The PM and Housing Minister have invited media to Unitec in Auckland's Mt Albert on Sunday for a ‘significant announcement’

The PM and Housing Minister have invited media to Unitec in Auckland's Mt Albert on Sunday for a ‘significant announcement’

The Government will on Sunday morning make a “significant announcement” at Auckland’s Mt Albert Unitec campus but won’t say what it'll be about.

The speculation is that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, alongside Housing Minister Phil Twyford, will announce a significant new housing development on Unitec land. A spokeswoman for Twyford would not say what the announcement would be about.  

But speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Ardern – in response to a question about housing – said a new KiwiBuild announcement was “imminent.”

Later in question time, Twyford elaborated on the Government’s plans for the project.

“Our land for housing programme is working with third-party developers to develop vacant Crown land and private land that's been acquired for that purpose and we're building KiwiBuild homes on Housing New Zealand land that's been developed, and we've got large-scale urban development projects underway that will include thousands of KiwiBuild houses.”  

The Mt Albert Inc website reports that Ardern and Twyford are likely to announce a major housing development on Unitec land.

In mid-2014, Unitec put the 54-hectare former Carrington Psychiatric Hospital land up for development, and the land could be redeveloped for housing.

At the time, Unitec made a submission to the Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan to have the area rezoned for a mix of residential, commercial and recreation purposes.

Four years ago, Unitec chief executive Rick Ede told Stuff the intention to offer up the land under the Unitary Plan had been “out there for some time now.”

Ede said he had already spoken to some schools, residents and business associations about its ideas.

“There's no set number of houses that we're proposing and there's nothing out there that's saying ‘we think it's going to look like this and here's the master plan.’

“This is to try and create a sense of what we think a great place in Auckland could look like that has multiple wins for the community.”

As part of its KiwiBuild programme, the Government wants to build 100,000 new homes within the next 10 years – half of them in Auckland.

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wow, they are walking the talk.. unlike the national government that talked and


.. truth be told , the Gnats weren't talking the talk a whole lot ... as they didn't see a problem with house prices going to the moon and beyond .... most of them are multiple property owners ...

Nick " knuckle-head " Smith excepted ... he did talk a lot .... but really , were we bothered to listen to that lad ...


Nick " knuckle-head " Smith excepted ... he did talk a lot .... but really , were we bothered to listen to that lad ...

Extremely verbose when explaining issues and problems (and all the blood rushing to his head causing redness in the face). His biggest weakness was explaining problems away. That was John Key's art.

Oh, do you mean delivering yet another uncertainty? Cool :)

Bridges will have a hard time picking holes in this one.

This is what the private developers need - a big player to slasp it around a bit?

Reminded me with the new boy who takes mummy to his first day in school for support and to hide behind her should any of the proverbial start flying from the locals ...

I really wish PT well for the sake of the country.
we remain hopeful that there won't be too much rubbish left to clean when the party is over.


eco, fyi, PT is cleaning up the rubbish left by your mates of 9 years

Good news – it appears the party may well be over.

Whether there is too much rubbish left over at this point is probably subject to debate.

However, some keen and enthusiastic individuals are grabbing the brooms and getting on with it.

Thankfully Nick Smith now left in said broom cupboard for good.

To be fair this IS National's housing policy! i.e. Leave it to the other lot.

Both sides do it.

Yes they have left it to the other lot alright. Plus all that is to rise out of the swamp with the Canterbury EQC corrupt & punitive repair program. And along with that the big chummy crony corporate special needs to buttering up Fletchers, SolidEnergy, Fonterra (cheesy for that one) all unaccountable and money down the drain.Let’s hope Labour once and for all gets rid of the blasted gongs so at least there is just Sir John and no Sir Bill,Steve & Gerry!

Megan Woods is doing the right thing by Chch. National just didn't show the political will. Sad.

Sir Shane....? Even I shouldn't go there.

No but how about Sir Shame, as in, what a.

He didn't cover himself in glory over Air Nz. But very interesting that regions Mayor were there to back him. Shows that he's hit a nerve with the stoic regional rural kiwis who don't really complain about being ignored for most of the time. He was Red to start with after all. Local body political scene making inroads at the National level.....? Yes, and more and more over this year. Politics has shifted. He's emboldened them. Good Minister for Regions. Done good.

Agreed TD, actually I am all for his tackling ANZ. They are I think out of touch and arrogant, encouraged by the Corporate NZ policy of the last government at the expense of all of us. On a second reading my intended pun was not quite so clever. Shame on ANZ I meant it to be a verb.

E.Bird: You most of the time comes with some different perspective.
So just to understand you in any of future comments and learn from you,
1. Do you think if there is NO housing crisis ?
2. OR Do think there is a little bit crisis; but what the coalition govt doing is terrible ?

Like I said some time ago only a blitzkreig mentality can achieve was is required. Years of perceived blindness to Auckland housing issues has afforded the coalition some considerable capital. Unitec has been on the radar for a good length of time so I am picking that maximum effort has been put into this one as the flagship for KB initiative. Its predictably safe and shouldn’t be too difficult to deliver on, ongoing urban infrastructure issues notwithstanding. But coalition know they need to ramp this and multiple others now. Their ability to do this as envisaged will rely on significant accommodations in the PPP sphere so look forward to a not very transparent negotiations process with limited governmental oversight. One thing you can guarantee is that many a blind eye will be needed within the coalition as pragmatism and expediency will by necessity rule the day.


I’ve been around a bit and despite any political persuasion have always regarded the National Party machine as being reasonably astute.

Quite why they allowed and then turned something of a blind eye to the housing crises they almost appeared to encourage is beyond me – and you can argue about the electoral justice of it all you like – but this was not a vote winner – it was damaging - they are out.

Whether you like it or not, National will be back in one day – hopefully by then they will have learned something from the level of arrogance that Mr Key was allowed to bask in by his disciples.

Not a blind eye around.. this was all about the money. Remember that this is not a housing crisis so much as a population explosion.

Camel, very valid and obvious point which, from a purely market perspective, ticks all the right boxes but unfortunately on its own doesn’t appear to have quite built enough of them

I’ve been around a bit and despite any political persuasion have always regarded the National Party machine as being reasonably astute.

I think they were very astute or crooked; they wanted to make full use of credit-cycle - so they let it run unregulated . But they could not create enough apparent asset-wealthy vote bank to get another term.

hopefully by then they will have learned something from the level of arrogance that Mr Key was allowed to bask in by his disciples.

I think they are already - thats why changing the face of the party. Many MPs resigning .

Custard, I guess one can only surmise it was ultimately arrogance and I dare say a calculated and deterministic belief in the market to see us through. I say calculated as, like you say, political and fiscal astuteness tended to be synonymous with the bluer shades of the spectrum. But then I’m colourblind so my bad

Jacinda: "Phil is half way towards the 100,000 already! Aren't you Phil? Phil? Where's Phil?"

Apparatchik: "He's gone to live, I mean, for a long visit to Russia Prime Minister..."

Jacinda: "What? Why?"

Apparatchik: "He said he needs to do some research or something. Something about it being nigh on impossible!"

Jacinda: "Well when's he bloody coming back?"

Apparatchik: "We're not sure, no one can seem to reach him..."

Are you jobless

I'm an investor, so yes.

He'll be down at Unitec Sunday morning. This is just the start... Micky Savage id be proud of 'em. Little batlers!

It will be to announce that there is going to be a working group to discuss the working group for the affordable Kiwibuild tacky box’s that the ones that need them can’t afford.

Let’s just wait and see what crap they come up with.

May be they have listened to suggestions by wise-people in this forum, not to rush into making decisions on housing.. ;)

TM2...why don't you take your own advice and just wait and seem to be getting more agitated by the day....

Well, it will be Interesting to see what hallowed Plan, Consultation Process, Materials Duopoly, Inspectorative Madness, Council DC contributions, et al, the Gubmint intends to throw under the bus, in order to get this initiative started.....Stay tuned, bring popcorn.

I reckon Labour will announce that it’s canning its ill-conceived and ultra-embarrassing KiwiBuild disaster.

Then, if commonsense prevails, it will take a step back and spend some time thinking before rushing into anything else.


Why do you "reckon"? Labour have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving this a full nudge.

So let's wait for another recession and try it then?

I bet its not to announce that they are going to implement the promised reduction in immigration numbers to the 20-30000 range. That might actually make some difference.

“I would encourage people not to focus on the overall number. We’re not focusing on the number. We don’t have a target.” - Iain "Flip flop" Lee-Galloway

30,000 is still a lot - compare to other countries or to births but you are right, it is far easier to handle half a flood.

If the government fail to deliver on affordable housing it won't be for lack of fanfare. We might end up with more announcements than houses built at this rate. I realise this will be a pivotal issue next elections and they are scaling off a very low base because the previous governments approach was such a complete shambles but...time to get on with it.

