Posted on July 4, 2016
Auckland Council mayoral candidate and local board member Mark Thomas is challenging Mayor Len Brown to match the government’s commitment to unblocking house building in Auckland.
“The government wouldn’t need to bail out Auckland if Len Brown had done a better job getting houses built in Auckland.”
“Auckland is New Zealand’s fastest growing city and can expect to receive the bulk of the just announced $1 billion government infrastructure loan”.
“But John Key shouldn’t be giving Auckland Council a blank cheque. Len Brown should have to match any new government funding with a “tied” undertaking to speed up consent processing and establish fast-track housing development agreements.”
“Aucklanders who have experienced Len Brown’s 10% average rates rise know to be wary of just giving him more money. Mayor Brown should have to put up matching ‘house building’ commitments, before John Key hands any funds over.”
Thomas said as part of the government’s Rules Reduction Taskforce he served on last year, there were already a menu of options for council to speed up consent processing.
“I met developers every week who tell me we could have more, affordable houses in Auckland if council was quicker turning around building consents.”
Thomas has also proposed a Special Development Area approach to allow developers to build housing and infrastructure quicker. He was happy to work with Len Brown on agreements like this.
“Auckland wouldn’t be in the position of having to accept handouts from the government if Len Brown had been prepared to looked honestly at using existing council assets.
Thomas has proposed swapping half the value of the Auckland airport shares as well as the port operating company into transport and other infrastructure assets.