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Auckland Housing Accord announced

Back in March and just before the council released the Unitary Plan, Nick Smith hit headlines by saying that he was going to smash Aucklands Metropolitan Urban Limit in a bid to make housing more affordable but it appeared he was primarily focused on enabling the city to sprawl faster. Over the ensuring weeks a lot of claims and counter claims flying between the council and the government over the best solution. The government seemed to just want the current urban limits removed and for the development process to start.  The council suggested that the fastest way for that to happen was actually through implementing the Unitary Plan sooner as that is intended to open up new land and that elements within it would result in better overall developments.

Eventually both parties decided to take the arguing behind closed doors to try and work things out. Today both parties have announced that they have come to an agreement over the issue in the form of the Auckland Housing Accord. Here is the governments take on it.

An Auckland Housing Accord has been agreed today by Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown to urgently increase the supply and affordability of housing in Auckland.

“This Accord will help deliver thousands of new homes for Auckland by streamlining the planning and consenting process and getting Government and Council working more closely together on housing development,” Dr Smith said.

“This balanced and pragmatic agreement addresses the economic risks to New Zealand’s economy of an over-heated and supply constrained Auckland housing market. It is good news for Auckland families wanting access to more affordable houses to buy and rent.”

The legislation, to be introduced to Parliament as part of Budget 2013, will enable Special Housing Areas to be created by the Auckland Council with approval of Government. In these areas it will be possible to override restrictions on housing put in place by Auckland’s eight predecessor Councils, like the Metropolitan Urban Limit.

Qualifying developments in these Special Housing Areas will be able to be streamlined, providing they are consistent with Auckland’s Unitary Plan, once it is notified, expected in September this year. New greenfield developments of more than 50 dwellings will be able to be approved in six months as compared to the current average of three years and brownfield developments in three months as compared to the current average of one year. The streamlined process will not be available for high rise developments that will need to be considered under existing rules until the Unitary Plan has been finalised in 2016.

“This is a three year agreement to address these housing supply issues in the interim until Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan becomes fully operative and the Government’s Resource Management Act reforms for planning processes take effect.

“The Government respects in this Accord that it is for Auckland to decide where and how it wishes to grow. The Government is giving new powers for council to get some pace around new housing development and is agreeing on aspirational targets to ensure Auckland’s housing supply and affordability issues are addressed.

“The Accord sets a target of 9,000 additional residential houses being consented for in Year 1, 13,000 in Year 2, and 17,000 in Year 3. This is a huge boost on the average 3,600 homes that have been consented each year over the past four years and the 7,400 a year over the past 20 years.

“The Accord is a sensible solution to the problem of ensuring a robust process for submissions and hearings on Auckland’s 30 year Unitary Plan, while ensuring progress is made now on Auckland’s housing supply and affordability issues. It is about getting on and building the least contentious 39,000 houses of the 400,000 identified in the draft Unitary Plan.

“This agreement will also enable the Government and Council to make progress on other housing issues. There is a commitment to an inquiry into building material and construction costs, a better coordination on delivering core infrastructure to support new housing and a feasibility study on the development of New Zealand’s first online building consent process in Auckland. There are also significant developments at Tāmaki, Hobsonville, Papakura and Weymouth and across Housing New Zealand’s Auckland housing stock to improve the quality and quantity of Auckland homes.

“This Accord is the product of six weeks of intense discussions with Auckland Mayor Len Brown, his deputy Penny Hulse, and many council and government officials. I wish to publicly thank them for their willingness to engage and to help find this constructive way forward.”

The Auckland Housing Accord is subject to agreement by the Auckland Council and legislation being passed by Parliament. The Accord and legislation will expire when the new Auckland Unitary Plan becomes fully operative, expected in 2016.

At first glance it seems like a fairly decent comprise solution however as always, the devil is in the detail.  The way I read things, the council will nominate a series of greenfield and brownfield special housing areas in which the less controversial elements of the unitary plan will take effect straight away. That means that for the rest of Auckland, the unitary plan won’t come into effect until it has been through the Board of Inquiry process set out by Amy Adams earlier this year (or late last year). Allowing the council to decide on the areas that will be subject to this seems like a good idea.

