Housing Minister Nick Smith describes Auckland's metropolitan urban limits as a strangle-hold, saying they pose a real risk to housing affordability.
Dr Smith told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Thursday the limits set by the previous council are driving up section prices and it will be sometime before the restrictions are changed.
He said changes to the Resource Management Act being considered may make that possible.
The minister said Auckland needs 12,000 new sections a year to provide affordable housing and a plan by Auckland Council to contain 60% to 70% of new housing within the current built-up area will fail.
Dr Smith said his focus is to open up land supply.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown told Morning Report the concept of smashing constraints on urban sprawl is not helpful.