Housing Intensification Policy Tier 1 Councils

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Bipartisan Housing Intensification Thoughts

Refer to Turley & Co LinkedIn Post.

Highest and best use drives private real estate market and developer decisions centered on: practically feasible, legally permissible and market demand.

Permitted higher residential density would be huge.  Bayleys Real Estate points out constrained by insufficient infrastructure, though buyer demand may underpin the necessary investment.

We should increasingly build up and intensify over sprawling out.  The success kicker will be robust urban design standards that ensure community-centric places including trees preservation and other urban liveability measures.

Legally permitted and largely untethered intensification would be a seriously blunt instrument that could cause poor housing outcomes and community disasters.  Private property rights and wealth reallocation at a neighbourhood level could be another consequence.

The two main political parties support the housing intensification bill that they would entrust to the private developer market.  In government, they both substantially contributed to the mess that is the NZ housing market today, including almost two decades of high net migration alongside woefully insufficient corresponding housing and health strategies, policy and planning gaps, and underinvestment.

The Greens supported the bill but want adjustments.  ACT opposed the bill saying it will create urban “chaos”. The NZ Planning Institute CE David Curtis says, “We need to do it, but we need to ensure we do it well.” https://lnkd.in/grG5Qt5x

NZ doing urban intensification design very well will be essential for the housing benefits to outweigh long-term community costs.  Otherwise we could be left mopping up a major mess long after current MPs have retired.

Napier-Hastings are not currently included in the intensification bill’s Tier 1 council areas but they probably should be.

In early 2021 front-footed Hastings District Council published a residential intensification design guide.

Refer to a Bayleys’ take next.


Bayleys | 2 Nov 21 | New intensification policy explained



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