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Government ringfences $1 billion of $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund for councils, iwi and developers investing in infrastructure to support the building of new houses

Government ringfences $1 billion of $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund for councils, iwi and developers investing in infrastructure to support the building of new houses

Local councils, iwi and residential property developers will from next week be able to submit expressions of interest in receiving government grants for infrastructure to support the building of houses.

Housing Minister Megan Woods on Tuesday morning announced $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund, unveiled in March, has been set aside to create a contestable housing infrastructure fund.

Funding will be available for projects that provide drinking water, waste water, sewage, roading, and flood management to enable new houses to be built.

Woods is yet to decide what the remaining $2.8 billion (of which $350 million has been ringfenced for Māori-led infrastructure projects) will be allocated towards.

To qualify for a slice of the $1 billion, infrastructure projects need to support the building of a relatively large number of houses - at least 200 homes in larger cities, 100 homes in smaller cities, and 30 homes in towns.

Larger cities include Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch. Smaller cities include Whangārei, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Nelson Tasman, Queenstown and Dunedin.

Woods said the fund would be weighted towards projects that seek to get “affordable” houses built where they’re needed most in the short to medium-term.

She said funding would be prioritised for:

  • Brownfield intensification and greenfield expansion with access to amenities and opportunities
  • Developments where infrastructure investments might otherwise not be funded or not funded quickly enough to meet housing demand
  • A spread of projects across multiple regions including large urban areas and regional centres
  • Value for money through co-funding, contributions and commitments from third parties, including local councils
  • A steady pipeline of construction activity
  • Alignment with wider government objectives such as good urban planning, partnerships with iwi and Māori and transition to a net zero emissions economy.

Funding can be used to cover early-stage feasibility studies, design, consenting and in some cases land costs.

Councils, iwi and developers will be able to submit expressions of interest between June 30 and mid-August. 

The process will be administered by Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities, however the Ministers of Finance and Housing are the final decision-makers on investments

Woods didn’t provide a timeline around when successful applicants would be announced, and when the Government aimed to get the cash out the door.

As for the remaining $2.8 billion in the Housing Acceleration Fund, Woods’ office confirmed the plan is still for this to be used to “accelerate the development of vacant or underutilised Crown-owned land, operate in more regions, and deliver a broader range of affordable housing options for rental and home ownership".

Details around how the $350 million set aside for Māori-led projects can be accessed will be released in August.

Woods said this Māori Infrastructure Fund would be available to unlock housing projects like papakāinga or rural developments.

See this fact sheet for more information. 

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63 Comments

Funding can be used to cover early-stage feasibility studies, design

Uh oh - I see a large portion of the billion being wasted by Wellington councillors on studies and consultation!

After arguing over a rezoning plan for months, Wellington City Council has recently announced its blanket protection to heritage sites (housing dumps built over 90 years ago), reducing the planned area for densification by 71 percent of what was initially proposed.

Let's hope the Productivity Commission can find a way to make up for all the local skills we're about to lose to greener pastures with its migration reform plans.

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Life is cyclical, when I was living in Wellington through the late 80's and early 90's infrastructure was built post-haste, NIMBY's were not a thing. Roading was repaired in the city over night and there were no delays to traffic flow (admittedly smaller population).

San Francisco went through this with their own heritage issues for similar reasons but upgrades were allowed internally. ("Article 10 does not specifically designate the historic interiors of residential homes in landmark districts, nor does the California or National Registers.") So as long as the rules around Healthy Homes are applied these homes can be made to conform.

Who the hell would want to own a rental property!!

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Providence might be removed and a 'big shake' might sort the problem.

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Yep, they just repeated Aucklands mistake. Now watch the house prices in Mt Vic absolutely sky rocket (or should I say land prices?). For heritage reasons... please, they should have compromised done Austin street and a few small offshoots only and said the rest can be high density. Its a prime residential area that should be 3-5 stories high and with the occasional larger building. Same with half of Newtown and all of Mt Cook.

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$1B of housing, sweet. At current rates of house price increase and likely timeframe to completion, that'll be 7 houses.

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"We can't design and build it, so we're going to pay you to think about designing and building it".

Just start writing off people's mortgages with a lottery and admit it'd be a better, more effective use of the cash than this could ever be.

