Housing NZ's $2 bln, 3-year building & acquisition programme to see net gain of 722 houses in Auckland

Housing New Zealand’s $2 billion programme to build and acquire 4,900 new homes over the next three years will see a net gain in the volume of its Auckland housing stock of 722 over the timeframe, department officials told Parliament’s Social Services Select Committee.

The difference is due to HNZ needing to shift current tenants out of housing to allow it to redevelop existing properties, CEO Andrew McKenzie told MPs on the committee. 

The three year programme is part of a drive for 30,000 new homes to be built on HNZ land over the next few decades. The homes are set to be built by HNZ and the private sector. Over the next three years, HNZ plans to build about 4,000 of the target and acquire the remainder. 

Labour housing spokesperson Phil Twyford noted the 4,900 required more than 1,600 new homes a year to come on to HNZ’s books. HNZ last year built and purchased 871 new homes for state tenants.

HNZ board chair Adrienne Young-Cooper replied that significant capacity is coming online with land at the former Hobsonville airbase and in Northcote being developed. However, it will take time to develop on existing land, Young-Cooper said.

“While we may take out four houses to put back 20,” the 20 would require more than a year to be consented and built, she said. 

Auckland’s incoming new Unitary Plan with a focus on “up as well as out”, fits well with Housing New Zealand’s changing tenant requirements, MacKenzie said. 

Twyford said the net 722 figure is a quarter of the current Auckland state house waiting list of 2,654 families. 

“When Bill English promised 30,000 new homes to be built on state housing land, what he failed to say was that National will barely increase Auckland’s state housing stock at all, despite a burgeoning population and a chronic housing crisis,” Twyford said.  

Housing New Zealand’s property portfolio is valued in at an excess of $22 billion. Shareholder equity was $19 billion at the end of the 2015/16 financial year, and cash reserves sat at $5 billion.