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Government unveils housing growth targets

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Staff Reporter

04 July 2024, 11:31 PM

Government unveils housing growth targetsNew policy aims to ease housing crisis

Coasties will see significant changes in local housing policy as the Government rolls out stage one of its Going for Housing Growth plan.

The initiative aims to make housing more affordable and accessible across New Zealand.

Housing and Resource Management Act Reform Minister Chris Bishop announced the plan, focusing on freeing up land for development and removing unnecessary planning barriers.

“Housing in New Zealand is too expensive because we have made it very difficult for our cities to grow,” Bishop said. “Fixing our housing crisis will improve our economy and decrease material hardship.”

The plan includes six major changes:

  1. Establishment of Housing Growth Targets for Tier 1 and 2 councils
  2. New rules allowing cities to expand outward
  3. Strengthened intensification provisions in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD)
  4. Requirements for councils to enable mixed-use developments
  5. Abolition of minimum floor area and balcony requirements
  6. Making Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) optional for councils

Bishop emphasised the importance of balancing urban expansion with increased density, saying, “The Government rejects the view that cities can only grow outwards, as well as the view that density is the answer to everything.”

The new policy aims to ensure that housing capacity aligns with demand and connectivity to services and transportation.

It also seeks to abolish restrictive planning instruments like the Rural-Urban Boundary in Auckland.

The Government's commitment includes setting long-term housing growth targets and ensuring that infrastructure costs are covered, with a focus on sustainable urban development.

This move is expected to result in more mixed-use developments, making cities more liveable and connected.

Bishop concluded, “Solving our housing crisis will mean a more productive, wealthier, and better New Zealand.”

The Government plans further announcements on infrastructure funding and incentives for growth in the coming months.