Bipartisan NZ backing for backyard builds
New Zealand's government and opposition have declared war on NIMBY-ism, coming together in a rare show of bipartisanship to boost supply in a crisis-strewn housing market.
On Tuesday, housing minister Megan Woods was flanked by opposition housing spokeswoman Nicola Willis among other MPs, to unveil new measures to increase housing density.
Kiwis will now be able to dodge red tape to build new homes in their backyards, and new planning rules will be fast-tracked to come into effect sooner in NZ's biggest cities.
The government says the changes will see 48,000 to 100,000 new homes built in the next eight years.
"New Zealand's housing shortage is being made worse in our biggest cities by limits on the number and types of houses that can be built," Dr Woods said.
"These changes will enable more homes that are attractive to first home buyers to be built in areas closer to their work, public transport and community facilities."
Asked if this was the death of NIMBY-ism, Dr Woods said, "I certainly hope so".
Ms Willis said, "Today is a good day ... Labour and National are standing together to say an emphatic yes to housing in their backyards."
"Today's coming together is a proportionate response to the scale of the challenge."
NZ faces a mighty housing shortage, with many living in sub-par housing or dwellings too small for their needs.
The housing market is one of the most unaffordable in the world, fuelled by runaway investment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While average wages remain well below Australia, the median house price has reached $NZ795,000 ($A760,000), according to the Real Estate Institute of NZ, including a high-water mark of $NZ1.2 million ($A1.15 million) in Auckland.
Houses in NZ are generally of a far inferior quality to Australian homes, with insulation or mould issues.
A visiting United Nations special rapporteur in February labelled NZ's housing market a "human rights crisis".
The government is investing more than $NZ4.5 billion ($A4.3 billion) on other housing projects.
"The housing crisis is a problem decades in the making that will take time to turn around," Dr Woods said.
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