Auckland housing crisis a 'blessing' for Kawerau

  • 15/07/2016
(Kawerau District Council)
(Kawerau District Council)

Auckland's crippling house prices are proving to be a blessing for a small Bay of Plenty town.

Kawerau has approved its highest number of building consents in five years, and Labour's housing map found it had some of the country's cheapest prices.

"[There's] a real resurgence to the community and I believe that people are starting to catch on to this now. People are coming from Auckland and saying 'hey we can shift out of here, we can buy a house in a cheaper place'," Mayor Malcolm Campbell says.

The average listing rate of houses in Kawerau is $131,000.

Mr Campbell says towns like Kawerau and Opotiki are New Zealand's best kept secrets.

"People are coming here, they've got disposable income, and they're buying a more aged house. They're spending money doing them up and settling down here. So that's good news for us because the housing stock was starting to get pretty sad," he says.

The next step Mr Campbell says is for more work opportunities.

"Councillors in Auckland have even discussed that with local government. This could be one of the answers for places like Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga - whether we can get some of the industry to come to some of these places and set up and let's get people working."