Capital Support for Housing Affordability Action

10 May 2013

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has welcomed aspects of the proposed Auckland Housing Accord, announced today by Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown, saying the emphasis on housing affordability and smoothing the pathway for first home buyers is extremely encouraging.

Mayor Wade-Brown spoke with Dr Smith this morning and discussed working together on housing issues in Wellington.

"Wellington's issues are different to Auckland and there is a significant opportunity for Council to work closely with central government, the public, landowners and developers for urban renewal.

"I’m delighted that affordable housing is explicitly mentioned in the Accord -- this is a major step forward in terms of city planning -- and that a focus on brownfield development is included, as this can create urban regeneration within existing city limits," she said.

Mayor Wade-Brown is part of a group of metropolitan Mayors from around New Zealand that has met with Ministers on housing issues. The Mayor said New Zealand cities all faced different housing issues.

"Auckland has the most acute problem, Wellington already has a proactive urban development approach, which strategically plans for the Capital’s growth," said the Mayor.

"One of Wellington's greatest strengths is our compact form. Greenfield residentially-zoned land is available in our northern suburbs.

"Further greenfield development beyond the city's urban limits would put unnecessary pressure on infrastructure. Roads, pipes and cables aren’t cheap, and the cost for families living in localities not well-serviced with shops and schools would be high.

"The next step is for the Council to work closely and collaboratively with all organisations, public and private, to make sure Wellington remains a place where talent can afford to live," said Mayor Wade-Brown. "The Capital must be able to provide good quality and affordable housing for rentals and first home buyers."