14 Feb 2017

Labour: NZers shouldn't miss out on work in construction boom

From Morning Report, 7:43 am on 14 February 2017

Labour Party leader Andrew Little would be happy to see foreign workers who are brought into the country to help build houses in Auckland qualify for permanent residency.

Mr Little said there needs to be a mix of New Zealanders and overseas labour trained up to do the job.

With a massive building project over a 10-year period, there will be people coming into the country to work, he said.

"Some will want to stay here - that's a good thing."

Mr Little said a lot of people came from offshore to help out with the Christchurch rebuild and as they spent time here they qualified also to apply for permanent residency. That was a perfectly acceptable option to take, he said.

The Government is floating using vacant crown land in Avondale and Mount Roskill to help meet the challenge of building tens of thousands of new homes in Auckland.

A High Court decision yesterday confirmed that the Unitary Plan will go ahead and allow for higher Auckland housing density.

Building and Construction Minister, Nick Smith, says that means housing on Housing New Zealand land can expand from the current 27,000 to 69,000 homes.

Residents who opposed plans to increase housing intensification in Auckland's well heeled suburbs lost their legal battle against Supercity's Unitary Plan.

The High Court has ruled the panel that considered the Unitary Plan acted lawfully in reaching its decision allowing increased density in particular areas of the city.