Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Housing

  • Doug Graham

Housing Minister Murray McCully has announced a programme to deliver over 2,000 additional Housing New Zealand units in Auckland over the 1997-98 period, to alleviate housing pressures.

The announcement follows the release earlier this week of a stronger social mandate for the company. Mr McCully said the majority of the additional houses had already been committed. They were "a mix of new properties in areas with strong Housing New Zealand presence, purchases from builders or developers, and head-leased properties which would be owned by private sector owner, but managed by Housing New Zealand".

The Minister said the 2,000 additional units in Auckland were part of a major programme of re-configuration for Housing New Zealand. "Many of Housing New Zealand's houses are where they were needed 20 or 30 years ago - not where we need them today. Indeed, over 11,000 Housing New Zealand houses are between 20-29 years old and over 37,000 are over 30 years".

"Over the next few years the company will dramatically re-configure its stock to meet the housing pressures of the late 1990's."

"The company will also take a flexible and commercially realistic view of what it should own. Housing New Zealand is in business because the Government wants to ensure that some people who would otherwise not have access to affordable housing of a good standard are given that access. That does not mean that Housing New Zealand needs to own all the houses that it manages. In the course of re-configuring, the company will seek to deliver the Government's goal of access to housing in the most commercially sensible fashion, which will mean private sector partnerships in relation to developments and ownership."

Mr McCully said housing rental pressures in Auckland had been high in recent years. The Coalition Agreement made a commitment to increasing Housing New Zealand supply in Auckland. The programme announced today had been developed with the Board over recent months as part of negotiating the new Statement of Corporate Intent.