The area of the announcement that most caught my attention was the comments that the streamlined processes will not apply to high rise developments, after all, just what is deemed high rise? The factsheet provided goes someway to answering that.

Housing Accord 1

Overall the accord seems like a decent compromise between the government and council, it will however be interesting to see what areas get selected as special housing zones. Here is the accord itself, the factsheet and the Q&As that go with it.

Also here is Len Browns take on it with the most interesting part being that he suggests that in return for faster consenting in these special housing areas, including affordable housing components in them will likely be a council requirement.

61 comments to Auckland Housing Accord announced

  • Sacha

    Interesting. I read ‘no high rises’ as single storey. Given the kerfuffle so far over the Unitary Plan, what are the chances of people being OK with 6-storey developments?

    And where is the leverage for Council to do more than wish for any affordable housing commitment from developers?

    • Sailor Boy

      I really hope it is 6 or fewer, it is an absolute joke to call 6 high rise.

    • That’s what I thought too and why I went looking for some definition to high rise. Interestingly though anything over 3 stories can be appealed while anything approved 3 or less can’t be. The leverage comes from Lens post (last link in the post) but also the factsheet states that the council can include requirements for proportions of developments to be affordable housing.

  • JohnP

    It will be very interesting to see how this pans out. And this does actually create opportunities for intensification as well, or brings them forward I should say.

    I don’t want to be a pessimist, but I’ve got five bucks which says they don’t manage to get an additional 9,000 homes consented in Year 1, assuming that commences in September. Anyone want to take me up on this?

    • JohnP

      Ah no, they’re cheating, those figures are actually totals not additionals. So 9,000 homes total in Year 1. And for greenfields, they’re counting subdivision consents which come a little earlier than building consents.

  • How will this lead to more affordable housing exactly if we aren’t talking about apartments? Word on the street is that the Government is seeking to have developer contributions reduced, but this means that the high infrastructure setup costs will be borne by ratepayers.

    I see this as a total win for the Government’s position. They have indeed smashed the MUL. Makes a mockery of the Unitary Plan and the need for consultation process that the Government was insisting on. They’ve short circuited the whole thing.

    • I don’t agree that this is a total win for the government, I actually think it is a win for the council. The unitary plan was removing the MUL anyway, the council gets to chose which areas are the special housing zones, the zones are subject to the rules in the unitary plan except for anything areas above 6 stories (which was only applicable in a couple of centers anyway) and for the zones the council gets to have the unitary plan in effect as soon as notified which is what they wanted. I actually think it is a sign that the council is really starting to flex its political power.

      The potential cutting of development contributions is a concerning though and we will have to wait to see how that pans out.

      • The Unitary plan is supposed to control Urban sprawl and ensure that the City grows in the correct direction ie close to existing infrastructure. The accord will encourage Urban sprawl, it is a huge victory to the Government as they have completely undermined the Unitary plan.

        • How has it undermined the unitary plan, the council was proposing opening up greenfield land anyway. If the government was undermining the unitary plan they would be the ones proposing where the development would be happening and making that development not subject to the rules in the unitary plan.

          • It undermines the proposed Rural Urban Boundary which is the designation of the new Greenfields areas. Essentially Government and Council have allowed developers three years to dictate where Greenfield development will occur. An example is the Karaka North and Karaka West proposals which are on the outer edges of the proposed RUB and some distance away from existing infrastructure. These developments will now be considered as part of the housing accord.

          • This is a disaster for Auckland and a win for a few speculators backed by the government. Further sprawl to places like Karaka has nothing to do with affordability; new dwellings there are about 800k. And to service these areas will cost the city a fortune. A disaster, but hey, a win for anti-planning. Best not think about he future in any kind of rational way….

            http://www.realestate.co.nz/residential/section/auckland/franklin/karaka

          • Reverse that last comment the Special Housing Areas must be within the proposed RUB.

          • Yes Toa, as I was suggesting this actually gives the council a lot of control around the process.

          • OK, I guess we’ll have to wait and see, where, when, and what gets built through this process

          • The proposed RUB’s have multiple options – not all of which are aligned to current Auckland Council proposals. They seem to be a legacy from previous District Councils growth strategies.

            Eg. In Franklin, the proposed consultation on five options have shown strong support for allowing greenfield development to occur only when located near opportunities for public transport, and infrastructure. Franklin Local Board submitted an inclusion of another of the options for development – which was not reflected in the public consultation.

