Topic: Housing

Housing NZ hand over ownership of almost 3000 houses

By Maiki Sherman
  • Auckland

Concern is mounting for Māori and Pacific Island residents based in Auckland. Around 8000 residents are set to have a new landlord under an agreement announced today. Almost 3000 properties will be transferred from under Housing New Zealand to the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company. The company will also build thousands of new homes.

It's a project that's been 10 years in the making and today it has finally come to fruition.

Bill English says, “If anything there's been build-up of frustration and actually enthusiasm of this project moving faster.”

To speed up development, the government has approved a $200 million loan facility. The goal is for the Auckland company to build about 7500 new houses in the next 15 years.

English says, “Auckland's got a real challenge in social housing supply, the government is by far the biggest land owner and this is one of the bigger opportunities for the government to contribute to the housing situation.”

However, the MP for Tāmaki Makaurau is urging Māori and Pacific Island families to remain cautious.

Peeni Henare says, “We know the types of housing they are looking to build in that area, which will inevitably push rent prices higher.”

The government and the Auckland Council own Tāmaki Redevelopment Company. Peeni Henare says iwi should be supported to have input as well.

“The big question is how will the government support iwi to enable them to take an active role in managing some of these assets, being housing, and also our Māori people in Auckland,” says Henare.

This is the boundary of the properties in question, including the community of Glen Innes which was surrounded by controversy last year.

There are certainly those within Auckland who are excited about the future aspiration for the area.

“I feel as if they've been listening to us and it feels that we're being inclusive of the discussions, I'm quite excited,” says Tāmaki Primary School board member Morris Waetford.

The new agreement will come into effect in March of next year.