The Government and the Auckland Council are set to bury the hatchet today by announcing plans for fast-tracking the freeing up of some land and development of houses in Auckland.
Details of the proposals will be unveiled jointly by Prime Minister John Key, Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown.
Media reports suggest that the plan will involve fast-track processes for sites such as Hobsonville and Tamaki. Government agency Housing New Zealand is already heavily involved for plans to redevelop those sites.
It is not clear at this stage what sort of numbers of houses the Government and the council will be talking about building.
After several years of under-building Auckland is now widely perceived to be very short of available housing. The current shortage is seen as about 30,000, while it is reckoned that about 12,000 to 13,000 a year now need to be built to meet demand.
The shortage in Auckland is putting upward pressure on house prices, and this has been reaffirmed by latest QV figures for April. to meet demand. Recently RBNZ deputy governor Grant Spencer issued a warning about rising house prices and the potential impact on inflation, with particular reference to Auckland.
This week the RBNZ announced that it was getting the big four banks to hold more capital against so-called high loan to valuation ratio loans, in an effort to maintain banking stability and to take some heat out of the housing market.
However, such initiatives don't really tackle the problem - which is the lack of housing supply in Auckland.
The Government and the Auckland Council have, to say the least, not appeared to be on the same page.
Earlier in the year Housing Minister Smith lobbed a few grenades in the way of the Auckland Council, saying it should "smash" the metropolitan limit, while also releasing a report that said the council had only about 2000 sections ready to build on and not the 15,000 previously claimed.
The council for its part in releasing its draft unitary plan said Aucklanders want planned and progressive development, not a smashing of the city's metropolitan urban limit as sought by the central government, to meet the SuperCity's housing and population growth demands.