Housing and Urban Development Authority: Auckland and Wellington Mayors want to be heard

The Mayors of New Zealand's two biggest cities have expressed the need for collaboration over a newly announced housing authority.

The Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will be set up by the Government with broad powers, including the ability to ignore existing council designations, amend or write its own by-laws, and grant its own resource consent.

It will also absorb KiwiBuild and Housing New Zealand, which will now only act as a landlord.

Conservation land, council parks, and scenic and historic reserves are also up for grabs when the Government is hunting for new land.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the authority will be critical to dealing with New Zealand's housing shortfall.

"This authority will be able to build much needed housing and infrastructure at the scale and pace to tackle the housing crisis," he said.

"This is creating a powerful government entity that has the ability to cut through all the tape and make development happen at pace and scale".

Instead of taking five years from concept to completion, the Housing Minister says it should only take one.

Despite councils having no veto powers, the Mayors of Auckland and Wellington believe it will need to be a collaborative process.

"It is important this is a collaborative process with council", said Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. "We need to be sure there are sufficient safeguards so that people and communities who are affected can have their voices properly heard".

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester agrees, saying, "There's political expediency at place here as well. If the community's completely opposed to a project, it's not going to go ahead".

National's housing spokesperson Judith Collins is not completely opposed to the new agency.

"It's an acknowledgment, and that's a good start, but it's certainly not the answer," she said.

But that's not what housing industry experts think.

"At the moment, you're dealing with multiple government agencies and you are getting different messages and answers so it's quite a challenge for people involved in delivering housing," said housing strategist Leonie Freeman.

"If they're delivering what they say, this could be a positive initiative".

A mega-sized crown agency, which the Government hopes will solve its mega-sized housing problem.