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Housing Supply Bill should build on heritage rather than destroy it

Media Release – Civic Trust Auckland

Housing Supply Bill should build on heritage rather than destroy it


Civic Trust Auckland (CTA) is concerned about the government’s new Housing Supply Bill that would permit the building of up to three homes of a maximum of three storeys on most sites across the city.


“We recognise the need for more housing, particularly affordable housing,” says CTA president Allan Matson, “but there are ways to do that without losing the heritage and character of our community. It should not be a matter of either/or. In the first instance, for example, surely something can and should be done about the apparently huge numbers of ghost houses across Auckland.”


CTA is a community group established in 1968 and its aims include the preservation of heritage and the encouragement of good planning. It is a member of the Character Coalition and also one of several civic trusts throughout the country.


Civic Trust Auckland supports the mayor in his view that attractive neighbourhoods are important and that the desire to keep the best of Auckland’s character and heritage needs to be balanced with the need for more housing.


“Intensification needs to be managed,” says Matson, “so that important elements of our heritage can survive.” He says there is still much work to be done to identify Auckland’s heritage, and adds that the housing problem in Auckland and throughout New Zealand, as well as in other countries, is not primarily one of private housing supply but of housing prices, along with a shortage of social housing.


Civic Trust Auckland supports the sentiment of Jacinda Ardern’s statement five years ago that “We’re a young country when it comes to built heritage, and we should be doing everything we can to preserve what we have. The Council needs to work with urgency to ensure a solution that safeguards heritage in our communities so that it’s not permanently lost.”