- New law allows construction of three homes up to three stories high on most freehold sites
- Allows the construction of tens of thousands of new houses in the next 5 to 8 years
- Existing housing density rules brought forward by one year
Legislation to cut red tape for more new housing has been passed in Parliament with all-party support which provides a lasting solution to solving New Zealand’s housing crisis.
Changes to the Resource Management Act are making it possible to build much-needed housing faster in our biggest cities, said Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods and Environment Minister David Parker.
People can build up to three houses of up to three stories on most sites without needing a resource consent, from August next year.
“The passage of this legislation with the support of the National Party, the Green Party and the Maori Party results in a stable and sustainable policy on urban density. This gives New Zealand owners, councils, developers and investors greater certainty,” said Megan Woods.
“These changes respond to overly restrictive planning rules that limit the types of homes people can build and where they can build them. These changes to the Resource Management Act will make it easier to build more affordable housing in areas with good access to jobs, transport and community facilities such as schools and hospitals.
“PwC and Sense Partners’ cost-benefit analysis has shown that these changes will have a significant impact on supply, with tens of thousands of additional homes in our largest cities over the next five to eight years.
“Having seen a surge in the number of townhouses and consent units in Auckland in recent years, we know the construction industry is ready and able to provide this type of housing,” said Megan Woods.
“Housing densification is key to accelerating housing supply. It also has a range of benefits, including smarter land use and less urban sprawl, more accessible public transport, more even growth in cities and multi-generational lifestyles,” said the Minister of Environment, David Parker.
“There has been vigorous public debate about this legislation. Submissions to the Environment Select Committee have contributed to improvements including reduced height over boundaries, increased outdoor living space, and new landscaping and glazing requirements,” it said. he declares.
“It was good to see that the committee also recommended changes to make it clear that councils can continue to plan and manage infrastructure as they do now. This means that they can influence how housing development is done based on how they provide infrastructure.
“The Bill’s new streamlined process will enable Tier 1 councils in Auckland, Greater Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch to implement the National Policy Statement for Urban Development from August 2023 , at least a year earlier than under the current schedule.
“The focus is now on implementation, with Tier 1 councils required to publicly notify new rules allowing their plans to scale up by August 20, 2022,” David Parker said.
The Ministry of Environment and Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will provide implementation support to the councils. They will also develop a national medium-density design guide, in consultation with local government and stakeholders.
The changes to the bill complement and build on other ongoing government initiatives to address the housing crisis, including:
- invest $3.8 billion in the Housing Acceleration Fund
- providing $460 million for shovel-ready housing and urban development projects
- provide $380 million for Maori housing in Budget 2021
- change tax rules to keep investors away from the rules of the game
- invest in large-scale projects in Auckland and Porirua
- put in place a new national policy statement on urban development, which according to PWC analysis will add an additional 72,000 homes
- the adoption last year of the Urban Development and Infrastructure Funding and Financing Act to facilitate the unlocking of housing and infrastructure developments
- pass the Covid Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act, which saw projects returned including more than 3,400 residential units in 2020-21
- stimulate apprenticeship and support for training in trades, which will see a large increase in trades.
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