            The accord creates, from my point of view, another 39,000 sections (not necessarily houses) that allow development to shorttrack the process to ensure that they get subdivision approval in areas that are only proposed – and as such – may be unlikely to be included in the Unitary Plan as they are not aligned with current planning objectives.

          • I believe the Karaka North and Karaka West developers would be pleased with the Housing Accord announcement. With three weeks left to go on the UP, the timing of the Housing Accord announcement may have now skewed the RUB to include the Karaka North and Karaka West proposals. These two proposals are far away from the transport corridors in the Auckland plan, far away from existing infrastructure and proposes the Karaka-Weymouth arterial. So this is what I would consider developer led Urban sprawl.

        • Quoting you Toa: “It undermines the proposed Rural Urban Boundary which is the designation of the new Greenfields areas. Essentially Government and Council have allowed developers three years to dictate where Greenfield development will occur. An example is the Karaka North and Karaka West proposals which are on the outer edges of the proposed RUB and some distance away from existing infrastructure. These developments will now be considered as part of the housing accord.”

          You weren’t picking up on the comment I made on Friday as soon as the Housing Accord got released in regards to Karaka North and West were you?

          Quoting now from what I wrote: “Special Housing Areas – within the Rural Urban Boundary. This means for example the Karaka Collective could ask for a Special Housing Area in Karaka North and Karaka West, present their plans (which I have some copies of), Council would say it is a qualifying development as it predominately residential and has capacity of over 50 dwellings/vacant resident sites in a Greenfield area, and so long as Mixed Housing and a Local or Town Centre was built within the new site there is nothing stopping Karaka North and West being developed as an SHA!
          If this SHA example were to occur then the trigger point for the Karaka-Weymouth Bridge would be certainly reached (as mentioned by Council) and has then the maximum possibility of needing to be built!”

          No wonder why Southern Auckland and the respective Local Board went howling on Friday once the accord was released. And Toa you are right in you comment that I have quoted and as I have said as well; Karaka North and West are now on the blocks if the Mayor gets it wrong or is coerced by Central Government to open that area up by the Karaka Collective.

          In saying that Toa, communication and lobbying has already begun to the Governing Body to make sure whatever Greenfield land is opened in the Southern RUB (which I hope not while we still consider the three options) does not kick off the trigger.

          To everyone else that reads this blog; does Southern Auckland, people like myself and Toa, and the respective Local Boards down here have concerns for the Accord and Special Housing Areas – damn straight we do with Government meddling in the Southern RUB process that is still under consideration by residents and businesses

          • I agree. I think there are some big questions now to be asked about the timing of this announcement as it is all to convenient to the Karaka West and Karaka East proposals. The truth will eventually surface.

          • Time to rock up to that Karaka Meeting on Monday to here what the Collective have to say for themselves

            I note Google already has the bridge and highway in (well did) so do they know something we dont ;)

          • Got involved in a thread down below but reposting here. If you are going to the meeting – you may want to pick up a hard copy of “Addendum to the Draft Auckland Unitary Plan” if you haven’t already. It summarises the public consultation that took place end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 in reference to the RUB. For some reason the pdf online is not the same. I picked my copy up at a Unitary Plan workshop.

            Consultation preferred options for the Southern RUB are:
            Option 1 – Core 39%
            Option 2 – Core +rail focus 33%
            Option 3 – Core + Karaka North 10%
            Option 4 – Core + Whangapouri 4%
            Option 5 – Core + NE Pukekohe 14 %.

            Karaka seems to be a particularly effective lobbying group.

            A recent project is the Karaka Sports Park, which despite being in a rural area not connected to any PT systems or residential density areas claims as it’s catchment area the whole of Franklin – (ie. funding net is wider).

            It taps both Franklin and Papakura for funds, and as an indication of it’s holistic approach to recreation included in it’s Annual Plan submission for 2011 the following:

            “Funding options:

            - transfer unspent funds from the Waiuku Sports Park Project of $500,000 from 2010/2011. The funds will not be spent in 2010/2011. The sub total is $2,075,000.

            - transfer $725,000 budgeted for the Waiuku Sports Park Project for 2011/2012 ($650K is budgeted) and 2012/2013 ($1,250,000 is budgeted). The total is $2,800,000.
            The Waiuku Sports Park will be left with $1,175,000.”

            It’s an interesting project to keep an eye on.

            Will be (pleasantly) surprised if Auckland Council managed to withstand pressure to include the Karaka RUB options in the SHA areas allowed in the accord.

  • Tamaki

    Wow, no consultation, no right to appeal. I’m not opposed to density but this Clyde Dam all over again.

  • “I’m not opposed to density but this Clyde Dam all over again”.

    Do you mean that during the construction huge cracks will appear in the project, and in fixing these the thing will cost almost twice what was anticipated?

  • This is the beginning of Urban sprawl as Greenfields cost less to develop than Brownfields. The main issue will be the provision of infrastructure to these areas. More motorways will need to be built if development is skewed away from transport corridors.

  • And there is also my very favourite part about urban sprawl! The Council will provide public transport, and because its so damn far from everywhere it will be inefficient. Because of this other rate payers will have to subsidise it to an alarming degree and that will cause our rates to rise.

    I do find it interesting that Bill English’s brother from Federated Farmers is strongly opposed to urban sprawl. Correctly he sees that the dimunition of agricultural land could ultimately place real stress on the external deficit. Agriculture, the high dollar and reduced fuel costs largely due to the United States economic woes have kept the deficit in check. The latter two issues could well be about to change with a significant negative impact on our economy.

  • Sailor Boy

    How is this such a bad thing?

    The sprawl is controlled by the council, and would happen anyway under the UP and will hopefully be around the transport network as was planned. We get fast tracked apartments in return. How is this bad? I get that it isn’t perfect, but how is it bad?

  • Ben S

    An epic fail for AKL. More sprawl, more cars, more roads, more disenfranchised non-communities where people will live lives of quiet desperation. There’s so much scope in this city for high density housing and the kids know not to expect dirt – they get that apartments are starter homes. There’s zero reason break the MUL.

    • Frank E

      I personally don’t mind suburbs though different horses for different courses. I really don’t understand why the MUL is needed. Everyone keeps saying that people want to live in apartments. If that’s the case than developers will build them.

      Ben, it smells like what you want to do is control how everyone else lives. That’s unnecessary & shameful.

  • Howick Hills

    Auckland and local democracy is stuffed. Why now bother having a council when even the local decisions are made by central government? They wonder why people leave this country.

    • Tamaki

      Not even central government, in tamaki we have our own private company (owned by govt and council) to do the developments. All behind closed doors, can’t be OIAd, no accountability to residents, never had a public meeting to explain themselves as they are too worried about the rowdy locals.

  • Cam

    While I hate the fact that the government is trying to run Auckland directly from the Beehive. I don’t see this as that bad. The greenfield land they are talking about here was going to be developed anyway under the UP and this sped up consenting process will help accerate a number of brownfield developments. As far as I can see there is no change to the long term 70-30/40% ratio that’s proposed in the UP resulting from this. Plus if the council is designating the areas for greenfield development and these areas have already been earmarked for residential development there can be some planning around transport infrastructure.

    I get that it’s not great that National have their greasy mitts all over Auckland and I agree that probably this is not going to do much for housing affordability anyway, However thinking long term although the council are being made to jump through hoopsand it is ridiculous being made to wait three years if they can get the unitary plan enacted in the next few years the Auckland envisioned in the plan will still happen.

    Personally I think Len Brown is doing a pretty good job here under very difficult circumstances.

  • JohnP

    This isn’t a total loss for the Council, not by any means. Remember, the Council initially wanted the AUP to come into effect on notification in September. The government wasn’t happy with that. But they’re now jointly agreeing to have some growth-related provisions come in earlier. The Council and government can agree on a few Special Housing Areas, and the development process is made a bit easier for those areas.

    Obvious places inside the city would include New Lynn, Tamaki etc. In terms of greenfields, the areas could include the ones currently inside the MUL – Flat Bush, Silverdale, Hobsonville – or outside the MUL. But given that there’s capacity for 40,000 homes in the existing greenfields areas, I can’t see why there would be a need to open up too many areas outside the MUL.

