sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Nick Smith announces deals done for developments on three Government-owned land sites in Auckland to build 740 homes; sites in Manukau, Mt Albert and Waterview; homes to be built within 18 mths

Nick Smith announces deals done for developments on three Government-owned land sites in Auckland to build 740 homes; sites in Manukau, Mt Albert and Waterview; homes to be built within 18 mths
Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith talking to reporters on NZTA land at Manukau on May 29. Photo by Bernard Hickey for Hive News.

By Bernard Hickey

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith has announced negotiations have been completed on three parcels of Crown land in Auckland that gives the go-ahead to build 740 houses within 18 months to two years.

The deals are the next step in the Government's NZ$52.2 million announcement in Budget 2015 from May 21 last year to put aside capital to develop Crown-owned land for housing. However, the deals fall short of fall development agreements, which are not expected until later this year.

“The successful conclusions of negotiations on purchasing these three sites, with a capacity for 740 homes, is a significant step forward for the programme,” Smith said.

“These three sites, along with the Moire Road development announced last year, have a combined capacity for about 940 homes. Nearly all of the $52.2 million allocated to the programme in Budget 2015 has now been expended to buy these four sites, with the cost of the individual sites being commercially sensitive," he said.

The Government had said last year it had about 500 hectares of land with the potential for residential development.

The sites included:

A 1.85ha in Manukau Station Road site intended for 600 apartments, which the Government signed a deal with the Auckland Council for on Friday. Smith said a development agreement for the site would be signed later this year.

A 0.47ha site on New North Road in Mount Albert suitable for 60 townhouse apartments made up of nine parcels of land with mixed ownership by New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and a private landowner. It is subject to a protocol with the Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau Limited Partnership and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment  (MBIE) intended to invite the partnership to submit a development proposal in the next few week with the an aim to have an initial development agreement signed by August.

A 0.91ha site in Waterview suitable for 80 new homes which was previously administered by NZTA and leased to a boarding hostel. The agreement with NZTA for this Great North Road site has just settled. MBIE is in discussions with the boarding house over transitional arrangements for existing residents. This site is subject to the development protocol with the Limited Partnership and the intention is to invite them to submit a development proposal in June, with the aim of having an initial development agreement in place for the site by September.

“I expect the timeframe for delivering these homes to be similar to the successful programme in Christchurch involving three sites and 420 homes – about 18 months for the first homes to come on stream," he said.

"Multi-storey apartment buildings are more complex and likely to take two years to complete. The development agreements on each site will set out requirements for the pace of development, the provision of social housing and target house price points."

Smith said three of the four sites required Special Housing Area status to enable more homes to be built and at a greater pace.

"We are systematically tackling issues covering land supply, skills shortages, infrastructure provisions, financing for first-home buyers, taxation of investors, building material costs and emergency housing needs. We are achieving success, having lifted the house build rate in Auckland from 10 per working day to now over 40 per day, but we will need to continue to accelerate that pace to the 50-60 per day required to meet demand,” he said.

Dunne wants National Housing conference

UnitedFuture MP and Government supporter Peter Dunne has called for a National Housing Conference.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is calling for a National Housing Conference to develop real solutions to the country's housing problems.

He said a lasting solution would only come when central and local government, the home building industry, the banks (including the Reserve Bank), and the social housing sector worked together.

"Treating this as a political football will only take us so far. The conference would need to look at the ways we can increase supply of residential land, what the capacity of the building industry is, how we can most effectively utilise that capacity, in what ways the baking sector can develop viable financing packages, and what the role of central and local government needs to be," he said.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


740 more homes in 2 years time - I doubt that will make much of a dent. Nick smith may as well take up a carpentry course and help build them himself!
I think we need more of a fundamental change, not just some tinkering here and there to build the odd house...

Can't believe the govt has just spent $52 million to sell off a couple blocks of land! 740 homes will do nothing and that makes it 70K per home.

Never before has a government spent so much to achieve so little. What happened to the 500ha providing for "thousands" of homes that we were supposed to get from this spend?

From above sounds like they spent $52M buying these sites. So your figure of $70K per unit is what they paid per unit for land. This is more than a private developer would pay for unit sites in higher value areas, which is what's expected as the government always spends a huge amount more developing buildings than private developer do for the same building.

