11 Oct 2016

Govt plans to build 30,000 houses in Auckland

1:14 pm on 11 October 2016

The government is going to become a large supplier of medium-density housing in Auckland, the Minister for Housing New Zealand Bill English says.

Building site in an East Auckland suburb

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Mr English said once the Unitary Plan was in place, the government would be able to build tens of thousands of new homes in Auckland.

"We've got inefficient use of land in Auckland, we already own 27,000 houses there, we've now got the legal ability with the new plan to build another 30,000 or so, maybe more, on that land.

"We'd be silly not to do it when there's strong demand."

However, the Labour Party said the government was simply putting in place an ultra-lite version of its Kiwibuild policy.

Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford,said the government had spent years criticising Labour's Kiwibuild programme, saying it would lead to Soviet-style apartment blocks, but it was now planning its own version of the plan.

"These guys are so humiliated by the abject failure of their housing policy to deliver actual houses that people can live in that they've now had to do an embarrassing u-turn.

"What Bill English is talking about is a government-backed building programme."

Mr English said opposition parties could say what they liked, but the government actually had to do things, so it was just getting on with the business of building houses.

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