Call to act over ‘flawed’ SHA laws

Errol Carr
Errol Carr
A Lake Hawea man has called upon the Wanaka Community Board and the Queenstown Lakes District Council to petition central government over the Special Housing Act (SHA) legislation.

Errol Carr told Wanaka Community Board members at a meeting  last week  he believed the legislation was "flawed" and had been used "inappropriately" for a 400-lot subdivision proposed for the township.

Mr Carr did not identify what specifically was wrong with the current legislation. But he suggested that, since it was set to expire next September, the board and the council should petition central government to prepare legislation requiring all new subdivisions to provide for 10% to 20% of sections to be priced at or below the affordable housing land price threshold.

Mr Carr believed the sections should also be transferred to an entity such as the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust to ensure the sections could not be on-sold for capital gain.

"It is imperative that a solution be found to the affordable housing problem. A healthy, balanced community appropriate for the lives of average Kiwi families is necessary for our district to survive in the future.

"We need our council to engage with central government and find a workable solution that’s going to better suit the people living in this community.

"If central government were to enact such legislation, these measures should quickly resolve the [housing affordability] issue for the future benefit of the affected communities."

Board chairman Quentin Smith said Mr Carr made some "very valid points" and the council was working on finding a solution.

"The mayoral housing affordability taskforce has done some serious work in this space and some of the outcomes of that are certainly in line with the things that you’re talking about."

Mr Carr said he would be writing letters to Mayor Jim Boult and Minister for Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford echoing what was presented to the board.

A request for Lake Hawea to get its own 30-year master plan was also put to representatives of the Queenstown Lakes District Council on Friday.

The idea was raised during discussions on how to integrate a proposed SHA into the township.

The meeting was one of several being led by Arrowtown councillor Scott Stevens.

Lake Hawea Community Association representative April Mackenzie said the council was spending $900,000 on a master plan for the Wanaka town centre.

"And yet they won’t take the time or the money to talk about this small community ,but they’ll stick a special housing area in the backyard and create two towns."

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