1 Jun 2013

Debate on housing laws welcomed by Smith

1:48 pm on 1 June 2013

Housing Minister Nick Smith says he welcomes debate on new housing laws despite facing stiff criticism from councils.

The legislation, which aims to make housing more affordable, would allow planning processes for new homes to be fast tracked.

But Local Government New Zealand says the Government must withdraw the clauses that would allow it to override councils and make a unilateral decision if an agreement could not be reached.

LGNZ president Lawrence Yule said the plans could jeopardise an existing housing accord between Auckland Council and the Government that aims to free up land faster.

Dr Smith said he won't comment on the matters because the legislation is before a select committee.