Bernard Hickey writes:
Prime Minister John Key has upped the ante in the Government’s battle with the Auckland Council to free up more land for housing, saying a new National Policy Statement in the next fortnight would direct Councils to release land as a matter of law.
Responding to Council concerns that it could not afford the NZ$17 billion infrastructure bill to provide the roads, public transport, water and sewage pipes to underpin that housing, Key said the Auckland Council may need to look at selling assets.
Key used his flagship post-Budget luncheon address to a Trans Tasman Business Council audience in Auckland to increase the political heat on the Council ahead of its decision on the Unitary Plan due on August 19, and to deflect some of the political heat building up on the Government around Auckland’s housing supply shortages.
Key described the Metropolitan Urban Limit put around Auckland in 1992 as an “utterly failed experiment” that increased land prices from NZ$100,000 per section to NZ$450,000 per section now.
Excellent. The two major parties agree that it is a failed experiment that should go.
The one person who doesn’t agree it seems is Phil Goff.