When the new Government allocated portfolios last October, Labour’s Phil Twyford won housing & urban development and the separate transport role.
On Friday, he announced that housing & urban development would get its own ministry, to be established on 1 August, operating from 1 October.
Initially, the Government will move functions from existing agencies, and will look at using funding from their existing operational budgets:
- From the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment: the housing & urban policy functions, the KiwiBuild unit and the Community Housing Regulatory Authority
- From the Ministry of Social Development: policy for emergency, transitional & public housing, and
- From Treasury: monitoring of Housing NZ & the Tamaki Redevelopment Co Ltd.
The changes won’t affect where people go to for help with housing. The Ministry of Social Development will continue to assess people’s need for housing support and manage the public housing register.
The aim is for the new ministry to help deliver on the Government’s priorities of making housing more affordable & cities more liveable. Mr Twyford said: “Addressing the national housing crisis is one of the biggest challenges our government faces. The new ministry will provide the focus & capability in the public service to deliver our reform agenda.
“Too many New Zealanders are hurting because of their housing situation. Many are locked out of the Kiwi dream of home ownership. Others are homeless or suffering the health effects of poor quality housing.
“The new ministry will be the Government’s lead advisor on housing & urban development. It will provide across-the-board advice on housing issues, including responding to homelessness, ensuring affordable, warm, safe & dry rental housing in the private & public market, and the appropriate support for first-homebuyers.”
Mr Twyford said the new ministry would provide the Government with strong leadership & fresh thinking. It would also end the fragmented current approach caused by involving a number of agencies.
Then he rattled off 7 aims of the new government:
- Ramping up efforts to house the homeless
- Building affordable homes through KiwiBuild
- Modernising & building more public housing
- Reforming the tenancy laws to make life better for renters
- Setting minimum standards to make rentals warm & dry
- Adjusting the tax settings to discourage speculation, and
- Setting up an urban development authority to lead largescale urban development projects.
In sum, he said: “The Ministry of Housing & Urban Development will help us deliver our bold & ambitious plan to build much-needed affordable housing, and create modern & liveable cities ready for the future.”
25 March 2018: Unitec land transfer kicks off KiwiBuild
23 May 2016: Is it really a faraway boundary that’s raising inner-city house prices?
8 November 2015: Twyford talks ideas which unitary plan & council funding review likely to resolve
Attribution: Ministerial release.