| New Zealand News | Monday October 29 2012 16:28
The Government is warning it may override local councils if they don't get on board with its affordable housing plans.
Reducing consent times and freeing up more land are among proposals the Government are looking to implement.
Finance Minister Bill English believes local councils are focused on affordable housing.
But he's promising intervention if they don't co-operate
"If they were to ignore the government's objectives, then we would be looking to exert a bit more control over their planning process."
Bill English says the Government's preference is to work with Councils
The Government's response to a Productivity Commission report include a six month time limit on consents for medium-sized projects and the freeing up of more land both inside and outside cities.
English is promising to look at whether consent authorities can be merged into a regional or national hub, and setting up competition for those agencies.
"Houses can be made more affordable and we intend to work with councils to make that happen. We don't accept that the only way for many New Zealander's to own their own home is to be trapped with a huge burden of debt."
The housing package which was signed off by cabinet today is hoped to see more middle and low income people getting into their own homes.
The spectre of the leaky building problem is also being raised over the move to improve home affordability.
Green MP Holly Walker says she's concerned about the six month time limit on local councils, given the way the country was burned by the leaky building crisis.
"To require councils to do that in a short space of time I think could put at risk the quality of the housing developments that are going to result."
Photo: NZ Herald