Is that $70k per site developed or un-developed?

No, these sites are already government land. Sounds like $52M is how much the government has spent selling the land to private developers. Or is this how much the government has spent buying the land from other government departments for on sale? Very unclear exactly what the fund has been spent on. But very clear that the government already owned the land.

We should use investors money to start building. We can rebuild entrire country as long as investors are happy to bring money here. Why 740? Why not 5 million houses?

I like your attitude.
Could the immigrants be asked to build not one house but two.
One to live in and one to rent.
That should be enough generosity to fix the housing problem.

The immigrants could indeed be asked to build two houses - one for themselves, and one that would go into the state house pool.

If they're going to be collecting all the benefits of our infrastructure, as well as superannuation, they could 'pay their way' in advance - and the government gets to restock its state houses where they need them for free.

Should work out relatively cost neutral - 20 years of a couple earning super (about $590 per week), $31k per year, so $620k.

Pretty sure a townhouse can be build for that. So if they live more than 20 years in retirement they come off better - if not, NZ inc does.

Thanks for the calculation Paul,
I could not have done it.
But Alexil deserves credit, every now and then among the babble someone says somthing insightful.
And his insight was generous

The sad thing that we can not do anything. May be we can say that we all will stop working until goverment do something. So no bus and all shops are closed. Investors with JK may drive buses and etc. If the bus driver can not afford to live in auckland so J Key must do it with so called investors.

Why not use investors money to build some productive, export orientated manufacturing companies.
Ohh I forgot. Too hard. Ok then, lets just build more houses, fill them with immigrants. That's bound to work out well.

This is a site that tries to understand housing investments and build one and own one is a good fit.
So you want their money in unspecified exort schemes
Can you be more specific?

I thought this was a financial site. Specific enough for you?

I think you are bluffing...or you are an immigration agent...maybe real estate

Well on the top of every page, it does say "Helping you make financial decisions", right under the main title.
Sort of took my cue from that.
Does that help?

But the topic of this blog is land and most of the discussion is around being a landlord and getting rich quick.
They think the two are linked

Peter Dunn, you make some good points here, hopefully the party does get together to work as a team. The blame game has run it's course for far too long now and it's time everyone gets on board for a viable solution to the supply!

More sections for building standalone houses? 740 houses.. wow!!

Just bring the canes, the cheap labour and build some good apartment buildings. In 1 or 2 years Auckland could have not hundred of houses but thousands of new apartments which, as I understood, they are very much needed. As if speculators cared about supply. The more houses the more rich people!

Haven't you learned anything?? In Spain (42 million population) in the best times of our property development between 2002-2007 we were building up to 800.000 houses and apartments PER YEAR. Yep, more than Germany and England together.
And we had the same common bubble ingredient: CHEAP UNLIMITED CREDIT

Is this a bubble or what? 740 houses in two years.. meh.. aficionados.

Of course after the bubble burst we know what happened.. This became the national tapa:
and now the consumption of cement is at levels of 1980's. But hey.. at least if we thought we needed more houses we BUILT them.

I wonder what will we be eating in NZ when our bubble burst..
What does the negative equity taste like?

We will have cheap houses and investors get money from overseas. So its other banks headache.

I wish that was true. I'm afraid the money does not come from overseas. Maybe the money that triggered the bubble some years ago, but not the new money pumping it right now.

I think it has to do more with local banks being extremely generous.

Almost all banks here are australian. Only kiwi bank is local.

The marketing department at Heartland Bank are bitterly disappointed that you said that alexil.

even worse.. They are overexposed. But at least in Australia deposits are guaranteed

With negative equity people feel stuck with an underwater mortgage. Very common in the US right now. People are already stuck if they want to sell and get a more expensive house as they can't get enough equity together.

This would progress faster if somebody locked Nick Smith in a room with some lego. Let him kid himself he's building something, and keep him out of the way of the grown-ups.

the manukau one is right next to the motorway, guess if TV is slow you can sit on the balcony and watch the cars go zoom zoom

Amazing. Problem solved.

Not enough....

