Thousands of new houses for Auckland’s Tāmaki

  • Bill English

Around 7,500 new houses are expected to be built in the Auckland suburb of Tāmaki over the next decade as part of the Government’s programme of increasing and speeding up new housing developments, Finance Minister Bill English says.

That will represent a net increase of about 5,000 houses after accounting for removals and demolition of older properties, he said in his annual speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Massey University in Auckland today.

“This important aspect of our Social Housing Reform Programme – to increase the supply of affordable houses – has not had much attention.

“Housing New Zealand is the largest residential landowner in the country and much of its land is used inefficiently by the standards of modern urban planning.

“We want Housing New Zealand to free up more land for housing development and to do this more quickly.”

There are opportunities to redevelop and revitalise smaller blocks of land, but also whole social housing suburbs.

Some of these larger developments are happening already and the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company – a partnership between the Government and Auckland Council – is a good example of that, Mr English said.

“It’s delivering new social housing alongside affordable housing and other homes as part of a major urban renewal project.

“We want to accelerate this activity, so small and large redevelopments of Housing New Zealand land and properties are completed with more urgency.”

The Cabinet will soon make further decisions about Tāmaki and the Government will confirm details in the next few weeks. It will involve redeveloping some of Housing New Zealand’s 2,800 houses in the suburb – many of which are over 50 years old and sitting on large sections.

“Over the next decade or so, the company and its partners expect to build around 7,500 affordable and social homes, along with other community facilities. That’s a net increase of around 5,000 houses after accounting for removals or demolitions of older properties.”

Mr English says work is already underway.

Tāmaki’s first neighbourhood regeneration project, called Fenchurch, began over a year ago. The development, which is being led by Housing New Zealand, is in the middle of Glen Innes and will deliver 32 quality homes on what were empty sections.

The Ministry of Education and the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company are also building a new early childhood education centre for up to 60 children.

And the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company has partnered with the Department of Conservation to renovate an old building and convert it into a community hub that will be managed by residents.

“So the Tāmaki regeneration has a social as well as a development focus,” Mr English says. “This is just the start of what will be a transformation in Tāmaki.”

Mr English says this is part of the Government’s wider focus of getting on top of housing affordability issues and building a lot more affordable houses – particularly in Auckland.

“Affordable houses have gone from being 30 per cent of new builds to just 5 per cent in just 25 years. More expensive houses have to be built to recover land, infrastructure and building costs.

“The Government’s approach is having an impact, but we need to press on.”