Housing Accords to be extended

  • Nick Smith
Building and Housing

Three Housing Accords are being extended to ensure continued access to the streamlined consenting process provided for in legislation, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

Parliament last week passed the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2016, which ensures a smooth transition to the new Auckland Unitary Plan and enables the streamlined planning process for new housing to continue to be used in other areas for a further three years.

“These Housing Accords are due to expire by the end of September 2016 and I have had conversations with the Mayors of the relevant councils to establish what they would like to do in order to ensure these councils can continue to process consents for existing Special Housing Areas (SHAs).

“Due to the timing of local government elections next month, we need to allow more time for any renegotiation of the Accords until the incoming councils can be inducted and decide their objectives relating to housing and urban development.

“The Tauranga and Nelson Accords are due to expire today and require an amendment in order to continue processing consents for their existing SHAs. I have proposed an extension to the expiry dates of both Housing Accords with the respective mayors to 31 December 2016.

“The Auckland Housing Accord is due to expire on 30 September 2016. The provisions of the recently passed housing legislation will provide a smooth transition from the SHAs in Auckland to the new unitary plan which is expected to take effect today, except those parts of the Plan affected by appeals. We have therefore agreed this Accord will also be extended to 31 December 2016.

“The Housing Accords have been useful mechanisms for being able to rapidly change zoning to enable new areas to be developed for housing and to get better co-ordination between central and local government around housing policy. The Government will be having discussions with newly elected mayors and councils in high-growth areas following next month’s local elections on the option of renewed Housing Accords over the next council term.”