09 Apr 2013

Rising tension over housing shortage

0 Comment

Written by: Scott Morgan
Published: Manukau Courier – 09 April 2013

How to solve Auckland’s housing shortage continues to create tension between the Government and Auckland Council.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse tried to convince a select committee of MPs (The Local Government and Environment Select Committee) meeting at the Novotel Auckland Airport today that the proposed Unitary Plan – a rulebook for how the city will develop over the next 30 years – should come into force from September.

”We need to enable flexible housing choices. That’s at the heart of the plan,” Mrs Hulse said.

But the MPs and a growing number of councillors want more time to consider the plan, with a possible delay of up to three years.

The plan advocates for more apartments and terraced housing in existing suburbs and developing more properties on greenfields land.

The Government has decided to setup a hearings panel to look at the plan over the next three years.
Rules governing air, water and land would come into force from September, but the housing rules would not change until 2016.

”You can’t have the situation where some of the plan is given immediate effect…but rules that focus on the built environment will have to wait,” Mrs Hulse said.

However National list MP Paul Goldsmith told the committee he is worried that rushing the plan through might cause a series of unintended problems.

And right-leaning councillor Christine Fletcher circulated a letter written to the Prime Minister on behalf of 10 Auckland councillors expressing concern at the speed the council was moving.

”The draft plan is meeting fierce community opposition as people begin to come to grips with the detail of the proposed development,” the letter said.

The council has also asked the government to let it help decide who the hearing commissioners will be.

”Our communities want decisions that affect Aucklanders made by Aucklanders, not by Wellington,” Mrs Hulse said.


Leave a Reply