Wellington Mayor Andy Foster 'blindsided' by Labour and National's housing intensification plan

In a historic political ceasefire, Labour and National have agreed to work together to solve the housing crisis.

They've drafted a Bill together that would force councils to build more homes. It's dubbed the 'right to build', meaning homeowners can subdivide and build up to three homes, three storeys high as a default, without a consent fight.

The great intensification means Governments will come and go but this policy will stay. It could spell the end of the NIMBY (not in my backyard). 

It turns out Labour and National have been working together in secret for months. They're joining forces to tackle housing.

"It makes sense to work together where there is a consensus," Housing Minister Megan Woods said at a joint press conference on Tuesday at the Beehive, standing alongside National leader Judith Collins. 

"Our housing emergency is an absolute crisis," Collins said. 

The unlikely unity stunned some Kiwis Newshub spoke to. 

"I'm dumbfounded by it, I really am," one person said, while others had high expectations: "I hope they put their big kid pants on and work together."

Others were less optimistic.

"Both of these parties have been in Government before. I don't see how them working together is going to change anything."

But some found it inspiring. 

"That would be the perfect world - if they joined together and solved all of our problems, aye?"

Maybe one day, but one step at a time. Labour and National have started with attempting to cut housing red tape.

The law change will mean every section in every major city could have up to three houses, up to three stories high, meaning more townhouses and apartments.

It's expected to mean up to 105,500 new homes built in the next five to eight years, and developers will no longer have to fight their council, or their neighbours, for resource consents.

"I certainly hope so," Woods said, when asked if it's the end of NIMBYs. 

"Labour and National are standing together to say an emphatic, 'Yes, to housing in our backyards'," said National's housing spokesperson Nicola Willis. 

But no one told Wellington Mayor Andy Foster about the great backyard shake-up. 

"To be essentially blindsided by these announcements... that's not how we should be making decisions in this country," Foster told Newshub. 

Foster was set to release his city's new draft plan. Now a lot of it is headed for the shredder. They'll have to re-think roads, pipes and bus routes.

"How do we plan a city when changes come at you essentially from left field?" Foster said. 

Also coming from left field for homeowners, is that the market could take a tumble if first-home buyers hold off for the new townhouses and apartments.

"We'd start to see house prices start to shift down immediately but the bulk of the impact's really going to come through in the medium range, so in the next five to 10 years," says Sense Partners economist Dr Kirdan Lees. 

"That's where we're going to see the majority of the impact."

And for those wondering if the bipartisan housing alliance will have an impact on the Opposition holding the Government to account?

"I'd like to see anyone try and muzzle Nicola," Collins quipped.