Newshub Nation exclusive: Greens launch new housing policy which would allow developers to build higher

The Greens have unveiled a new housing policy that prioritises universal access and meets high standards of energy efficiency and health by allowing for an extra one-third of height.

Co-Leader of the Green Party James Shaw revealed the policy to Newshub Nation's Rebecca Wright on Saturday morning.

The policy will give developers "Development Bonuses" allowing them to build one-third higher than they otherwise would if they meet certain criteria. 

For example, if local zoning means a development can only be four storeys high, if it were to meet the development bonus criteria, it could now be six storeys. 

The developments must meet the following criteria to receive the bonus:

  • "Universal access and design – using a base standard of accessibility across the build."

  • "Homestar 7 standard or higher – meeting high standards of energy efficiency and health, together with other environmental considerations of the build including waste reduction, sustainable materials, resilience to climate change, and ecological outcomes."

Universal access and design buildings cater to all people of all abilities at any stage of life. 

This includes people who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids, people with impaired vision and people who are elderly or very young. 

The additional height will be available for all developers, meaning private companies will be able to make more units and the Kāinga Ora build programme will be able to deliver more housing.

Kāinga Ora currently tends to use three-story walk-ups, limiting the number of accessible units available in each development.

"The criteria will be reviewed regularly to ensure they continue to exceed minimum requirements under the building code and incentivise innovation, especially as the Building for Climate Change programme continues," The Green Party said. 

The Greens are expected to release the rest of their housing policy on Sunday. 

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