Auckland housing: Nick Smith’s lay of the land

  • 29/05/2015

The Government's unveiled its latest initiative to combat soaring house prices in Auckland - 600 properties earmarked for development on public land.

Housing Minister Nick Smith took reporters on a tour of the first blocks to be sold off to developers today, and he concedes substation sites and even land near cemeteries could be next.

It wasn't quite a party bus, but more of a housing bus on the hunt for land in Auckland. And Dr Smith has already found a couple of plots.

"When people are paying $800,000 for a home, when people are paying very high rents [it] is a crime - that's why we should get on, use these sites and build houses," says Dr Smith.

In last week's Budget, the Government announced up to 500 hectares of public land will be sold to developers. 

So far, four sites have been identified:

  • 60 homes wedged between roads in Manukau;
  • 60 homes in Avondale;
  • 200 on land in Massey;
  • 280 at a new development in Hobsonville.

Dr Smith's bus and walking tour has identified around 30 hectares of public land that can be opened up in Auckland for potential development, but to reach his goal he's still got to find another 470 hectares of spare land around the city.

To get there the Government isn't ruling out starting developments on public land around substations, cemeteries, reserves and school playing fields.

"I think if he wants to find the other 470, he's going to have to go and do tours of substations and cemeteries," says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

One of the sections today had another feature, with a train station right behind them.

Dr Smith says each piece of land will be required to have some affordable houses - that's $550,000 or under.

But he's yet to work out how many that will be.

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source: newshub archive