Following last night's Budget, the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill was introduced to the House and passed its first reading.

If enacted, the Act will apply for three years and allows the Minister for Housing to declare special housing areas, within which a more permissive and streamlined consenting regime applies. 

The Bill also provides for the Government and Councils to enter into housing accords, to address housing supply and affordability and to set targets for residential development.  If a housing accord has been agreed, the Council will exercise the new regulatory powers.  If an accord cannot be agreed, the Government will exercise those powers.

The first accord has already been agreed with the Auckland Council and is available here.

The Bill has been sent to the Social Services Committee for urgent consideration, reporting back to Parliament on 26 June 2013.  The closing date for submissions has not been announced, but the timeframe for submissions will be short.