Thursday, 19th May, 2016

Relaxing Auckland’s rural-urban boundary line may provide more land for building but in an environment where we need 13,000 houses a year and approved just 9,000 housing consents last year there are other obvious constraints, notes Auckland Chamber head, Michael Barnett.

They include:

  • Pace of consenting – is council capable? In a recent survey of small businesses, 83% of respondents said they would vote for a mayoral candidate who proposed to speed up the consent process.
  • Infrastructure – roading, water, power: are the agencies up to it? Business has repeatedly pointed out the lack of joined up planning and delivery of key services holding up the pace of delivery and adding to the cost of Auckland housing.
  • Construction sector – what’s holding them back? The skills shortage in the construction sector has been well-publicised for years, including the latest Chamber survey showing 41% of businesses having difficulty finding suitable staff. Other surveys indicate Auckland is facing a shortage of around 30,000 construction sector workers over the next 10 years. Where is our skills recruitment strategy?

The point: It is easy for politicians to jump on the housing shortage bandwagon.

Clearly, given that we have known since 2010 that Auckland needs to be building 13,000 a year for the next 30 years to meet Auckland’s population growth and are still well short of achieving that number, our plan of attack needs a strategy involving much more than changing a boundary line in our plan, said Mr Barnett.

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.