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Housing Land Supply Bill Passes

One of the Government’s cornerstone policies in addressing housing issues has passed in Parliament this afternoon.

The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill completed its third reading by 63 to 56 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in support

Housing Minister Nick Smith said the bill would enable tens of thousands of homes to be built and would help address the Auckland housing bubble.

Smith said the bill was based on sound research and advice from numerous experts who identified the need for the additional supply of housing. The number of sections available for building in Auckland was insufficient to keep up with even population growth let alone demand.

The artificial limit for residential development around Auckland combined with other restrictions meant little land was available and the bill would help address this issue.

The Government would prefer to work with councils to create housing accords but also enable the Government to step in if councils refused to act. A housing accord had been agreed with Auckland Council and ministers were in talks with other councils with housing affordability issues.

Labour’s housing spokesman Phil Twyford said there was a housing crisis in New Zealand which was due to the Government’s economic settings. The solution required bold action, but this bill was not the answer.

The Government should be addressing speculators and foreign investors driving up the market with no capital gains tax. The Government should also be building affordable homes and assisting first time buyers in the market

After voting on the housing bill, MPs returned to the interrupted third reading debate on the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Amendment Bill.

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