More transitional homes

The Government has delivered a further 1,000 transitional homes as part of its Aotearoa-New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan and in line with the Public Housing Plan 2021-2024.

700 of the homes are new builds. This latest delivery brings the total number of transitional dwellings to 2,938.

The Government has identified transitional housing a key catalyst in reducing homelessness and there has been particular focus on regions. They are seen as providing warm, dry, short-term housing for individuals and whānau in urgent need, with wrap around health and welfare support services to help them move into long-term housing options.

More transitional housing is planned for delivery over the next year. The Government is increasing the supply of transitional housing places to reduce the use of emergency accommodation, such as motels, which are not a suitable environment for vulnerable families and individuals, and not cost-effective.


Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

The Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament this Tuesday. It now awaits Royal assent to become an Act and come into force.

The Environment Committee reported back on the Bill last Thursday. It recommended that the Bill be passed but with changes, mainly in the areas of the intensification streamlined planning process, medium density residential standards, requirements for tier two and three councils, transitional provisions—existing plan changes, subdivisions and financial contributions. Some of the changes have been made but the Bill’s essence has remained unchanged.

We made a submission that was broadly in favour of the Bill. The October edition of InfraRead discussed the Bill and its proposals in detail.


Resource management system reform – in it for the long haul

We are having ongoing engagement with the Ministry for the Environment as part of shaping the Strategic Planning and the Natural and Built Environments Bills.

In a recent catch-up, the Ministry advised the two Bills will now be introduced to Parliament in the third quarter of 2022.

We have also been given an opportunity to provide feedback on a discussion document as part of targeted engagement with key stakeholders to inform ministerial decisions that will shape the Natural and Built Environments and the Strategic Planning Bills (alongside the Environment Committee’s inquiry on an exposure draft of a Bill for the Natural and Built Environments Act). The discussion document deals mainly with initial decisions made on reform detail since the exposure draft was prepared.

Public consultation on the Climate Adaptation Bill is expected to place separately in early 2022 alongside consultation on the National Adaptation Plan under the Climate Change Response Act 2002.

The full transition to a new resource management system will be a 10-year process.


Auckland Light Rail next steps

The Government is set to announce the next steps for its Auckland Light Rail project. We understand Cabinet has made a decision and that the Government’s decision could be made public as early as tomorrow (Friday, 17 December).

The project is shaping up to be New Zealand’s most expensive transport project. The Government has already indicated it will not be fully funding the project as initially expected, leaving Auckland’s ratepayers needing to stump up, with other revenue raising mechanisms like value capture being seriously considered.


Growth forecast in infrastructure activity

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released its National Construction Pipeline Report 2021 last week. The report provides a forward view of national building and construction activity over a six-year period.

The report’s primary function is to give the construction and building sector better ability to plan for future demand.

The report found that infrastructure activity fell slightly between 2019 and 2020 to $9.2b. In 2020, it represented one-fifth of total building and construction value. Transport, water and subdivision projects are seen as dominating new infrastructure activity in the 2021 year, contributing 87% of projects and 83% of the total value.

The report forecasts infrastructure activity to steadily increase and reach $11.2b in 2026, with growth expected to be particularly strong in Auckland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty.