Govt opens consultation on urban development authorities, Building and Construction Minister Smith announces

The government has announced it has opened consultation on legislation for urban development authorities.

See the announcement from Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith below:

Public consultation has opened on proposed legislation to fast track the redevelopment and regeneration of urban areas to better meet housing and commercial needs, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“New Zealand needs Urban Development Authority (UDA) legislation to enable faster and better quality regeneration in our major cities. These new authorities need the power to assemble parcels of land, develop site specific plans, reconfigure infrastructure and to construct a mix of public and private buildings to create vibrant hubs for modern urban living,” Dr Smith says.

“These reforms are part of the solution to Auckland’s growth pressures over housing and infrastructure. UDAs would enable major redevelopment projects like those proposed or under way in areas such as Hobsonville, Tamaki, Three Kings and Northcote to occur three to five years faster.

“The international experience in cities like London, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto and Singapore is that UDAs can create vibrant, new suburbs, with greater gains for housing, jobs and amenities than through usual incremental, piecemeal redevelopment.

“The key to the success of UDAs is in how they interact with councils and businesses. We are proposing a model of UDAs which requires the support of both central and local government, and one that maximises the role of the private sector in development.

“This proposal for UDAs was recommended by the Productivity Commission. It is part of the Government’s wider range of reforms to grow housing supply and will complement initiatives such as the Housing Infrastructure Fund, reforms to the Resource Management Act, the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity, the Crown Land Programme and the KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme.

“The growth of New Zealand cities has historically been dominated by new greenfield developments on the perimeter of our cities. This reform is about providing new tools to enable redevelopment of existing areas in cities like Auckland and Wellington in a way that provides more housing, better infrastructure and a stronger community.”

Consultation closes on 19 May 2017. The Government’s discussion document and more information can be found at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/housing-property/consultation/urban-development-authorities

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14 Comments

Sounds like a big process, wonder when is it actually going to take effect

And so the do-nothing National circle-jerk grinds on.

At least a circle-jerk achieves something and gives a feeling of satisfaction!

They have made such a mess that they cant get out off

#voteforchange

#VoteForNational

We already have "Urban Development Authorities". They're called "Councils", and they are elected directly & democratically by the people they serve to formulate/administer the District Plan. Smith's UDA idea only doubles up on the bureaucracy, and is just another ploy to dilute democracy and blur accountability. Smith has been an absolute disaster and is simply bereft of ideas to dig us all out of the housing crisis hole. He should be sacked!!!

Absolutely agree. Smith must go. This is the final straw for this National voter of 36 years. I can't bring myself to vote Labour Greens so that leaves one option - Winston. It won't change the Government but it will make it near impossible to undertake anything similar.

Councils do not have the legal powers that UDA's would have. Plus, they have been so addicted to soft spend (the old 'four well-beings' duo of Cultural and Social) that they have mostly run themselves right up to the limits of debt and rate increases that their always-attentive ratepayers will tolerate.

Plus, the necessity of Consultation, mated to a short 3-year electoral cycle, renders any significant departure from BAU spending an intensely fraught and politically charged process. A Perfect stasis is the typical result.

Councils are, in all senses of the word, quite Incompetent to do something as straightforward as acquire and aggregate land, then build lotsa houses.

And those legal powers are what really makes me question whose interests are being served by this initiative.

Ouch. A quick glance over and it looks like a legislative over-ride of property rights (with respect to both private property and public property) - all in the name of accommodating population growth as if it is somehow agreed that accommodating more people in Auckland is a public good. The state uses it's coercive power to acquire and aggregate land so that it can be handed over to private sector development interests. Existing land bankers will benefit massively... and all the while we could just have slapped a seriously punitive land tax on them and got the needed funding for infrastructure without stinging the public for it.

But then perhaps my quick read was too quick to judge.

What's next, Nationalisation (pun intended)? There is no war or natural disaster so I cant accept the case for running rough shod over private property rights. Last night on TV, Smith was prattling on about Fletchers and Three Kings (I have no horse in that race). It almost sounded Trump-like scolding an outcome that wasn't the way he wanted it. This Government is off course chasing a problem that its polling must be telling it could determine the election.

Worse yet - a problem of its own making.

So to all the naysayers aboot UDA's, Submit to the Consultation. More effective than common tating 'ere....