I have this sneaky sense that we are up for some quite muscular land development by the New Zealand state.
HLC (previously Hobsonville Land Company) have put out a tender that redevelops simply massive areas of Auckland. And this is not your greenfields unimpeded realm of Hobsonville transforming a flat grass runway into a new town with public transport and schools and farmers markets and ecologically designed streets and parks.
No sirree. This set of initaitives takes most of whole existing suburbs, such as Northcote (1,200 homes), Mount Roskill (9,500 homes), Mangere (10,000 homes), and Oranga (1,200 homes). Done in just over a decade. Like getting a row of bulldozers together and going: we’re going to build New Plymouth, Whangarei, Blenheim, and Wanaka, done before your baby gets to Intermediate School. Start.
HLC are looking for long term commercial partners that will work with them on:
This is going to be a very long term partnership whoever takes it on. They will also need master planners, architects, builders, and all manner of government agencies to help. And experts who can move tenants to new places while all this is going on. They will need anyone left who can hold a hammer.
Now, it’s not like this wasn’t public. It’s been well signalled for a long time.
But this is going to hit a lot of people who have been in state houses for quite a while.
The Mangere one, for example, is going to need to integrate with the light rail project coming down SH20. That will take some impressive design and operational cooperation between HNZ and NZTA, which hasn’t been tried in living memory.
Phil Twyford said signing off on the business case for the Mangere redevelopment was one of the first things he did as Minister.
Now consultation with affected families has been undertaken, we can lay out the plans publicly. Over a period of 10-15 years, 2,700 worn-out state houses will be replaced by 10,000 new homes. This will comprise approximately 3,000 new state houses, 3,500 new KiwiBuild and affordable homes, and 3,500 market homes. This is 3,000 more homes than the initial plan put to me when the Government came to office.
Stage 1a of the redevelopment is 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 and affordable. Building of the first new state houses will start in the next few months and are due to be finished mid-2019. The first KiwiBuild and affordable homes will be complete towards the end of 2019 and early 2020.
I am determined that the local community benefits from this re-development and are not priced out of the new homes. HLC are working to keep the prices of KiwiBuild homes as low as possible. Prices and exact numbers will be finalised as building contracts are agreed. Long-term rent and shared equity options are also under development.”
IMHO Minister Twyford is the most effective Minister this government has. He came into office with a plan for both housing and transport, rolled those plans out from day one, and it’s already showing. It’s his agencies in housing and transport that are struggling to keep up with him. As challenges go that’s a helluva lot better than being led by your departments as Ministers usually are, but it’s still a challenge. He’s seeking to rebuild executive machinery between the public and private sectors long since rusted with decay.
In its beginnings what used to be VicUrban was pretty controversial, but it is now a massive public-sector co-developer of very large bits of Victoria. You can look up the war stories that went with it. The new version, DevelopmentVictoria, really does alter the entire built form of Melbourne and beyond.
DevelopmentVictoria is where I’m seeing this going. And it’s huge.
I have a few sneaking suspicions that Auckland Council are going to need a rocket if they are going to consent at the speed that this government and Aucklanders need these homes done. Christchurch Council will be the same. I also suspect that we are in for a bit of legislative tweaking to ensure that those who are benefitting from a rail system near them actually start paying their share. Way, way back in the day, that’s what occurred through the Hutt Valley Lands Settlement Act 1925.
As longstanding tenants get shifted on and houses get demolished, there will be a bit of debate. There will be at least a decade in which people are shifted, houses are demolished, new town centres are formed, and new people shift in – all at the same time. That means sustained media focus over three electoral terms at least.
In political, emotional, social, and financial costs, this stuff can get hard.
But there are, finally, some HNZ Board members who actually understand such costs.
This is a government committed to taming the most rapacious economic force in this country: real estate capitalism, for the good of people.