved, as the Budget makes clear.
As the Budget detail states building 9500 houses last year, up from 4000 in 2012 represents a build rate that has doubled since the Government introduced Special Housing Areas.
“That’s a good result, but not yet good enough to be getting in front of the shortage Auckland has.”
Wellington needs to shape a partnership with Auckland Council and stakeholders, and then take the leadership to drive the solution Auckland needs and deserves, said Mr Barnett.