Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities first Bill introduced

The Minister for Housing and Urban Development has introduced the first of two Bills that will lay the foundation for a powerful new Crown entity, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities (Kāinga Ora), the Government’s future urban development authority.

Previously known as the “Housing and Urban Development Authority”, Kāinga Ora will be tasked with delivering the Government’s vision of healthy, secure, and affordable homes in New Zealand. Broadly, Kāinga Ora will take on the role of public landlord, together with delivering urban development projects of all sizes for new public, affordable and market housing, transport links, commercial and industrial buildings, new infrastructure, parks and open spaces, and supporting facilities such as schools, libraries and swimming pools.

Kāinga Ora will work in partnership with other agencies, local government, Māori, and the private sector.

The first Bill establishes the legislative framework for Kāinga Ora by:

  1. Consolidating Housing New Zealand, its subsidiary HLC, and parts of the KiwiBuild Unit;
  2. Requiring a government policy statement that sets its strategic direction to be published by 1 October 2020; and
  3. Outlining its overall objective, that is, to contribute to sustainable, inclusive, and thriving communities.

Public submissions are open to the Environment Select Committee until 11 July 2019. Following the Select Committee process, the first Bill is expected to pass later this year, with Kāinga Ora up and running by 1 October 2019.

At this stage, the legislative framework will see Kāinga Ora establish development projects through a Ministerial approval process, which includes public consultation. Once a project is approved, Kāinga Ora will have the ability to:

  1. Shorten the planning and consenting processes;
  2. Build new and alter existing infrastructure;
  3. Fund infrastructure and development activities;
  4. Bring together parcels of land; and
  5. Reconfigure reserves.

Kāinga Ora will likely have the ability to override, add to or suspend designations in planning documents, except those relating to nationally significant infrastructure. Kāinga Ora may also have the ability to transfer land under the Public Works Act 1981 to bring developments together.

While the first Bill will lay the foundation for Kāinga Ora and future urban development in New Zealand, the majority of Kāinga Ora’s enabling statutory powers will be provided under the second Bill. The second Bill is expected to be introduced later this year, and Parliament will likely follow the same consultation process for the first Bill.

Kāinga Ora will be required to recognise and support Māori aspirations for housing and urban development. It will engage early with Māori, iwi and Māori groups to seek partnership opportunities and offer Māori opportunities to participate in urban development projects.  In the second Bill, Māori interests in natural resources will be protected, and any provisions that apply to Māori interests in local government processes will be continued.

The nature and extent of Kāinga Ora’s enabling statutory powers will remain somewhat uncertain until the second Bill is introduced. We recommend that our clients keep a watching brief on the progress of the first Bill, and expect that greater involvement in the process for the second Bill will be important.

If you have any queries or concerns about Kāinga Ora and how its future enabling statutory powers may impact or assist your development plans and existing assets, the Resource Management team at Lane Neave is happy to help.

Resource Management team

Josh LeckieAnnabel Linterman, Kelsey Barry,

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