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The new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development brings together functions previously undertaken by MBIE, MSD and Treasury

The new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development brings together functions previously undertaken by MBIE, MSD and Treasury
Photo: Archives NZ

The newest government department opened its doors for business today.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has taken over housing-related functions previous handled by several different government departments and consolidated them into a single entity.

These include taking over KiwiBuild, the Community Housing Regulatory Authority, administration of the Homestart and Welcome Home Loan schemes and the housing policy work previously undertaken by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

It will also take over the monitoring of Housing NZ and the Tamaki Redevelopment Company, which was previously undertaken by Treasury, and the Public housing purchasing and policy roles previously performed by the Ministry of Social Development.

However MSD will still be the first point of contact for people who are homeless or need urgent housing assistance.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said housing and urban development were too important and complex to remain split across several government agencies.

"We need one single, strong organisation to lead across agencies and across the housing and urban development system," he said.

"It will develop strong capabilities in urban development and will drive urban development strategies to create the spaces, services and infrastructure that thriving communities need."

However, the new department still doesn't have a permanent head.

Land Information NZ chief executive Andrew Crisp has been appointed acting chief executive of the new ministry while the search for a permanent chief executive is under way.

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We are about to see more of our money Dick Turpin'd .

By a whole army of newly minted bureaucrats that will will be needed to fill the new ministry , a Ministry , to be frank, that is not needed ............ just another place to squander our 'arderned money on eye-watering salaries and fancy staff vehicles .

People in these other ministries currently working on Kiwibuild etc will move to this new ministry and the only additional head count will be the new Chief Executive thereby gaining efficiency while keeping costs low.

Back to reality, as this is a Labour govt, nobody will move and this agency will hire a whole bunch of new staff.

High time for another Ministry!

Sounds like a pretty rational approach to actually achieving something in solving an obvious crisis.

I'd agree - the disparate nature of having all those related tasks spread across the various agencies made no sense whatsoever. This Act, for example;

was administered by MBIE. Why is anyone's guess.

Now all they need to do is somehow integrate urban transport planning.

We definitely need a single, focused coordinating agency.

People who own their own house have got a stake in society. If this works why wouldn't the Government help people into home ownership. May help solve a shed load of societal breakdown this country is plagued with.

Among places with lower rates of home ownership than NZ:
Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, South Korea, Hong Kong.

All extremely stable, with no signs of societal breakdown. Kind of buggers your theory doesn't it?

I'd take Germany off that list, they're starting to creak under the weight of immigration and the adverse effect on communities.
Japan doesn't have much immigration, never has, in fact some of the lowest rates on the planet, same applies for Switzerland (apart from transient international banksters) and South Korea is still pretty low as an destination for foreign nationals... not sure about Austria so will look into.

Austria has very strict immigration requirements: every year a specific list of skilled occupations is published for non-EU migrants to qualify for work visas. Subsequently, migrants have to live in the country for at least 5-7 years and adhere to stringent local language and cultural assimilation requirements for citizenship.

Small and highly specialised workforce is the way to go in this wealthy Central European nation. If cultural unilateralism works so well, why change it. Something the Swedes and Germans should’ve considered.

Germany is a great example of government participation in housing supply. So much supply that many Germans were fine renting for the long term, rather than requiring ownership in order to have stability.

Good example to support government participation.

Not forgetting, of course, that much of the current generations' housing wealth came off the back of NZ's government participation in fostering the supply of affordable housing.

Seems like countries where housing has been more effectively managed have better outcomes. I seem to recall you citing Singapore as a well-managed place before, too. The government there certainly plays a major role in housing for Singaporeans.

Alternatively, yes, emulating Japan's freedoms to build (actual libertarian values) would make intensification in Auckland much easier than the current NIMBY-constrained situation.

Why Germany’s rent brake has failed

It's not all that great in Germany. With stagnating wages for the less skilled and older workers combined with rising rents the future look grim for many. Especially when they retire and are still paying rent as their pensions are barely enough to cover the rent alone.

Germany is a great example of a great country buggering itself through well meaning but ultimately destructive immigration policy.

Indeed...much like NZ...the housing situation for the hoi polloi starts to deteriorate when the government takes its eye off the ball.

Also in Japan, a house is treated as a depreciating asset, so no real incentive to buy one.

Japan’s population growth – at a glance possibly not too much demand side pressure on the housing front with those numbers.

1985 121,048,923 +3.4%
1990 123,611,167 +2.1%
1995 125,570,246 +1.6%
2000 126,925,843 +1.1%
2005 127,767,994 +0.7%
2010 128,057,352 +0.2%
2015 127,094,745 −0.8%

In free markets, the recent price action of an asset influences buyer expectations of future price and confidence to buy.

In Japan, when property prices were rising in the late 1980's there was fear of missing out and people were buying.

The subsequent property price falls impacted buyer expectations and probably affected the psychology of potential buyers and a number of potential buyers have stayed away from buying.

Same impact of the 1929 stock market bubble in the US - a whole generation of people stayed out of the stock market due to their personal experience.

Yes – totally agree with what you say in terms of market psychology – herd mentality and all.

However in this case I would think that the realities of market forces, basic supply and demand, would also be at play once the herd had cooled their hooves.

Subsidising people into houses runs foul of Reynolds' Law:

The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

Free tertiary: check.
KB: check.

Yep. We are in the iron grip of Marker-Subsidisation, up the wazoo, on our dime.


Notwithstanding the fact that government efforts are a massive part of why NZ once had such a high rate of home ownership and why houses used to be far more affordable.

We do need to actually consider NZ's history, not ignore it and cite ideological sources that resemble something previous generations have not had to experience themselves.

Just what we need, more civil servants/beneficiaries.

I've got so much more time for the out of work blue collar guy getting 250 a week than these state appointed parasites.

As long as no new civil servants are added to the mix then this probably a good idea. I think we do need a ministry focused on urban issues. However, unless those are based in Auckland it will only be a theoretical exercise.

I actually think it is outrageous ...we need more skills like Members of Par-liar-ment so I will advocate we double-double down and up and remove the Social-list element from Society and put them all up in the Beehive.

Multilevel Bunk Beds should turn the House into the Homes of Parliament, which the Early Labour Prime Ministers used to espouse, but not on their bleedin Premise(s)..

That way we can see where all the Idle rich are in one fell swoop.

This leaves the Middle Class to get on with the Work and Income, to enable taxes to go through the roof to pay for the increased wages of those above and below the average income level, determined by where they all sleep on the job, whilst back Home in the Beehive.

It would remove not Working for Families, but add a second level of restraint from breeding more imbeciles, which we do not want as Single Minded Bunk Beds, would solve all issues, left from before.

I could explain this need for more restraint, but then I would have to share a Bunk Bed with you all, so we could Yak all night and achieve little or nothing worth bringing up. By the way talk is cheap, it is the Accommodating ones who are the problem.

Not us poor Taxpayers.

I rest my more people, asleep on the job....we have way,way more than enough overpaid dreamers already..

And it ain't even Friday....just taking the Mickey...(With just a hint of Truth).

It will develop strong capabilities in urban development and will drive urban development strategies to create the spaces, services and infrastructure that thriving communities need.

However, the new department still doesn't have a permanent head.

Ummm, is it just me, or do those two sentences contradict each other? If there's no CEO, there's no driver of strategy. And if the Vision (oh, dreadful word...) is to 'develop ...capabilities to drive urban development', where does that leave the entire floors' worth of AC 'plannerz', and does it not imply that them there 'capabilities' are not yet in evidence?

Perhaps we should stir up the Revivification Elixir, exhume Capability Brown, and let 'im loose....

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
Adrian Rogers, 1931

Right, housing problem fixed then!

In theory this is a good idea. However the proof of the pudding will be in its execution, the calibre of staff and leadership.

.sounds like a good idea. Next step is to take the planning and consenting activities away from Auckland council and other LTA's and make it a nation wide exercise.We are a tiny nation
So many levels of beauracracy not needed.

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Days to the General Election: 39
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.