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Oh dear. Here we go again!

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However well intended the financial disciplines are going to need to be a vast improvement on anything else that has gone before. Much of those in Canterbury witnessed shocking squandering of the public purse, outrageous self enrichment by far too many, during the ill fated EQC/Fletchers attempt at EQ repairs. If not, chances are will end up as another flowing trough of other people’s money, for the longest snouts. My opinion only, but personally have great reservations about the integrity of the majority of those involved anywhere in the construction sector.

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The housing supply crisis is a problem “decades in the making”, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.

Got to throw in a "this isn't my fault".

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Well it isn't personally her fault, or particularly the fault of the current Labour government either.

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No, of course. But they campaigned on a platform of fixing this. I voted for them in 2017 for this very reason. Four years later and the situation is considerably worse.

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May not be their fault but immigration and housing speculation reached all-time highs highs under their watch because of their inaction and ineptitude.

For the entirety of their first term, Labour allowed demand pressures to pile up on our existing housing stock while they made minor tweaks to supply-side policies.

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For the entirety of their 3 terms, National denied there were any problems with the housing market while allowing demand pressures to pile up on our existing housing stock, simultaneously bringing in more immigrants and while selling more state houses than the built, with minor tweaks to supply side policies that mostly made no difference at all, while they kept harping on about how they were going to change the resource management act but never actually did.

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OK, and? For all their do-nothingness, they look like renegade interventionalists compared to the current mob, who are the ones who are actually in power. Maybe try pointing that accountability-cannon of yours at the people who got themselves elected after years of that kind of moaning about nothing happening, only to somehow manage to do even less than the guys who were doing nothing were doing. Do we really have to go through the laundry list of 'Stuff Labour promised but doesn't talk about anymore" or is this just "Red team good, Blue team bad"?

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True. This lot blamed migration for our housing and infrastructure woes while in opposition, swore to reduce immigration by 20-30k in 2017 and let migration run at an all-time high of net 92k in the 12 months to March 2020 by allowing more temporary migrants to enter than ever before.

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"Do we really have to go through the laundry list of 'Stuff Labour promised but doesn't talk about anymore"

Please go through that list, and then weigh it up against the list of "Stuff Labour promised and did" while you're at it. See which is longer.

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Its the 'Stuff Labour never mentioned they would do' list that scares me.

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Well, this is off the top of my head, but here we go:

What they promised:
Land supply reform in Auckland
100K houses
The Kiwibuild pricepoints that went up $50K post election.
Central Auckland Light Rail by 2021 (lol)
West Auckland Light Rail by 2028 per ATAP 2, now AT LEAST 2030.
1B trees (which magically included trees planted by the forestry sector after the election).
Skypath at $60m, which become Skypath at $380m, which became a $800m bridge.
Regional rapid rail

What they actually did:
A massively watered down FBB after threatening to renegotiate FTAs to get it done (ended up dishing out exemptions)
A regional fuel tax.
A non means-tested baby bonus
EV incentives (eventually four years later)
A rail service from Hamilton to Auckland that a fraction of the expected users actually use.

So not only is the stuff they missed the bulk of their flagship policies, the stuff they actually did is massively watered down from what they promised to get elected in the first place. But go on, tell me this is what success looks like.

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With the rail stuff. And any roading stuff.

For the life of me I dont understand why these projects take so long. Ohhhhh maybe the H and S / traffic truck stuff, the 40ish hours a week actually acheiving.
Why these are not 24/7 3 shift a day projects is beyond me. I look at them and can only come to the conclusion that excessive nest feathering and beauracratic bullshit stifles any forward movement.

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"With the rail stuff. And any roading stuff."

Don't worry, I'm sure there'll be an announcement about a future announcement to announce the announcement of an infrastructure program, which will actually just be putting back all the projects that were cancelled after you were elected because you can't deliver your own flagship policies, which will then later be cancelled again.

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First of all though they have to form a committee to form the working group to come up with the announcement.

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This government is what happens when you prioritise "diversity" over competence.

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Ouch! Facts have such sharp edges!

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Doesn't help explain the under performance of the previous government's beige brigade though.

