''Aspirational'' housing targets for the Wakatipu basin under
the Government's housing accord with Queenstown will be
discussed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council this week.
In his report, District Plan manager Matthew Paetz said the
''stretch targets'' had been set following analysis of the
resort's housing market and discussions with Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment staff.
The accord aimed to have 350 sections and dwellings consented
in the first year; another 450 in the second; and a further
500 in year three.
Mr Paetz said there was flexibility with regard to monitoring
achievement and no sanction if targets were not achieved.
There was also an ability to extend the accord for another
two years in the final year.
''The targets are framed as aspirational in the housing
accord,'' he said.
''Whilst they are considered to be `stretch targets', they
are also considered to be achievable.''
In his report, Mr Paetz said special housing areas (SHAs)
were the main tools used to achieve targets and objectives of
a housing accord and while preliminary investigations had
begun, further work would include public consultation which
could include calling for expressions of interest from
''It is anticipated that once SHAs are established, there
will be significant interest from the development community
and a consequent increase in building and resource consent
''Consideration may need to be given to recruitment of
additional building/resource consent processing resources.
''This cost should be offset by the additional revenue that
this activity creates.''
Mr Paetz's report recommended the council approve the accord
because the benefits derived from it would ''significantly
outweigh'' the cons, all of which could be mitigated to
Negatives included the accord not addressing the causes of
the housing issue for the resort, i.e. building costs;
placing some pressure on council staff, resources and
infrastructure; and it may receive ''negative community
Subject to council approval, Mr Paetz proposed the council
considered potential SHAs in December, ahead of community
consultation in January and February.
A decision on the first tranche of SHAs could then be
considered by the council in March/April, ''broadly
ensuring'' those were approved around the same time stage one
of the proposed District Plan was notified in May next year.
The council will discuss the report at its meeting in Wanaka
Housing Minister Nick Smith first mooted the accord with the
council in May, and in June announced the Housing Accords and
Special Housing Areas Act had been changed, enabling the
accord with Queenstown.
The district was one of the five least affordable in New
Zealand, with a median house price of $664,000. A mortgage
repayment for a median-priced house was 93.9% of the median
weekly take-home pay.