Unitary plan praised for record building activity in Auckland

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is pleased with increased building activity the Unitary Plan is spurring, as the city saw a record number of dwellings completed last year.

On Tuesday, Mr Goff announced that 10637 dwellings received their Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC) in the 12 months to December 2018 - the highest ever level of home construction as measured by CCC.

Auckland also saw more building consents than ever before being issued and a new record for the proportion of new dwellings within existing urban areas.

Mr Goff said it showed the Unitary Plan, which was introduced in 2016 to remove regulation around density in urban areas, was "delivering on its goal of creating a more compact city and enabling higher levels of home building".

"By addressing these issues, we can start to make real progress on reducing housing shortages and increasing housing affordability," he said in a statement.

"Just five or six years ago maybe, we were completing 4000 houses a year. Now we are close to completing 13000 houses.

"That takes pressure off our housing shortage and of course it takes pressure off increased prices that the shortage of houses brings," he told Newshub.

Councillor Chris Darby, chair of the Council's Planning Committee, said there was a consistent demand for housing close to employment and transport.

More than a third of new dwellings were consented within 1500 metres of a rapid transport station, an increase of 8 percent to 38.4 percent.

"Aucklanders are demonstrating they want to live close to fast and frequent public transport options, to avoid the cost of the eternal motoring mortgage," he said.

"The Unitary Plan enables us to build communities, rather than homes in isolation - people want to be in areas where they are well connected by public transport to jobs, education, friends and amenity."

Reduced CCC timelines were also being praised by Councillor Linda Cooper, chair of the Council's Regulatory Committee.

"Of the 869 Code of Compliance Certificates issued in December 2018, 94 percent were issued to dwelling units that had building consents granted within the past two years," she said.