National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer

Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. 

Auckland residential building consents have dropped for the second month in a row, and have fallen 18% since August.

 “In the first year of the Auckland Housing Accord only 7,366 dwellings have been consented, well short of the target of 9000. Nick Smith is now softening up the public by saying the year two and three targets (13,000 and 17,000) are ‘stretch targets’. 

“Nick Smith promised Aucklanders 39,000 houses over the three years of the Accord. He doesn’t have a hope in hell of achieving that. 

“The Minister claims his year one target of 9000 has been met if you count consented sections. That is a joke. Only six houses have been completed in the Special Housing Areas. It is very clear that the Accord’s empty sections and subdivisions are not turning into houses any time soon. 

“The wheels are falling off National’s attempt to fix the Auckland housing crisis.  Every time Nick Smith opens his mouth we hear fantasy projections of thousands of ghost houses. But as usual with Nick Smith, when the dust settles, he has nothing to show for it. 

“His wildly optimistic projections in the Construction Pipeline Report promise 30,000 new residential dwellings over the next 3 years. This in itself is well short of the city’s needs under the Auckland Plan to deal with population growth alone. 

“Nick Smith’s Auckland housing policy is going backwards, and no amount of spin and wild projections can hide it. 

“During the last peak in building consents Labour was building 12,000 houses a year in Auckland. That is the kind of growth Auckland needs. National is 5,000 short of that, and going backwards,” says Phil Twyford.