14 Feb 2017

Govt considers Urban Development Authorities

6:08 pm on 14 February 2017

The government is moving towards establishing powerful authorities to help fast track house construction across the country.

Building site in an East Auckland suburb

The authorities would help fast track housing construction across the country. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Special legisation would give the new Urban Development Authorities the power to acquire land, change infrastructure where necessary and build private and public buildings.

Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith said the authorities would be able to levy local landowners and could take over the resource consenting, and water and public transport infrastructure.

But he said building consents would remain with local councils.

Dr Smith said the authorities would be able to acquire land, but would not be able to go beyond the powers of the current Public Works Act.

He expected that in about five years' time, there would be up to 10 UDAs in cities such as Auckland and Wellington.

Public consultation on the discussion document ends on 19 May.

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