Bipartisan commitment to housing reform looks promising

Earlier this week, Labour and National demonstrated a rare display of unity for the launch of the Housing Supply Bill, which aims to address the housing crisis by allowing as many as 105,500 new homes to be built over the next ten years.

The Government says the new “medium density residential standards” (MDRS) will enable landowners to build up to three homes of up to three storeys on most sites up to 50% maximum coverage of the site without the need for a resource consent.

Previously, district plans would only typically allow for one home of up to two storeys.

The bill will also bring forward parts of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) by a year, requiring councils in greater Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch to have their intensification policies and rules in place by August 2023.

Modelling on the medium density rules suggests they will result in 48,200 to 105,500 additional dwellings over the next 5-8 years, above what we expect from councils implementing the NPS-UD’s intensification policies. Note, these numbers are rounded.

Urban area Estimated additional dwellings (5-8 years)
Auckland
27,900 - 53,700
Hamilton
3,400 - 12,200
Tauranga
3,800 - 8,500
Wellington
6,500 - 14,000
Christchurch
6,500 - 17,200

As we watch the politicians take turns taking credit for the bill, overall Property Council welcomes the proposal, and particularly the multi-party approach. While there are certainly other challenges to be addressed – including material and people shortages – any move that reduces red tape and encourages greater sustainable development is a step in the right direction to solving Aotearoa’s housing crisis.

Our one concern is the toll this shortened timeframe might have on local government, and we would encourage the Government to consider additional support to councils in order for them to meet the August 2023 timeframe.

Housing Supply Bill

You can read more about the Housing Supply Bill on the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development's website.

Visit HUD's website

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