Special Housing Areas a total failure

The Special Housing Areas are failing and yet nobody is asking why?

The Government’s Auckland Housing Accord aims to relieve the city’s desperate housing shortage with 39,000 new homes, but only 350 residences have so far been built in the plan’s Special Housing Areas, an official has revealed.

Of those, only 20 have been a direct result of the housing accord.

Labour is accusing developers and landbankers of sitting on their hands and watching the value of their land increase instead of working to ease the crisis. Auckland Council has warned it could take action if building does not take place quickly.

I happen to know that the reason is deliberate and the perpetrators aren’t developers and landbankers, it is the Auckland Council.

Council doesn’t want greenfield subdivisions – that’s the polar opposite to their fundamental core beliefs and desires for a compact city.  

When Nick Smith announced the Special Housing Areas – Auckland Council got right in and started ‘tranching’ land. This is to say that they were placing a legal categorisation on the land that would allow a land owner or a developer to then opt through the special housing office for a consent.

It’s easy to run around tranching land but it is also entirely meaningless. It’s like colouring in a plan of Auckland with crayons. The real issue is consents.

So why are there hardly any consents?

Council and now old Nick blame developers and land bankers saying they are sitting on their hands. But it’s not. The real blame lies with the Special Housing Office, Len Brown and his nasty top brass at Auckland Council who are deliberately thwarting the process to eventually allow the compact city model to remain.

The way they are doing this is through infrastructure. Last year Len announced the Council budget would slash the capital works budget to ‘keep rates down’.

In doing so they killed off any last remaining funding streams that would allow them to pay for infrastructure upgrades on main trunk pipes so that the new subdivisions that create new affordable houses can connect into them.

You see a developer cannot get a consent for their subdivisions and projects if the receiving infrastructure has not got the capacity to take it. Most of Auckland’s infrastructure is poked.

Blaming developers for land banking is total nonsense.

The issue is that Auckland Council are screwing the scrum. Wake up Nick!


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.