6 Nov 2017

'We don't want the city to sprawl out forever'

10:13 am on 6 November 2017

Land isn't the problem in Auckland's housing crisis, it's paying for the infrastructure on new developments, says mayor Phil Goff.

Mr Goff said he and new Housing Minister Phil Twyford agreed the city had to grow outwards as well as up, but it's not necessary to scrap the rural-urban boundary as the minister proposes.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff and Housing Minister Phil Twyford

Auckland mayor Phil Goff and Housing Minister Phil Twyford Photo: RNZ

"With the Auckland Unitary Plan we have zoned, for the next 30 years, 422,000 sites for dwellings.

"So we don't believe that there is a huge problem with shortage of land. What there is a big problem with is a shortage of infrastructure."

Mr Twyford told TV3's The Nation that given population growth projections, the city would need to "grow up and out" and that meant getting rid of current rural-urban boundary regulations.

"The two things we have to fix are broken system for financing infrastructure that stops the city from growing the city from growing, and the highly restrictive planning rules like the urban growth boundary."

Mr Goff said he agreed with the aim.

"I used the same slogan during my [mayoral] campaign.

"And likewise we agree on ... where we want to begin is building more intensive housing particularly around transport modes."

Mr Goff said there had previously been a shortage of land that was forcing up house prices.

But that wasn't the case now and he didn't agree with Mr Twyford's "separate view" that if you took away the rural-urban boundary price differences for land would disappear.

The council had already said it would create infrastructure in areas around Paerata and Pukekohe for housing, Mr Goff said, but he wanted most of the develpment in city boundaries.

"We don't want the city to sprawl out forever," he said.

"If developers want to create an area that's a long way from anywhere, if it's really expensive to connect infrastructure for, they're going to have to pay for infrastructure themselves.

"[Mr Twyford] does agree that until we get the funding for infrastructure then no matter how much land we have ready, zoned for housing, it's not going to solve the housing cost crisis."

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Photo: RNZ