Friday, 15 July 2016

Here's one solution to Auckland's housing issues

The Auckland Housing Enablement Bill, 2016

1. The purpose of this bill is to accelerate and increase the supply of well-built housing in the Auckland area.

2. Any house up to two storeys in height may be built anywhere within the Metropolitan Urban Limit without further planning approval, provided that the construction
  • is carried out by, or supervised by, a Registered Master Builder or New Zealand Certified Builder, and
  • the quality of construction is signed off in writing by two, arm's length, full members of either the New Zealand Institute of Architects or the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand


  1. A reader was having trouble posting a comment - the blog settings are meant to allow comment by anyone, if anyone's having issues could they DM me and I'll have a look? - so I've posted ti for him below.

    Hi Donal,

    I think effort needs to be focussed on price. I run a group of series on rental and sales inventories although not sales for Auckland. here
    I also run a rental inventory for all NZ regions.

    Auckland does not have a shortage, in fact this month there are more rentals than the last 3 years.

    That leads me to a conclusion that I cannot support but can be the only one left. If a shortage is evident with people sleeping in cars, then the market supply must be short for those people, i.e. lower priced homes. I do not have data split by rental price.

    The accommodation supplement is obviously failing, and anyway it is just being used to raise rental prices due to choices people make with a supplement.

    So an alternative solution is to build low, priced, subsidised homes. With a government agency managing and controlling them? Oh yea, that was what Housing NZ was, but they have only sold their stock for private rentals where the market price operates!

    John Butt
    Unit 4,
    3 Britannia Street,
    Wellington 5012

    VoIP (Incl mobile): +64 4 8311138
    Mobile: 021 661 300

  2. Michael Reddell22 July 2016 at 17:08

    I like your approach Donal - which I see TransTasman has highlighted. My variant is I would apply that approach anywhere within 100kms of downtown Auckland. That brings who new swathes of land onto the potential market, and enables developers to think of whole new towns.

  3. Thanks! I hadn't seen that TransTasman had run with it, so I'll follow that up, thanks.
    Good amendment to the Bill - I'll add that when I update it. I had good feedback from AUT as well, who suggested I could simplify clause 2 bullet 1 to 'Licenced Building Practitioner'

  4. So no height to boundary or density limits? This would indeed solve the problem but it might get a bit of push back from the leafy suburbs.

  5. Thanks for the comment. Yes, it probably would, though it would only apply to 2 storey houses and not (say) big apartment blocks so it would be a limited form of densification. On the plus side it would take the planners out of the design/style/look loop completely so people could put up whatever they liked. And people would have the explicit choice: at these prices, do I really value the lawn over the money to be made from a DIY sub-division? And sure, it's rough and ready, but at this point we may well need something blunt to break through the NIMBYism


Hi - sorry about the Captcha step for real people like yourself commenting, it's to baffle the bots