Read elsewhere that affordable in this case meant $600,000. Affordable? Laughable

is this how it works the government buys the land off government departments (cheap) then sells to developers (most likely fletchers) cheap. then the government departments pay a dividend to the government or receive extra funding to the tune of the amount of the land.
so who is the winner here, this is a nice windfall for developers,
cant wait to see the spin on this turkey, of course the sheeple will not see the smoke and mirrors, but will cheer on clapping wildly

Dreams of new homes fade as developments dawdle -

Dare I say it Nicky boy - we have been here before.
Fiddling/AKL burns, Deck chairs/Titanic, Tits/Bull, Nicky Smith/Housing Minister.

740 more houses for investors to snap up. Yes its a supply and demand issue and unfortunately a lot of this demand is from investors which no amount of supply will satisfy.
Angora goats, 80's share market, Ostriches and now poorly made, cold houses in average suburbs selling for $1M. Its a classic human cognitive bias called the bandwagon effect.

This is fantastic news. Gosh that might even provide housing for three weeks worth of their suicidal immigration program. Chumps.

My logic:
More demand means less supply (since house supply is relatively inelastic)
Less demand means more supply.
Nicks logic:
More supply means less demand
Less supply means more demand.
Who wins? Plz vote.

Why o why are the building densities so low? 9000m2 site in central Auckland by Mt Albert PakNSave they are going to build 80 homes on. Build a low-rise appartment block like 'The Ockham' and you could have almost 300 spacious homes.

Remembering of course that Land bankers are the main beneficiary of our dysfunction under supply and THAT Central Govt. are the largest land bankers.

So what do you think that Govt. have sold the 1.8ha for? Notice they haven’t told us. I’ll have a guess and say $12,000,000 ish.

So for all the talk of wanting to supply truly affordable housing the old fashion way ie competitive supply allowing lower input development costs, allowing housing to be supplied at 3x ish medium price to income ratio, purchaser saves deposit on one household income and buys house without any subsidy from developer or Govt, what do we get?

Govt. sells land at highly inflated bubble price, stipulates that developer subsidizes ‘affordable’ housing which means that he has to charge more to the remaining purchasers.

Finally, the Govt. uses some of its super profit, minus of course the bureaucratic costs of managing all this, to subsidize rents in said development.

Everyone’s a winner – except for all the rest that do not qualify for any Govt. assistance and purchased at highly inflated prices through savings by their own honest effort, and carrying a mortgage that is twice as much as it should be.

Is it any wonder that those that can, rort the system for all its worth when all they are doing is following Nick Smiths lead?

7x24(hours)=168 168x365(days)=61,320 So 7 people per hour arrive in NZ so we need at least two houses built and ready every hour, 48 per day, 17,520 per year... how we doing? Can we also get a sprinkling of infrastructure and a touch of social services with that, Thanks Nick.

oooh almost forgot... can you throw in a bag of schools and hospitals as well thanks...

Hopefully they restrict the unaffordable 600k houses to first home buyers only. Ban the investors

I know that in the new developments in Hobsonville they restricted buyers who obtained one by ballot to those that would live in the house for at least the first two years. Not very long I guess and I imagine somewhat hard to enforce.

Some interesting statistics from Stuff's Business section today:


The top 10% of households have increased their property holdings. The housing statistics don't show who owns the rental properties that the lower groups are increasingly using. I suspect the top 10%!

Well off households likely have two high incomes coming in and no mortgage on the house. These leaves a lot of money that needs to be invested and rental housing has obviously been seen as a good choice even if it needs to be fed every month. Many will see it as just like paying a mortgage on your own house, topping up the rental/s.
Not much study has been put into the dynamics of this section of households. It probably would have been better for society for this group to invest in something else with these piles of surplus cash but rentals were just too compelling and other things perceived as too risky.

There is exponential growth of population in Auckland, It basically means exponential growth of profit. There is no other business that can give such profit. Also interest is very low, and % for deposit in banks.

see picture

Look. Its quite clear the Nat's are out of ideas and are resisting doing the right thing and are so gutless that they're ready to blame every other organisation for their failures, time for them to go. Their in a Third-Term-Itis Loop!
Spread out along the main routes to Franklin,Hamilton, Helesnville, Whangarei. Connect them with the roading infrastructure build & Rail network rejuvenation, creating jobs and housing along the way. With the NZ Superfund ($29b) and the ACC account with $38b. Borrow from those funds as well as deposits sitting in banks ($130b) giving them a return of 3%- 4%. Done!

connect with high speed rail and the outer areas will grow