Perhaps we're getting to the point where people will just need to admit that the two major parties are deeply invested in maintaining high property prices and their own portfolio wealth, and young Kiwis will need to look elsewhere. TOP, Greens etc.

Not much use young Kiwis just voting for the same two parties, Natbour.

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Well, you forgot to mention the 'diversity' must be ring-fenced to only two specific ethic minorities.

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Yet they assume the moral high ground when calling out NZ's low economic productivity and promise to fix it.

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Neither major party will ever address that. They are too invested in property to start rewarding hard productive work instead of sitting on assets.

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All MPs should have to divest all their assets and place the proceeds in a fund pegged to real economic growth per capita. When they leave office they get their assets back.
I'd vote for that if it were possible.

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I point my accountability cannon at the unelected bureaucracy such as Immigration NZ. The Government are there to direct capital into areas, create/amend legislation etc. It's the various public sector departments that are in charge of doing things.

Hypothetical: Labour have a mandate of reducing immigration to sub 50k p.a., and you have an Immigration department largely made up of National voters, do you think there's going to be a bit of stubbornness or friction in meeting Labour's targets? Labour campaigned on a reduction, why didn't Immigration NZ follow through?

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Similarly why didn’t MoH follow the minister’s directives for testing MIQ staff and why did MoH lie, saying that they were. The answer my son, is because they know best. The bureaucracy has the bit between its teeth, they are not accountable to us the people anymore than they are answerable to the government we elect.

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I agree. Two major parties, two lacking records on this issue and that includes the Clark/Cullen lot. Only in algebra does two negatives make a plus. Quite honestly come election time it is damn difficult to have the stomach to vote for either of them and that in itself is the greatest indictment about the state of our political leadership and prowess.

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So don't. Go and vote for a party that is REALLY going to shake things up like TOP. They don't have to get into power, they just have to win enough votes (say 10%) so that the 2 complacent incumbents get the s#%t shaken out of them and wake up to the fact they are both as hopeless as each other. Only then will we see real change. Not when we have a revolving door of blue team/red team who are actually just a single purple team. Maybe that revolving door is spinning so fast we can no longer tell the difference.

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Hear what you are saying but it is clear that NZ never had either the electorate size or maturity to make MMP work effectively. Hence the last election which was quite perverse in that MMP was used as a means to keep the Greens out of cabinet at least, and ended up producing a FFP result, more or less. In other words through MMP the electorate defeated the very purpose of MMP. Not very many smaller parties have survived have they. NZF finally gone. ACT only stayed about because of Epsom being gifted. And the Greens have the benefit of a high international profile, thinking alongside Greenpeace etc, that causes an entrenched percentage to vote for them willy nilly. So you come back to a rather obvious conclusion that many might make, be it right or be it wrong, your vote for a minor party ends up being a wasted vote and that’s why I say MMP has hardly produced what it was thought to.

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ACT only stayed about because of Epsom being gifted.

That may have been true regarding past elections. As Act exceeded the 5% threshold [7.6%], this isn't a valid argument going forward. Also David Seymour's Epson constituents seem pleased with him.

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Totally circular argument. Essentially: we shouldn't vote for small parties because we don't vote for small parties.

But maybe you are right and the electorate is simply too stupid to understand such circular reasoning is complete bulls#$t peddled by the larger parties to gain them more votes. If you think like this and use it as a reason to vote for one of the big parties (just to be on a "winning team"), then complain incessantly that "nothing changes" like almost everyone on this site, then you only have yourself to blame. At some point you will realise you keep shooting yourself in the foot for no apparent reason.

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This is where I am at too bobbles, I think we need to ban news polls though, it puts people off voting for minors because it looks like they wont get over the threshold, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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https://reinz.co.nz/reinz-hpi
Worth a look (Auck).
5th Labour Gov (Clark): Housing went from cheap/affordable to 'bit pricey.'
Nat Government: Rose to expensive, and possibly over priced
6th Labour Gov (Ardern): Moved from expensive to unaffordable.

Note subjective terms. First home buyers have been cooked by this Gov. Irreversible damage which any of the prior Govs could have addressed but Ardern let the graves be dug on her watch. John Key was the smiling assassin in the finance sector. Ardern is a gutless inept who uses social media and a fawning press to uphold her ineptitude.

