Bill English, the Finance Minister, has had enough of Auckland Council’s failed housing policies and has put the Council on notice that unless it opens up land the government will step in.
The Finance Minister has put Auckland Council on notice that the government will step in if it doesn't open up more land for development.
Mr English said removing limits was the kind of step that could be taken if it was necessary.
"The Auckland Council is on notice and the fact that Labour and National can agree on what in the past has been a pretty controversial proposition is a strong signal to Auckland Council that central government could step in if it needs to."
Mr English said the council needed to understand that what it decided about planning rules had a national impact.
He said so far it has made poor decisions, and he can't see how it can supply enough houses if it keeps within the current urban limits.
The announcements are being applauded by both the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance and the Taxpayers’ Union.
The ARA released the following media statement.
RATEPAYERS' ALLIANCE BACKS TWYFORD POLICY
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is joining its sister organisation, the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, in backing Phil Twyford’s call for the Government to abolish Auckland Council’s Rural Urban Boundary to alleviate Auckland’s housing affordability crisis. Spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says:
“This policy would stop Auckland Council from forcing upon communities intensification which the communities don’t want. Cutting the red tape means that Aucklanders, not bureaucrats, can weigh up the costs and decide whether to build up, or build out.”
“So long as the Council doesn’t sneakily use them as a cash cow, we are attracted to the idea of paying for service infrastructure by using long term bond financing paid back by targeted rates applying to the developments which benefit. That means existing ratepayers aren’t left with the bill and avoids the Council having an excuse not to build out.”
“From a ratepayer’s perspective, this is a very good policy. We hope the Government, or the current Council, will adopt it.”
Auckland Council's regulatory taxes are also at fault for driving up house prices says the Taxpayers' Union.
LABOUR POLICY WELCOMED
The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the call by Labour Party Housing spokesperson, Phil Twyford, for the Government to remove Auckland’s urban growth boundary to allow the city to expand. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:
“Regulatory taxes are the main reason for New Zealand’s high cost of housing. We absolutely welcome the Labour Party's call to reduce this regulatory burden and allow more housing supply.”
“There are other regulatory taxes caused by Auckland Council which prohibit affordable housing. The Taniwha Tax for example requires resource consent applicants to consult with up to 19 different mana whenua groups and even pay for reports on the ‘metaphysical’, or in other words, the make believe.”
“When it comes to housing there is plenty of room to cut regulatory taxes.”