Special Housing Area Considersation Deferred

Apr 24, 2015

QLDC is deferring consideration of proposed Special Housing Areas until after the new Arrowtown ward Councillor has taken office at the end of May.

The Council was to have considered a report this month on Expressions of Interest put forward by local landowners. However, Mayor Vanessa van Uden said it was better to defer the item for a month to allow an Arrowtown member to be involved in making such a significant decision for the Wakatipu Basin. The election is on 1 May with the new Councillor taking office at the May Council meeting.

Special Housing Areas are a relatively new initiative by the Government in partnership with selected councils, including QLDC, to open up land for affordable, good quality housing in districts where there is a shortage of accommodation, or prices are high. Councils consider and recommend proposals to the Minister of Housing, who decides whether or not a Special Housing Area should be established. The Wakatipu Basin is the second area in the South Island after Christchurch to be covered by a Special Housing Accord.

“We intend to put the Expressions of Interest on our website well in advance of the May meeting, so that people can see what’s proposed. If they wish, they can give feedback in the same way as any other Council issue; that is, by contacting their local councillor or emailing their views to services@qldc.govt.nz, this feedback will then be provided to all elected members.

“There has been a lot of speculation and comment about the Special Housing Area proposals, based on very little information. Although there are some commercial sensitivities around the proposals, and the law allows less consultation than the Resource Management Act would, I want to dispel any suggestion that this is a secretive process.”