Duncan Garner: The answer to Auckland's housing crisis - Hamilton?

28/05/2014

Yes, Auckland’s consenting 39,000 houses over three years – but nine months into the first year of the ‘Auckland Housing Accord’ the first house is yet to be built.

Actually, no one can tell us whether construction has even begun on the first home. I’ve asked Len Brown and Housing Minister Nick Smith – neither has any idea.

So, I’m going to throw this idea into the mix – again - perhaps people should live in Hamilton. I’ve found brand new three-bedroom houses starting at $390k. Money that gets you nothing in Auckland.

Four bedrooms in this new Hamilton subdivision begin at $430k – look at this one. It’s 200m2 and sits on 647m2 of land and it comes with a 10-year guarantee. The subdivision is 500 metres to the local supermarket, less than 1km to five primary schools, a high school and pre-school centres.

I’ve seen similar houses in Auckland’s Central West, about 11kms from the city, starting at $870k. Who can afford that? Not many people and it’s certainly not affordable housing.

It’s time people lived outside of Auckland; it’s time we promoted the regions as a good place to live.

It’s also time we said to immigrants, if you’re coming to New Zealand, take your skills and businesses into the regions, into Hamilton, Whangarei, Napier, Palmerston North, and Timaru.

Though, we can’t push this unless we solve the transport issues at the same time. I drove from Hamilton to Auckland last Friday afternoon. We came to a standstill at 'Tip Top Corner' on the Southern Motorway, again in the city, then again in Albany because the Blues were playing. The motorway into and out of Auckland is a nightmare. It’s seriously past time to consider fast rail from Hamilton to Auckland.

More than 10,000 people signed a petition recently to fast-track fast rail from Hamilton to Auckland. Imagine what fast rail from Hamilton could do for those working in Auckland and Manukau? It would go some way to solving Auckland’s housing crisis.

So let’s start thinking outside the square. Auckland is bursting at the seams. Let’s invest in rail, let’s boost the provinces and at the same time solve Auckland’s housing crisis and transport woes.

Tune in to RadioLIVE Drive with Duncan Garner, between 3 - 6pm, for more as this story progresses.

source: data archive