Our new Week That Was series will give you a round-up of all the achievements, announcements, and other political goings-ons around Parliament and across the country over the past week. We're proud of all we're doing to make New Zealand a great place to live - and we want to share it with you!
In this week's edition, we look back at a week jam-packed with housing and infrastructure announcements, including KiwiBuild, insulation grants, funding for local councils, and many other developments....
It’s been a massive week for housing, with huge strides forward for more affordable, quality homes across New Zealand. KiwiBuild registrations have kept rolling in – over 35,000 to date! This demonstrates what we’ve been saying all along – the need is great. Many Kiwis from all walks of life are finding it a struggle to get into their first home.
More information about the pre-qualification and ballot process will be available as our programme of housing developments progresses. Take a look here for answers to some frequently asked questions on KiwiBuild. You can register for updates and information here.
This week has also seen the launch of a nationwide insulation programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes. This is a major step towards making Kiwi homes warmer, drier, and healthier. Under the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, tens of thousands of New Zealand families will be supported with grants to help with the cost of insulation. This means healthier, happier Kiwis across the country, with lower rates of preventable diseases like rheumatic fever and asthma. For renters - we haven't forgotten you! - our Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, rolling out next July, will ensure your home is warm and dry too.
Also this week, we announced major funding for Tauranga City Council and Waikato District Council. We recognise that, in both areas, population is growing and housing demand is already high. That's why we have issued 10-year interest-free loans to both regions, allocated from the $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund, which will enable at least 28,000 new homes in high growth areas to be built over the next ten years.
In Tauranga, we’re supporting major infrastructure projects, including making sure drinking water and wastewater systems are better equipped to handle the high housing demand. This infrastructure will provide water and wastewater capacity for an additional 35,000 houses.
In Waikato, the funding will go towards the building of 2,790 homes in an area in desperate need of more housing. We’ll also see an expansion of water supply, and a new wastewater system.
Both of these loans from the Housing Infrastructure Fund serve as great examples of how central and local government can work together to address New Zealand’s housing crisis.
On Tuesday, we announced a major housing development in central Auckland.
We’re building 280 new purpose built apartments with on-site wrap-around health and support services. These will replace 87 units on the site built more than 60 years ago. The new development will help meet the growing demand for housing in Auckland’s city centre, which includes an estimated 500 people currently sleeping rough. Supported living is an internationally proven way to house and support chronically homeless people, or those who have a range of complex needs. These units are part of the 6,400 state homes the Government will build over the next four years.
We also announced that thousands of new homes are to be developed on state housing land in Mangere. 10,000 new homes for families from all walks of life will replace 2,700 worn-out state houses over a period of 10-15 years.
The first stage of the redevelopment is already underway. Thirty-five state houses are being demolished to be replaced by 66 more state houses and 100 other homes, at least half of which will be KiwiBuild. This development will give families a realistic shot at home ownership, creating community and providing stability for families.
The Mangere development will be situated close to the new rapid transport light rail line.
Lastly for housing, we were delighted to announce three new appointments to the Housing NZ Board, including Dr Huhana Hicke, the first state house tenant to serve on the board. As a tenant of Housing NZ, Dr Hicke will bring a valuable perspective and help us better understand the experiences of those in HNZ homes.
In non-housing related news, we revealed we are funding a Taranaki company to develop a plan for a hydrogen network that could eventually see much of the nation's heavy transport fleet running on zero emission hydrogen fuel. This is part of our plan to sustainably move away from oil and gas and towards cleaner energy, while maintaining a strong and productive economy for the region's business and workers.
Earlier in the week, we had a visit from former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark to discuss the issues facing women in politics and how to make Parliament more family-friendly. Clark was also joined on the panel by Labour MP Kiri Allan. With this year the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, it’s a great time to bring these issues to the forefront of discussion. You can watch the full video here.
We also announced funding for our public broadcasting. The new Innovation Fund is investing in driving more media content for those who have typically missed out – Maori and Pacific peoples, children, and people living in the regions. This investment comes out of wider funding for public media also split between Radio New Zealand and New Zealand on Air. We’re well on our way to a fully comprehensive public media which tells our stories, in our own voice.