Hobsonville development sped up to boost supply

1000 Hobsonville dwellings will be fast-tracked to address Auckland’s housing supply shortage.

Monday, June 15th 2015, 12:00AM

by Miriam Bell

The Hobsonville Land Company has announced it plans to speed up its development plans to ensure that many more dwellings can hit the market over the next few years.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that, under the previous development schedule, the houses would not have been available until 2019.

“But they will now come on-stream from 2017 – providing an additional 1000 new homes more quickly to help address Auckland’s urgent housing need.”

The company also plans to deliver a higher proportion of affordably priced homes in the relevant precincts.

Smith said that, while 20% of all the homes built at Hobsonville Point are already sold at under $550,000, in these two precincts the proportion will be 30%.

To date, 716 homes and sections have been sold in the Hobsonville development, which has Special Housing Area status.

Hobsonville Land Company chief executive Chris Aiken said that around 550 new homes are either under construction or have been completed.

“In addition to the homes already completed or under construction, there are 1000 additional homes in the pipeline in precincts where development is already underway.”

The new fast-tracked initiative comes on top of this and brings the total of homes that are either complete, under construction or in the development pipeline to 2550.

Smith said the government is focused on increasing the supply of housing in Auckland.

“Hobsonville Point illustrates the type of scale and momentum the government wants to support, and the type of development that Auckland needs to address its housing supply and affordability challenge.”

Meanwhile, another of the government’s initiatives to boost housing supply in Auckland has run into problems.

The Crown land release programme, which was announced in the Budget, looks set to be challenged in the High Court by Auckland iwi.

Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui want to seek clarification of the law surrounding their “right of first refusal” when it comes to the programme, which will offer up surplus Crown land for private development.

The government does not believe it has to give iwi the “right of first refusal” in this particular situation. 

But Labour leader Andrew Little said the whole deal has been a fiasco from the start.

He said that, not only have iwi not been consulted, but the government doesn’t own one of the four land parcels being touted for sale which means it has no right to sell it to developers.

Aucklanders could miss out on thousands of houses they desperately need because the policy has been mismanaged, Little continued.

“If John Key really wants to address the housing crisis he needs to ban foreign speculators and undertake a mass government-backed building programme.”

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