Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Vice Chairman Ngarimu Blair said the deal meant more social and affordable housing will be built faster to tackle the housing problem in Auckland. „The government and Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau have agreed that we will be able to use the empty public land for housing construction, while ensuring that the contract settlements covering the Auckland area are respected and maintained. I welcome Ngāti Whātua Rōpū`s decision to withdraw the legal proceedings so that the program can continue quickly,“ said Dr. Smith. „The Crown`s assessment of potential sites is progressing and is focusing on land with a capacity of 60 or more homes. The next step will be to invite partners to seek private sector expertise and the capacity to provide housing. Some projects may involve iwi partners if they have benefited from it. I remain confident that the first development agreements will enter into force this year and that the first houses resulting from this programme will be completed by the end of 2016. The Crown and Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau – a group of 13 Iwi and Hapū – signed an agreement in 2012 stipulating that if the government wants to develop land subject to a right of pre-emption for public housing purposes, Iwi and Hapū must give the first chance to be the developer.

He hopes that the first development agreements will come into effect this year and that the first houses will be completed by the end of 2016. „We look forward to making it easier to build homes for our own people and for all Aucklanders, and this agreement will ensure that this happens as quickly as possible commercially.“ But the agreement reached between the Crown and the group will now allow the government to use the 500 hectares of empty public land for housing construction, while ensuring that contractual regimes are respected. Construction and Housing Minister Nick Smith said the deal meant empty public land can be used for residential construction to alleviate Auckland`s supply shortages, while maintaining local contractual arrangements. The agreement means that this legal proceedings have been closed. The latest edition of Contractor Connect celebrates the performance and quality of the work done by our teams of contractors across the country. There is information about the remarkable efforts that sparkled when our teams regrouped in Auckland to respond to a very difficult weather event in that city. As part of an exciting initiative, the first Professor Hudson Sellars is announced, while there is similar information about a gateway placement agreement with Hasting Boys High School and our prime contractor for the East Coast-Hawkes Bay Area. Then, the government will issue an „invitation to partners“, looking for private expertise with the ability to provide housing.

You can do the hard work of the Programmed Facility Management team and – directly from one of our tenants – hear great praise for one of Spencer Henshaw`s employees. A group of Iwi and hapū allowed the government to present its plans to build houses on clean land in Crown, near Auckland, which it first needed to develop. Have fun reading. We`ll catch up with you when the weather is a little warmer. Contractor Connect, our newsletter for maintenance companies, has great stories about our tradies that go above and beyond to help customers during Alert 2 in Nelson, Mangere and Hamilton. . . .