24 Nov 2018

New 'super agency' to fast-track housing development

3:07 pm on 24 November 2018

A new "super agency" will fast-track large-scale development of affordable and state housing.

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Photo: 123rf

Speaking to The Nation programme this morning ahead of today's official announcement, Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the Housing and Urban Development Authority would partner with private sector, councils, and iwi to build entire communities.

"We're creating a really joined up one-stop shop that can sit alongside the council and unlock these big developments and allow us to really crack into it with pace and scale."

When asked whether this announcement indicated "a lack of confidence" in councils, Mr Twyford said there were many things that "slow down and get in the way" of development.

Some developers were required to work with 10 or 15 different councils or agencies, ageing infrastructure and multiple land titles, he said.

The authority will incorporate three existing government agencies involved in building homes: Housing New Zealand, its subsidiary HLC, and the KiwiBuild Unit. It will also have the power to override the Auckland Council's unitary plan.

Mr Twyford said Housing New Zealand's 68,000 current tenants could be reassured there would be no change for them.

Legislation to establish the Housing and Urban Development Authority will be introduced to Parliament in 2019, with the first projects expected to be up and running in early 2020.

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