Labour promises 1000 homes in Queenstown, did they forget there are currently 10,000 empty sections there already?

Labour has promised 1000 ‘affordable’ homes in Queenstown, did they forget there are currently 10,000 empty homes there?

Labour is pledging to build 1000 affordable houses in Queenstown over the next decade as part of its KiwiBuild policy to build and on-sell 100,000 homes over the next 10 years.

The houses would cost up to $500,000, leader Andrew Little said.

“These will be good, modern starter homes, sold at cost to first home buyers. Three-bedroom homes in terraced housing will cost $500,000 with smaller houses costing less. That will put home ownership back in the reach of young couples and vital workers like police and teachers who are being priced out of Queenstown,” Little said in a statement.

Labour has previously said 50,000 of its planned 100,000 KiwiBuild homes would be in Auckland to address the shortage there.

Yeah, right. A house in Queenstown for $500,00…they need some advice from Darryl Kerrigan.

There is a slight problem with their claims however:

Despite immense pressure for new and affordable homes in Queenstown, thousands of properties are zoned for residential houses and apartments but sitting vacant.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council’s capacity model was last updated in March last year and shows 9500 empty, zoned sections in urban Queenstown. 

In fact, council planning practice manager Blair Devlin says he can’t recall the council ever turning down a substantial residential development

We can zone the land. It doesn’t mean it get’s developed.

He is unsure what the hold up is.

“At what point in the market does it have to reach that people develop it?  The zones are there, the demand is there and the prices are there.”

About 80 percent of the zoned area is in five ownerships. Jacks Point are being released slowly and neighbouring Henley Downs is under appeal, Shotover Country sections are being released actively and Queenstown Central (at Frankton Flats) has only just got its permits.

However, Remarkables Park with over 2200 sections and Kelvin Heights with 1032 are showing little movement.

Remarkables Park developer Alastair Porter says he is being hampered by a lack of infrastructure while Frank Mee, at Kelvin Heights, says he is struggling to find the right staff to help.

The problem isn’t the building of houses, the problem is the council. No amount of Labour party policy is going to move that any faster. In fact, it is highly likely to make matters worse.

The council in many areas, especially Auckland and Queenstown simply have not put in the necessary infrastructure to support new houses.

A far cheaper solution would be to bus in workers from afar like they do in Dubai.



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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.

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