  • JeffT

    Watching the tv footage of the announcement last night. Len was putting on a brave face, Penny Hulse did not look happy and Brian Kay was looking daggers at Nick Smith! I think the council has had a tough week with the bully- gang in the beehive.

  • Greg N

    It will be interesting to see over the next 3 years what happens when this ship the “SS Auckland/Wellington Land Accord” runs onto the rocks of the “Practical realities of building lots of houses quickly” reef just lurking underwater – while the country is taking a shortcut through the shallows. And how much time and effort will be spent trying to meet a Governments artificial deadline.

    Building 29,000 houses over 3 years will take a marathon effort of unprecented building scale to achieve.
    And right where we trying to do a similar thing (of similar scale) in Christchurch because of the Earthquakes?

    Talk about stressing the building supply chain to breaking – can’t see how the “local” developers or building supply companies can manage to pull this off anytime soon.

    So whats going to happen? I think about 6,000 houses in to the build – maybe sooner – about 12-15 months from the time this comes into effect later this year, the whole thing will grind to a halt due to building trade shortages, building product shortages and council during -and- post-construction consent sign off delays. The Developers will push on with the top-end developments as they make the most money from the least spend that way, leaving the rest of the houses (and the house buyers) in limbo.

    So these numbers won’t be achieved. Or if they are the quality of the houses and developments will be less than what is expected.

    In any case as Shearer (and others) said on the News, this actually doesn’t do anything for low income people.
    So obviously Labour (and the Greens I expect) don’t like it that much.

    So what happens when the Govt changes – business as usual, or the rules are changed to something else?

    • Swan

      Even with Christchurch, I doubt the proposal will take us above the peak of residential construction last decade so I don’t think it is unprecedented. But it will be a good time to be a builder.

      • Greg N

        Hmm don’t agree with you “thats its a no brainer, been done before”.
        Maybe it has been done before, but its was not done well or to the stadnnrds required now.
        We don’t need more of the shoddy built or looking crap put up in the 00′s either.

        Christchurch is already saying their resources are stretched to build the 10-15K houses needed by them over the next 3 years.

        And Auckland needs to basically build that 3 years worth of Christchurch houses **each year** for the next 3 years to meet the targets set.
        Its not just builders required, its all trades, plus the suppliers and their staff to supply the building products and so on.
        And then you need need council staff to inspect and sign off on the building work and the final consents.

        And all those staff are in short supply now (both Auckland and Christchurch)
        - many of these went to Oz, some may return, many won’t
        And that leaves a shortfall of experienced people, not easily filled in 3 years no matter how much the Government wishes to wave its hand over the cracks.

        • But also new greenfields land needs masterplanning and especially services to be 1. funded and 2. installed. This cannot be done anywhere nearly as quickly nor for less money than brownfields, that are, by definition, already served by physical and social services. If speed and affordability are really the aim, as opposed to satisfying ideology and vested interests, then multiple dwellings in brownfields sites must obviously be the priority.

          • Frank E

            Patrick, While in practice, brownfields should be quicker. All the apartment developments seem to take forever. For example The Isaac which is a small development, though it’s taken about 2 years so far.

            Also greenfields has a lot more scale. You’d need a bunch of apartment complexes to equal one suburban development.

          • Steve D

            Well, Long Bay has taken 15 years and counting, including more than 2 years of construction, and it hasn’t finished one unit yet. So things aren’t looking that flash for sprawl, either.

            The big factors determining how fast developments get done are 1. how fast the units sell, and 2. how helpful or unhelpful the council is. Neither of those are inherent to greenfield or brownfield development

        • Greg N

          Two Recent articles in the Christchurch Press (from the Stuff website) to make the scope of Christchurch rebuild stresses on the supply chain apparent:

          1. Cost of materials going up and being out of step with the rest of the world (http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/8626896/Cost-of-materials-bites-rebuild-hard) – something Nick Smith talked about today on “The Nation” – given we’re 30% higher than Australia for common building products like Batts & Gib,

          2. The amount of rebuild work in Christchuch, as seen from the perspective of 3 local Christchurch firms in the thick of it (http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/8660409/Players-at-the-helm-of-a-boom).

          Comment from the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce CEO in that article:

          “It is hard to overstate the opportunity for Christchurch firms, says Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend.

