$52m fund to help in Auckland

The Government says it is accelerating its efforts to address the housing crisis in Auckland by establishing a $52million fund to help with housing development.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith estimated the Crown, through various agencies, owned about 500ha of land in Auckland with the potential for residential development.

The Government would be able to select vacant parcels of land from the relevant agency and make it available for development by a private sector partner through a competitive process.

The success of the approach had already been demonstrated in Christchurch, he said.

''We would be looking to achieve a similar result in any development agreement that is reached with this new fund. We are boosting not just supply, but the supply of affordable homes.''

Dr Smith aimed to have a signed development agreement for the first land parcel within six months.

Crowe Horwath New Zealand tax advisory principal Scott Mason told the Otago Daily Times the Government fired its main ''housing shot'' on Sunday, with the announcement of the new bright-line test applying to property sales within two years of acquisition, along with the ancillary Inland Revenue and New Zealand bank account requirements.

''Despite the claims these amendments are merely a clarification of existing positions. There are many situations that could arise to drag properties into the tax net that were not previous caught.

''We had hoped the Government may have taken the opportunity today to clarify some aspects of the property but the lack of officials' papers confirm this was a scheme designed on the fly.''

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