26 Jan 2013

Housing blame disputed by Auckland Council

6:04 am on 26 January 2013

Auckland Council is disputing the Prime Minister's view that it may be partly to blame for a shortage and high cost of housing in the city.

John Key said on Friday more land needs to be freed up for building but developers were waiting up to 18 months for resource consents and council charges were too high.

Mr Key did not specifically criticise Auckland, but his comments echo those directed at Auckland recently by Finance Minister Bill English.

Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse said 95% of the 11,000 consent applications to the council last year were processed within 20 days.

She said some large and complex developments involving public notification, appeals and court hearings can get delayed but waits of six - 18 months are rare.

The council said enough residential land is currently zoned for 15,000 new houses, ready for developers to begin work on.