          About $40 billion is going to be spent during the recovery and this will drive local business for the next decade or more.

          “We’re going to have six to 10 years of full-on activity to rebuild our housing stock – the 10,000 to 15,000 houses completely destroyed. And then we are going to have 20 years rebuilding our central city.

          “What we are seeing now is the construction industry just starting to take over from the deconstruction industry.

          “We are going to be spending a lot of money in our community, most of that insurance money, and when that money starts flowing through our economy, watch out. It’s going to be a ride.”

          Townsend’s concern is more about whether Christchurch businesses have truly got their heads around the scale of it all.

          “If you look at the fact that our regional economy is growing at 7.5 per cent now, compared with Auckland at 2.4 per cent, and we haven’t really started, how are our local companies even going to cope with the massive volume of work coming down the line?”"

          This all means that Christchurch (read South Island) companies will be at full stretch for some time to come with the rebuild there, Soaking up many of the resources that would normally be available to be used for the Auckland “rebuild”.

          So will Christchurch be forced to take a back seat to Aucklands “rebuild”? And is that the best outcome for the country if so?

    • Swan

      The idea that if we don’t specifically build “affordable housing” we don’t help low income people is a red herring. All additional supply will help the bottom of the market. There are plenty of middle income people who are living in fairly small “starter houses” in Auckland. If supply is injected at higher level, everyone can move up.

      • Greg N

        Perhaps, but the politicians likely to be in the next Government, don’t think/see it like you do.

        Which means when they do get in, they will want to meddle, change the rules.
        And so perception becomes reality.

        So whether you think that the building more houses no matter the price is good for all house buyers or not is really irrelevant here.
        It whats the politicians think that counts currently.

    • JeffT

      Trying to build that level of supply in both Christchurch and Auckland will substantially increase the price of resources used in housing construction in a small market like nz, increasing the costs of construction and increasing the price of new housing to say nothing of rates increases to pay for all the new infrastructure needed for the new brown and greenfield developments.
      The rates increases will not be because of building up but outwards. An irony because those complaining about upwards expansion will not enjoy the rate increase caused by their favoured development course: outward.

  • Andrew R

    All just designed to undermine Labour’s housing policy ….?

    Using National’s favoured autocratic style.

  • Rharris

    I don’t think it’s all bad either. I think national are starting to realise everything can’t be sprawl. I think the council and government are working together as they need to. Central government still having a large role to play in what and how things get built. I don’t see the point in painting this as a battle. I’m more concerned about Auckland than petty political games.

  • I am struggling to see what the Council got out of this. Where is the announcement that the government has signed up to the CRL for example? I think Len got rolled. More and more I am thinking that Len is your ultimate consensus politician agreeing with whomever talks to him last.

  • Steve

    If AC are smart they will have as many of these areas along rail corridor/major bus routes as possible to help grow patronage further and further enhance the case for the CRL. Good to see some action, as others have noted though the devil is in the detail, interesting to note that the targets are more ambitious that the Labour Kiwibuild plan that was laughed at as impossible by the government..

  • BBC

    Predominantly residential? So the idea of mixed zoning is somehow unwanted by this government?

  • ” I get that it isn’t perfect, but how is it bad?” Bad, because national government is interfering with a democratically elected local government without the excuse of regional emergency.

    “…would happen anyway under the UP…” – not true. Not all proposed areas in the RUB will be included in the Unitary Plan, some because they are not aligned with the transport network. Their inclusion in no doubt a legacy from growth strategies of the previous District Councils.

    “fast tracked apartments in return”. You don’t get the apartments, you get an increase in development rights and land value for those who manage to utilise this accord.

    Affordability both in build and in living costs has not been addressed.

    Many of these sections are likely to be in areas that do not end up being in the Unitary Plan.

    Interference of National government in this process is particularly galling because they are able to provide practical solutions within their own legislation and are refusing to do so: CGT, residential property ownership limited to NZ citizens and residents, state housing, creation and/or support of social housing legislation and funding etc.

    • Sailor Boy

      You clearly haven’t got enough information on this to have a discussion with.

      • You may be right…. but it would help if you would highlight what assertions you have issues with – given the relatively short comment it should be fairly straightforward.

