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Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed Christchurch City Council’s ratification of the Christchurch Housing Accord which will enable further housing initiatives to assist the city’s recovery.

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The Government has announced a new initiative to develop better housing and urban environments as part of its programme of National Science Challenges.

Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities – Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamāhorahora was one of the areas identified by the National Science Challenges Panel in 2013 where science has the potential to significantly benefit New Zealand. This is the eleventh National Science Challenge to be announced by the Government.

The Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities Challenge will deliver:

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Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed the July building consent figures from Statistics New Zealand that show the number of new dwelling consents is growing at record rates.

“These building consent figures show the Housing Accord in Auckland is delivering record residential building growth and that the Christchurch residential rebuild is progressing at pace,” Dr Smith says.

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Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Associate Housing Minister Paula Bennett today released the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s estimates of the number of first home buyers in Canterbury who are to benefit from the Government’s new KiwiSaver HomeStart package.

Nick Smith Paula Bennett Housing
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Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today released the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment’s estimates of the number of first home buyers in provincial New Zealand who are to benefit from the Government’s new KiwiSaver HomeStart package in Palmerston North with local mayor Jono Naylor.

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The Waimahia Inlet housing development at Weymouth consisting of 282 homes at the Government's first Special Housing Area is a flagship of the Government's new housing policies, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said today.


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A visit to Hobsonville Point was made today by Prime Minister John Key and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith to highlight the opportunities for the Government's new KiwiSaver HomeStart package to improve home ownership for Aucklanders.

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The Government is doubling support for first home buyers to help tens of thousands more young New Zealanders into home ownership and encourage the building of more affordable new homes, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“This new package will help about 90,000 lower and middle income first home buyers over the next five years. It will ensure more New Zealanders are able to attain the dream of owning their own home, giving families greater security and building stronger communities,” Dr Smith says.

The package comprises three changes:

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Housing Accords in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty have been agreed by Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and local mayors Ross Patterson and Stuart Crosby today that will provide an additional 1175 new homes and sections over the next two years.

“They key to improving housing affordability in the Bay of Plenty is land supply. These new Accords will enable an additional 1000 homes and sections in Tauranga and 175 homes in the Western Bay of Plenty to be built over the next two years by freeing up the supply of land,” Dr Smith says.

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A neighbourhood regeneration project consisting of 32 new homes, a new Early Childhood Education centre and the redevelopment of the local Scout Hall was launched today as the first phase of the long-term plans of the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company (TRC).

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The 23,370 new houses consented in the last year is a further sign the Government's housing reforms are working, Housing Minister Dr Smith said today in welcoming the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand.

“This house build rate is the strongest in seven years and shows the residential building sector is booming,” Dr Smith says.

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Corrections Minister Anne Tolley and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith have welcomed the completed refurbishment of the first four earthquake-damaged red zone houses in Christchurch, undertaken as part of a joint initiative between the Department of Corrections and Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and officially opened today by the Prime Minister. 

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Associate Minister of Housing Tariana Turia today announced the establishment of a National Māori Housing Unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) to co-ordinate strategic Māori housing policy across government.

The Māori Housing Unit will also support the implementation of He Whare Ahuru He Oranga Tangata – The Māori Housing Strategy which was announced recently. This strategy sets out six directions for improvement in Māori housing over the next 10 years.

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A new Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) complex of 12 homes in central Christchurch was opened and bids sought for another 450 temporary and affordable homes on two other major Government housing initiatives, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

Nick Smith Housing
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Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the appointment of Liz Jones and Peter Dow as two new members of the Housing New Zealand Board, and the reappointment of Whaimutu Dewes.

“A strong board is required to maintain the momentum of the upgrade of Housing New Zealand’s properties and the repair of its 5000 homes in Christchurch. These two new directors bring skills in social housing, property development, governance and finance,” Dr Smith says.

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Associate Minister of Housing Tariana Turia launched “He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tāngata – The Māori Housing Strategy in Kaitaia today. The plan reflects the Government’s desire for a long-term strategy to improve Māori housing and respond to the housing aspirations of whānau, hapū and iwi.

Tariana Turia Housing
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Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says people and families in need of social housing will be better supported by the Government’s investment of $95.7 million of new money over the next four years.

“We want to ensure those with a genuine social housing need are in the right house, for as long as they need it.  Some people may simply need some extra assistance to access housing in the private market.  This will free up social housing for people that really need it,” says Mrs Bennett.

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Import tariffs on a range of building products will be temporarily suspended from tomorrow – a measure which is expected to reduce housing costs and increase competition in the residential construction sector, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced this afternoon.

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A Wellington Housing Accord has been proposed between the Government and council to facilitate increased supply of housing in the capital, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown announced today.

“We need to increase the supply and affordability of housing in Wellington. This Housing Accord will give us access to fast-track planning and consenting tools that will bring more houses to market more quickly,” Dr Smith says.

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Queenstown is the latest district to be added to legislation that will enable the council and the Government to work more closely together on housing supply and affordability, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

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Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today visited the site of a new Housing New Zealand development in central Christchurch, saying the progress on the 12 new two-bedroom apartments illustrate the momentum underway to fix and replace the city’s damaged housing stock.

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Two sets of figures released today show good progress is being made on increasing housing supply under the Auckland Housing Accord, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Len Brown say.

The latest building consent figures from Statistics New Zealand show more building consents were issued in Auckland in the year to April 2014 than in any 12-month period since the year to February 2007. For the year to April 2014, there was a 41 per cent increase in the number of issued consents compared to the year before, and a 24 per cent increase since March 2014.

Nick Smith Housing