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More positive news in building consent figures

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister of Housing
30 June 2014 Media Statement

More positive news in building consent figures

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed the latest Statistics New Zealand figures showing the number of new dwellings consented is at its highest level since 2007.

“The figures are particularly encouraging in Christchurch where the pace of the residential rebuild is growing month by month. The 360 building consents issued in May 2014 is double the 172 issued in May 2013 and is up from 356 in April, bringing the total number of consents issued for the year to 3435. This is the highest number of consents issued in a single month or year on record, and confirms that the rebuild of Christchurch’s housing stock is moving with pace,” Dr Smith says.

“The nationwide figure of 2125 brings the year to May total to 22,859. This is the highest rate of consents issued in seven years and illustrates the boom that is underway in the construction industry. Consents are up 33 per cent for the year to May in Auckland at 6778. This is progress but more still is required to meet Auckland’s housing deficit.

“Cabinet today gave final approval to the third tranche of Auckland’s Special Housing Areas which I announced early last month together with Mayor Len Brown. This will allow for them to be gazetted on Thursday and brings the total number of Special Housing Areas established under the Auckland Housing Accord to date to 63, with a potential yield of 33,500 homes across the city. A fourth tranche is planned for August.

“I signed the Wellington Housing Accord with Mayor Celia Wade-Brown last week, which will help to facilitate the growth of housing supply in the capital. We now have Housing Accords in place in all three major centres in the country. Negotiations for further Accords are currently underway in the Bay of Plenty and Queenstown.

“The Government has a wide programme of work in place to address New Zealand’s housing challenge. There is no magic bullet. We are making good progress – we are freeing up land supply, reducing building material costs, reining in development contributions, cutting compliance costs, investing in skills and productivity in the construction sector, and supporting first home buyers through our Welcome Home Loan and KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy schemes.

“These positive building consent figures come on top of last month’s GDP figures showing strong residential construction growth and confirm the direction of the Government’s housing policies.”

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