HUD Ministerial Advisory Group

The Housing and Urban Development Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) independently supports the Ministry’s policy agenda. The members of the Group give feedback throughout the policy development process to help develop effective policy in an efficient way.

The role of MAG

The role of the Group is to work with the Minister of Housing and Urban Development and the Ministry to inform policy development, communicate and update stakeholders on a range of urban and housing issues. Some members also bring Māori and Pacific perspectives to the group.

Members of MAG

The members of the Group reflect diverse perspectives, and offer a range of experience across the housing and urban development sector. 

The Group’s members include:

  • Teena Hale Pennington (MAG Chair), Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Construction Industry Council.
  • Shamubeel Eaqub, Economist, commentator and academic.
  • Rau Hoskins, Housing researcher, experienced in Māori housing, architecture and design.
  • David Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of Registered Master Builders.
  • Andrew King, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation.
  • Roine Lealaiauloto, Chief Executive of Penina Health Trust, with a Pacific peoples focus.
  • Angela Maynard, Coordinator of the Tenants Protection Association (Auckland).
  • Mark Todd, Property developer and co-founder and Managing Director of Ockham Residential and the Ockham Foundation.
  • Scott Figenshow, Chief Executive of Community Housing Aotearoa. 
  • Kay Saville Smith, Director, Centre for Research, Evaluations and Social Assessment (CRESA)

Summary of the Ministerial Advisory Group meeting - 8 March 2019

The fourth meeting of the Housing and Urban Development Ministerial Advisory Group (the Group) took place in Auckland on 8 March 2019, with apologies received from Andrew King.

The Group members were joined for the first half of the meeting by Hon Phil Twyford and Hon Jenny Salesa. Officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), The Treasury, Housing New Zealand, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Te Puni Kōkiri also attended.

Minister Twyford spoke about his recent visit to Australia to co-host the Trans-Tasman Cities Symposium with his Australian counterpart, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, and to visit state government-led urban development projects and agencies in Victoria and New South Wales. He noted that Australia has a long history of government-led urban regeneration, and is also focusing on encouraging mode shift to public transport. Australia has the advantage of its experience, its larger private development sector, and its greater financial resources. New Zealand will need to rely more on innovation and agility.

Minister Twyford then spoke about the Government’s continued commitment to making sure the HUD work programme, including KiwiBuild and wider system reform, continues to support the private development sector to deliver more affordable housing supply.  The Group acknowledged that central government investing in partnerships with the private sector was welcome and timely in order to progress housing initiatives.

Overall, the Minister was happy with how the new HUD Ministry was performing, and with the progress establishing the new Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA) as a new fully-integrated delivery entity within the system. The Minister noted how the Urban Growth Agenda work programme and the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport had important areas of crossover, such as with the objective of delivering development along transit corridors, and that HUDA would play an important role here also, to ensure we get quality urban intensification.

The Minister and the Group discussed the newly-introduced Healthy Homes Standards and the pending changes to modernise the Residential Tenancies Act and improve security of tenure.

The Group and the Minister also discussed the importance of taking a long-term view of system change, particularly in light of the long lead times for urban infrastructure investment, but also the need to balance that with achieving near-term priorities and investing within current fiscal constraints.

Minister Salesa gave an update on building and construction legislative reform, and held a topical discussion with the Group around risk and liability within the sector and the role that councils play. Minister Salesa said there was widespread agreement amongst Ministers that with the current skilled labour shortage, companies under large contracts should take on apprentices and offer increased training opportunities.

Following the departure of Ministers, officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development outlined how work under the new Ministry had been progressing, and further clarified the respective roles of HUD and HUDA. The Group emphasised the importance of people and communities being at the heart of HUDA-led development projects, as well as having the right senior management in place within HUD and HUDA to ensure good relationships with the private sector, iwi and other stakeholders.

The Group requested further discussion with officials on the proposed Government Policy Statement on Urban Development and the legislation for HUDA, in order to better understand the detail.

A housing market intelligence and insights presentation followed. The key messages from the Group were that data-sharing between agencies is crucial, and must be kept up-to-date for effective forecasting. The data should be presented in an easy-to-understand format, and is most useful if applied to current priority needs, such as which typologies are needed for different types of households.

Finally, officials updated and discussed with the Group the changes occurring within the organisational structure of HUD, including increasing the focus on place and placemaking, and the setup of a new Maori Housing Unit within HUD. The Group wished to see ongoing healthy debate around HUD’s approach to public housing and addressing homelessness.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 June 2019.

Summary of the Ministerial Advisory Group meeting - 7 December 2018

The third meeting of the Housing and Urban Development Ministerial Advisory Group (the Group) took place in Auckland on 7 December 2018.

Apologies were received from David Kelly and Scott Figenshow.

The Group members were joined for the first half of the meeting by Hon Phil Twyford and Hon Jenny Salesa. Chris Glaudel from Community Housing Aotearoa was a guest observer. Officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, The Treasury, Housing New Zealand, and Te Puni Kōkiri also attended.

The Group welcomed new member Kay Saville-Smith, who replaces Philippa Howden-Chapman.

Minister Salesa led a discussion on the Government’s building and construction work programme. The discussion focused on improvements in the Government’s procurement policies (to ensure broader outcomes and not just lowest price are a decision-making factor), and on improving accessibility provisions in the building code. The Group reiterated the importance of re-allocating risk and liability away from councils in order to better support construction-sector innovation and productivity.

Minister Twyford led a discussion on the role of the proposed Urban Development Authority and the Government’s Urban Growth Agenda in facilitating large-scale urban development. The Group emphasised the need for central government to take a long-term approach to its role in urban development, including through infrastructure investment and spatial planning, noting that for too long council and government urban planning approaches have failed to get ahead of growth.