        I know I am correct on the RUB – not all proposed areas will be included in the Unitary Plan. Current consultation is around which options will be chosen. Therefore, it is possible some of the greenfields development that may happen under this Accord, may not only be fasttracked but could be development that would not occur with the final Unitary plan in place.

        I also know from reading the accord – “7. The parties also acknowledge that improving the affordability of housing is a complex issue and requires consideration of wider issues, not all of which will be able to be addressed under this accord.” that affordability is not a primary driver of this accord – it seems fast-tracked release of land outside of the MUL is, even though this is being comprehensively consulted on and addressed in the Unitary Plan.

        One particular sentence that stands out is “17. While the housing accord is in place, the Government commits to not using any proposed or existing powers under this accord or the RMA to override the Council’s planning and consenting processes in respect of housing.” – to me this is an indication of the pressure being put on Auckland Council to comply.

        “25. …. This accord is about providing conditions for the private investment in housing and will require both the Council and Government to work closely with the development sector….”

        Also included in the Unitary Plan is a proposal for “shared uplift value” which means that any rezoning of land within the Unitary Plan that results in an increased land value will have some of that value transferred to the community on which it impacts. Current discussions around how that value is to be transferred are included in the Unitary Plan. There is no mention of any of these “shared uplift value” proposals being applied to development under this Accord, despite the fasttracking.

        (I regularly access this blog for information on Transport, and do not usually comment, – but have been keeping a close eye on the Unitary Plan, and am more than happy to improve my knowledge if it is incorrect. )

        • Sailor Boy

          Pretty much all your pointds to be honest.

          Lets go with the not everything insid the RUB is in the UP. This is a non-issue. The council dictates where the special housing zones are they just need to be sensible.

          Why do we not get apartments? You have missed a few logical steps in your explanation and Ic an’t follow it as a result.

          Affordibility is being addressed by increasing supply? Most homes sell at way over cost atm, the cost is not the issue.

          Very strongly agree with the last point in the original post.

          I don’t really se the lack of a shared uplift as a problem. It basically says build this now, sace some money as far as I can see(a good carrot). I think we do need something like that in the future though.

          Also, thanks for your positive engagement, and apologies for being dismissive, I am just accustomed o a lot of negative engagement.

  • No worries…perhaps should have been on the thread above, @Toa Greening.

    A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting a picked up a hard copy – “Addendum to the draft Auckland Unitary Plan” which deals specifically with the RUB and summarises the results of the consultation that has taken place over the last few months.

    As mentioned on the thread above, Karaka North is way down the list of preferred options at 10% – and perhaps it is at double digits only because it includes the Core.

    Option 1 – Core 39%
    Option 2 – Core +rail focus 33%
    Option 3 – Core + Karaka North 10%
    Option 4 – Core + Whangapouri 4%
    Option 5 – Core + NE Pukekohe 14 %.

    I know that the council will be involved in identifying SHAs within the RUB – however – I can see no specific wording in the Accord which will give them authority to refuse applications within the proposed RUB areas, despite there already being clear indicators that the public are not in favour of some of these areas being developed at all.

    I agree with those on the above thread, it seems that it allows for development in areas that do not fit in with the vision of the Unitary Plan.

    I also agree with the last point in the original post, but the accord does not specify how this is to be achieved, and the debacle at Hobsonville Point shows how necessary it is to do so before any development takes place.

    By the way, thanks for the dialogue.

  • Molly thank you for sharing your close study of the documents. The precise wording is vital, there is more than enough at stake here for the big players, especially with overt or implied encouragement of the government to reach for their lawyers if they don’t get the support from the Council that they’d like.

    Swan; ‘trickle down’ huh? Yeah right.

    Sailor; you quite often leave brief and dismissive comments which are not clear enough about what your issue is, it would be great for the debate if you were able to find the time to flesh out your views a little more… Pithy can be good, (see above to Swan) but not if the point remains obscure. Not that we want you to take your eyes fully off the seas ahead…..

    • Sailor Boy

      Hehe, “Seas ahead”.

      Yeah, sorry, just too accustomed to posting against NIMBYs on facebook haha. Fleshed it out a wee bit more. I need to read through the accord a wee bit more precisely as I have only skimmed bits of oit, will get back to you tomorrow Molly,

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