An insightful speech by Phil Twyford to the NZ Initiative. The key part is:
The second challenge I identified was a planning system based on urban containment.
That containment has acted to hobble vertical growth.
Height and density restrictions have stopped our cities growing up, preventing efficient land use, blocking the development of more affordable housing options like flats, terraces, town houses and apartments.
Environment Minister David Parker and I are working on national direction under the RMA that will set clear parameters for Council plan making to incentivise quality intensification.
The aim is to encourage density done well particularly around rapid transit interchanges and corridors.
It will also inject a significant increase in the quantum of development opportunities in the market.
That is vertical expansion. Now for the horizontal.
Our aim is to bring down urban land prices by flooding the market with development opportunities.
We want to break the current land market model which sees the planning system and infrastructure financing logjam create an artificial scarcity of land.
Incremental relaxation of the Urban Growth Boundary and zoning changes simply drip feed small amounts of new land, and new subsivisions, into a highly speculative market.
This is the land banking and speculation model that characterises the greater Auckland land market.
Twyford in opposition promised to abolish the Auckland Rural Urban boundary. If he can deliver on that, it will have a huge impact on house prices.