The Group also advised that regeneration and redevelopment opportunities in the existing urban area are the more important locations for government focus, given the barriers to change and the difficult development economics in those locations. In contrast, most greenfield development areas are likely to happen anyway, and so are unlikely to be priority locations to apply scarce government resource. The Group also advised that the Urban Development Authority needs to make sure its important capability and expertise is accessible, and supports capability-building across local and central government.

Following the departure of Ministers, the Group discussed the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed policy approach to homelessness and affordable housing. Reiterating earlier advice, the Group cautioned against relying too much on the ‘housing continuum’ as a framing device, noting that New Zealand society’s emphasis on ownership as the ultimate housing goal is likely contributing towards our housing problems. In addition, the Group advised that the policy emphasis needs to move from emergency and transitional housing towards homelessness prevention, including the provision of fit-for-purpose affordable rental homes that support inter-generational living and other needs.    

The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development led a discussion with the Group on the development of the new Ministry’s strategic framework, work programme and other matters.

The final substantive item on the agenda was a discussion about some of the key messages arising from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s recent public consultation on potential changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

The next meeting is scheduled for 8 March 2019.

Summary of the Ministerial Advisory Group meeting - 14 September 2018

The second meeting of the Housing and Urban Development Ministerial Advisory Group (the Group) took place in Auckland on 14 September.

Apologies were received from Rau Hoskins, David Kelly, and Mark Todd.

The Group members were joined for the first half of the meeting by Hon Phil Twyford and Hon Jenny Salesa. Officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Treasury, Housing NZ (HNZ) and Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) also attended, alongside the interim Chief Executive of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Group acknowledged the departure of Philippa Howden-Chapman as a member, due to the need to focus on her new role as a member of the Housing New Zealand Board, and — for Minister Twyford’s consideration — discussed the skills and experience that a replacement would usefully bring.

Minster Salesa led a discussion on her building and construction work programme. The discussion focused on the need to partner with the sector and take joint responsibility for addressing skills needs and productivity improvement. It also focused on the opportunity for Government to better support sector resilience and growth by leveraging its purchasing power and procurement policy to drive public good outcomes.

Minister Salesa also talked with the Group about the steps the Government is taking to better support Māori and Pasifika housing outcomes, including supporting aspirations for home ownership.

During a discussion on housing affordability, the Group emphasised that a focus on state housing, affordable rental (i.e. the community housing sector), and build-to-rent (institutional rental investment) would help target assistance and investment at those households in most need. Minister Twyford emphasised he is focused on these pathways alongside the KiwiBuild affordable homes for first-home buyers, and that the Government is interested in how it can mobilise new sources of capital to support public-good housing provision and outcomes.

For part of the meeting, the Group was joined by Roy Thompson of New Ground Capital, who presented on his firm’s experience in supporting private institutional investment into long-term secure rental housing. This catalysed a further discussion on the development of a sustainable private rental market and attracting capital investment into housing, including for progressive home ownership

Andrew Crisp, the interim Chief Executive of HUD introduced himself to the Group and outlined how he was seeing the new Ministry (not yet fully stood-up at the time of the meeting) in terms of its strategic focus and priorities as an outward-facing, evidence-based system leader. He welcomed feedback from the Group on HUD’s proposed priorities and way of working. Amongst other things, the Group recommended HUD have a clear focus on monitoring and evaluation, and on robust testing of policy advice, to ensure intended outcomes are being realised within what is a complex system.

The next meetings are scheduled for 7 December 2018 and 8 March 2019.

Summary of the Ministerial Advisory Group meeting - 8 June 2018

The initial meeting of the Ministerial Advisory Group (the Group) took place in Auckland on 8 June 2018.

The Group members were joined by Minister Phil Twyford for the initial part of the meeting. Officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Housing NZ (HNZ) and Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) also attended.

The Minister opened the meeting by thanking the Group for their participation and by acknowledging the importance of their expertise, which he hopes will allow for robust dialogue on policy and strategy outside of the public service.

The Minister outlined his Housing and Urban Development strategic direction and priorities, and the role that the new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will have in delivering on those.

The Minister encouraged Group members to bring their experience to bear on the issues which officials presented to them, while also actively looking for gaps, risks and opportunities across the whole Housing and Urban Development work programme.

After Minister Twyford departed, the Group discussed areas for future discussion – infrastructure funding and financing, rental settings and the Residential Tenancies Act reform, the Urban Growth Agenda (UGA) and the Living Standards framework as possible priorities.

The Chair outlined a framework the Group had agreed to use in discussing agenda items. In its discussions and with officials, the Group is specifically interested in how the policy initiative or action will address the following:

  • will it facilitate more and better quality housing supply?
  • are there wider public interest benefits?
  • what impact will it have on Māori and Pasifika wellbeing outcomes? (eg. health, housing, education)
  • what if the change wasn’t implemented?
  • who will this policy benefit? (short and long term)
  • what is the effect on market participation, such as through de-risking capital investment?

Policy discussions on the day included:

  • a presentation from MBIE on progressive home ownership (and more specifically, how it might facilitate people buying KiwiBuild homes). This work was informed by engagement with a range of stakeholders
  • an MSD presentation on a review of funding and regulatory policy settings to deliver public housing and affordable rentals
  • an update on the KiwiBuild Programme and testing of the KiwiBuild policy framework with the Group.

The next two meetings are scheduled for 14 September 2018 and 7 December 2018. For the September meeting the Group said it would like to focus on rental housing and how the different policies in this space will fit together.

Terms of reference

The Group operates under the following Terms of Reference.

Published: September 12, 2019

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