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Last year to March house prices went up 30%, this fastest since record began. They have been in government since 2017 who's fault apart from Labour could it be? Is she not the leader of Labour??

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The independent RBNZ perhaps?

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Are you assuming they are independent from the Fed? That self-elected for bankers by banker outfit? I admit the RBNZ has not been competent, there early LVR drop, their early interest rate drop etc but they operate in a narrow band on the edges of the Fed.

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Well it is Labour's fault. Public housing waiting list is up almost 5x since they were elected in 2017. The other housing stats are just as bad.

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Nice marketing move. A reasonable budget to buy a few positive headlines.

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I thought about the government's initiative to tweak the immigration setup only allow the 'high' skilled people to migrate to NZ.

I wondered whether it was sustainable to have A grade immigrants being constantly managed (or annoyed to be precise) by B or C grade NZ brewed managers.

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I wonder how those A grade immigrants are faring under the CCP if they find themselves out of favour.

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That’s a pretty funny comment certainly made me laugh

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To answer your question, it isn't sustainable.

When A-grade migrants and locals leave for greener pastures after being annoyed by B or C-grade managers, they leave a skill gap behind that is filled with mediocre candidates who go on to become B or C-grade managers, and this goes on.

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Yes it is a complete mystery why our productivity is going nowhere...

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These days, for some reason, when I read about another billion dollar announcement from this government, I'm transported to the scene where Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies does his evil laugh when he ponders a one million dollar ransom.

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Another 'Bailout' for developers! And some councils too. So if I was a developer, how much would I get if I 'promised' to build 200 houses and then the development collapses later on?

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Yeah it really is but it seems even less useful than that. According to the article above the money can be used for "early-stage feasibility studies, design, consenting" I mean that can be time consuming and might be 5% or so of the cost of the development? What am I missing here?

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I hear little from Megan's mouth that suggests she has a robust delivery plan in place to address the housing crisis.
A lot of meaningless drivel.

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What good is a plan anyways? They were elected on their promise of delivery, not their ability to plan.

It would've helped to have a few members on the Labour election list who have real-world experience in delivering desired outcomes that don't involve union negotiations.

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Good delivery requires a good plan. Kiwibuild was a good example of an idea which was good on paper but not properly thought through.

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I am dim I admit, but I am not sure that we need $1,000,000,000.00 of "early-stage feasibility studies, design, consenting"? We are trying to put some pipes in the ground and build a few houses not go to Mars.

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Let's not forget the moral of the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlet. 'Cheating people' can have unexpected and dreadful consequences. The term “pied piper” has entered the language in the sense of someone who, by means of personal charm, entices people to follow him or her, usually to disappointment or misfortune.

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B is for Billion. B is is also for Batch, BMW and Boat. One = many

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"I got a billion dollars burning a hole in my pocket. I'm ready to wheel and deal!"

If the government want to lose a billion of taxpayers money I would recommend Vegas. It's way more fun that getting fleeced by developers and local councils.

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One billion divided by seventy eight councils....mmm

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What about servicing Mill Rd in South Auckland now that thousands of people have invested there?
Forget your crazed idea of cycle lane over the bridge. Get your act together Labour!!!

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Dave there is now one BILLION dollars (for some reason I need to channel Austin Powers here) to do some reports and some consulting so that's ummm good. Labour's act is laurel and hardy and I think they are nailing it.

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There is no strategic thinking in government.

The government should have simply given the funding to the Urban Development Authority and told it to get on with it. It has all the powers needed to amalgamate sites & fast track development.

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The govt this... the govt that....

Why are our companies not getting the business and taking orders?

Why is Flethcers share price not three times higher with an order book for twenty five years?

Ask yourselves that.

Go to the companies office and check the shareholders for fletcher building limited... the same shareholders as the banks...hsbc, jp Morgan,Citibank... hope we ain’t being taken for a ride sarc

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"As for the remaining $2.8 billion in the Housing Acceleration Fund, Woods’ office confirmed the plan is still for this to be used to “accelerate the development of vacant or underutilised Crown-owned land"

This will be able to occur quickly because Nick Smith has already identified all this vacant or under-utilised Crown-owned land, hasn't he.

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