Auckland housing in spotlight

New Zealand Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith has signed an agreement with Auckland iwi Marutūāhu Rōpū and Ockham Residential Limited for a 100-home development in New North Road, Mt Albert.

The land was originally part of Auckland’s Waterview roading development, but last year was earmarked for development through the Crown Land Housing Programme, where the Government is using its ownership to help facilitate an increase in the supply and affordability of housing.

Dr Smith says the average price of a house in the development is expected to be $573,000.

“The key to more affordable housing close to Auckland city is greater density and smart design,” Dr Smith says. “The Special Housing Area status granted earlier this year enables 100 homes on the site, rather than 24 under the old planning rules.”

The homes in this development will be constructed in stages. It is anticipated construction will begin in July 2017, with the first dwellings due to be completed by May 2018. The balance will be completed over 2018 and 2019.

Dr Smith says the Government has multiple reforms under way with Special Housing Areas, the new Unitary Plan, the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, the Resource Management Amendment Bill, KiwiSaver HomeStart and the Housing Infrastructure Fund, as well as this Crown Land Housing Programme.


NZ changes numbers allowed for residence

New Zealand Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced changes to the Government’s New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) for the next two years.

The changes include:

  • changing the planning range for residence approvals for the next two years to 85,000 – 95,000 (down from 90,000 – 100,000)
  • raising the number of points required for residence from 140 to 160 points under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)
  • reducing the number of places for the capped family categories to 2,000 per year (down from 5,500)

Changes to the Family Category, including temporarily closing the Parent Category to new applications, are expected to reduce the total number of migrants being granted residence.

The Minister said raising the points will prioritise access for higher-skilled SMC migrants, ensuring NZ strikes the right balance between attracting skilled workers that allow companies to grow and managing demand in a period of strong growth.