First Crown land parcels for development identified

Press Release – New Zealand Government

29 May 2015
First Crown land parcels for development identified

Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today listed four sites comprising 30 hectares of land that are being considered for development under the new initiative to facilitate housing on Crown-owned land in Auckland.

“The most advanced site is at the corner of Moire and Granville Roads in Massey East, consisting of 10 parcels of land totalling 9.5 hectares. The Government has authorised my Ministry to purchase it from the Ministry of Education and to gazette it for housing purposes under the Housing Act 1955. The land had originally been set aside for a new high school but a better site was subsequently found at Hobsonville,” Dr Smith says.

“This site, with a capacity for about 200 homes, is within close proximity of the Royal Road on-ramp to the North Western Motorway, is located on major bus routes connecting to the CBD as well as amenities like parks, schools and a major shopping centre. It already has access to water and waste infrastructure – meaning housing development will be able to proceed more quickly. I hope to have a development agreement signed for this first parcel of land under our new initiative before the end of October, earthworks started over summer and the first homes completed in late 2016.

“I am also releasing the locations of three other sites with a potential for about 400 homes, involving NZTA-owned land, that are being considered for purchase and gazetting under the Housing Act. One of the sites is in Manukau and has potential for intensive housing close to the town centre and rail links. The second site is in Avondale and is zoned for terraced housing or apartments. The third site is at Brigham Creek Road, off the Upper Harbour Motorway. The next steps with these sites will be to assess their commercial viability relative to their zoning and infrastructure requirements.”

The Government announced the initiative to facilitate housing development on Crown-owned land in Budget 2015, with the establishment of a $52.2 million contingency fund. It is estimated that the Crown, through various agencies, owns approximately 500 hectares of land in Auckland with the potential for residential development. This equates to about 0.3 per cent of the over 150,000 hectares of total public land in Auckland. The fund will allow the Government to select vacant parcels of land from the relevant agency and make it available for development by a private sector partner through a competitive process.

“We are taking to Auckland the approach we have already applied with success in Christchurch, where we partnered with the private sector to deliver more than 400 homes on surplus public land at Awatea, and Welles and Colombo Streets. Part of the development agreement for these projects specified a proportion – ranging from 20 to 38 per cent – of the homes to be priced as starter homes. We would be looking to include a similar condition in agreements made under this new initiative, with the proportion to be determined through negotiations on a case-by-case basis. Our initiative is about boosting not just supply, but also ensuring more homes are built suitable for first home buyers,” Dr Smith says.

Today’s launch event provided information for developers interested in partnering with the Government under the initiative. It followed a media tour of housing developments already underway on Crown-owned land, including at McLennan, Waimahia (Weymouth), Tāmaki and Hobsonville – as well as new sites with the potential for development.

“Officials will continue to explore additional sites owned by the Crown that may be suitable for housing. We will be releasing further sites when investigations are concluded on their suitability,” Dr Smith says.

“This new initiative is not a silver bullet but a further step in our plan to improve housing supply and affordability in Auckland. It complements our measures like the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas, the record investment in building apprenticeships, the constraints on new section development contributions, the removal of tariffs on building materials, and the new HomeStart package. The next key steps are progressing the recently announced housing tax changes and the proposed Resource Management Act reforms.

“The rate of new house build in Auckland has doubled over the past three years and investment in residential construction reached an all-time high of $2.6 billion in the year to March 2015. This latest Government initiative is about ensuring we maintain this momentum.”


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