As will inevitably be the case Labour’s job is to court what will be an increasingly uncertain industry in an increasingly uncertain climate. There is no time for vacillation hence why this is a closed shop. Their mandate rests upon their appetite for pragmatism and boldness the likes of which we have not seen in years. The electorate has a very short memory and a need for ongoing gratification so expect a very contrived but deliberate campaign of soundbite politics that will issue proclamations in the let’s do this style. Labour has done thus far exactly what I would have expected. It is politically saavy to keep your cards close to your chest and only play your hand when you know its a winner. Rather than leave themselves wide open to wider scrutiny of what is most likely a very hastily pieced together strategy better that they broker deals only headlining them when they know they have the upper hand. Much easier to establish and sustain momentum especially in the face of a popularly conceived crisis.

Time for change

I recall a couple of years ago they intended to develop high density housing on spare land there. So just maybe the Sunday unitec gathering is more than just a convenient venue. It's a good central location with plenty of amenity so it makes perfect sense to do something intensive and large scale with the land. In saying that, the surrounding streets Woodward and Carrington rds are already a nightmare to navigate during peak hour(s) so any new development should hopefully make roading improvements not allow greens to veto that with bike lanes and the rest

Please keep the conversation civil and try to make a useful point. Partisan smearing of others (authors, other commenters, public policy officials) is just not necessary. Note some very low quality comments have been removed above.

good on you david, easy to get carried away with some of the stupid comments posted

Please keep the conversation civil and try to make a useful point.

Well that is fair comment David,but when the topic of housing is discussed, emotions naturally rise to the surface providing fertile ground for trolls. Fact of life in the digital space. I think that the team is fair and I think that you want to ensure that the brand keeps a high standard,

"Smearing of public policy officials" is subjective and I know that there is a so-called "right leaning" segment of mainstream NZ that see this topic is also an opportunity. Throwing around words like "Taxinda" is possibly amusing the first time it's heard at the BBQ, but is tiring and dumb after a while. Nevertheless, criticizing public officials is something that we all do, however dumb or banal.

Am sure they will be announcing 1,700 new homes to be built on part of the Unitec site in conjunction with Likely to be a similar model to the Hobsonville development but affordable. Easy access to trains from Unitec but they need to make this an integrated project with Carrington Rd Woodward Rd and Richardson Rd widened to 4 lanes. Also need to include a new Primary School as Gladstone/Waterview/Pt Chevalier schools are at max capacity. Would also be great to see space provided for a new supermarket serving, Waterview, Pt Chevalier, Mt Albert as the Countdown at Pt Chevalier is inadequate. Will be a very interesting announcement - good to see some action. Twyford was always going to show up the inept Nick Smith.

Demand is the hare and supply is the tortoise and the economy has been based on domestically bound activities therefore real incomes haven't risen [?]. Labour wont fix anything. Economic policy has long ago stopped giving primacy to the well being of NZers but has become a moral space where "diversity" takes place (left and right are in coalition).

Just watched Twyford on Q+A and it seems to me that they are no further along in knowing what/how this is going to work than they were at the election. Waste of time when the answers to affordability are simple;

All Kiwibuild houses to have titles caveated such that all capital gains (i.e., those gains beyond the rate of inflation) are 100% taxable - forever. Solves all the problems regarding windfall gains and means these properties will remain affordable forever.

I believe that is the Dutch model.

I agree. Any home sold below market value should have the discount taxed 100% on resale. I watched the same program and my immediate thought was how do I get my children on the ballot for a free couple of hundred thousand dollar windfall?

'3000 to 4000 low cost homes to be built on Unitec land in central Auckland'....

The new initiative ? What about transport ?

Brilliant news :) Still, increased incentive based efforts to encourage Aucklanders out of cars, onto nearby public transport wouldn't go amiss. Nice central location!

Missed the Q&A program.
This initiative to build on the UNITEC land doesn’t seem to have been a Labour initiative as the land has been available for awhile from what I have read!

How much is the Crown paying for this land, has it been divulged?
Have they said how much these AFFORDABLE homes are going to be, how large they are and what type of homes are they?
OR is it just another announcement that has more air in it than a balloon?
I would say just another hollow statement that has next to no credibility!

Again, this is strategy folks. Speculation aside ulterior explanation will be, as it should be, staged and upcoming budgetary announcement will provide much of the platform on which that shall be presented which is hardly a surprise given the current source of Phil’s admonition. Better to create and manage your own opportunities than attempt to court the somewhat capricious vicissitudes of the media and the public interest to which it panders.