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Housing momentum to be maintained

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister for Building and Housing

25 May 2016
Media Statement

Housing momentum to be maintained

The Government’s building programme remains on track and there will be a smooth transition from Special Housing Areas (SHAs) to Auckland’s Unitary Plan, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“There has been concern from some developers in SHAs that the fast-track processes for plan variations will not be available after 16 September, and there are calls for a legislative extension.

“There will only be a transitional problem if plan variations are not done in these SHAs by 16 September, and the plan changes are not included by the Independent Hearings Panel currently looking at the Auckland Unitary Plan.

“I am urging developers and the Auckland Council to progress these areas as quickly as possible. I also believe the Independent Hearings Panel is likely to include SHAs in the residential zones of the recommended new Unitary Plan. We will be able to assess whether there is a practical transitional problem when the panel’s work is complete and we know how advanced the plan variations are.

“I am open to extending the SHAs legislation if necessary. I have work under way with the Auckland Council and my officials on the details so I can move quickly if needed. I will make a decision on whether such a legislative change is needed after the Independent Hearings Panel has made its Unitary Plan decisions on 22 July.

“We are achieving rapid growth in residential development with the new build rate having doubled under the Housing Accord to more than 40 houses per working day, and we need to maintain the momentum. We will be ensuring a smooth transition from the SHAs to Auckland’s Unitary Plan.”


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