A $300 million, 600-home development on 40 hectares of Riccarton Racecourse land can proceed following today’s passage of special legislation through its third reading, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“Increasing supply is the most important component of the Government’s programme to address New Zealand’s housing issues. We need to take every opportunity to facilitate new housing, particularly those developments that offer more affordable housing close to our city centres.
“These pragmatic bills will enable 600 new homes to be built on land that is currently poorly utilised. The Government is requiring at least 30 per cent, or 180 homes, to be priced below the Government’s $450,000 KiwiSaver HomeStart cap for Christchurch so as to ensure an increased supply of homes in a more affordable price range.”
The amendments will be made through a cognate Bill – comprising the Riccarton Racecourse Development Enabling Bill and the Riccarton Racecourse Bill (Local Bill) – to revoke reserve status of part of the racecourse land. The Christchurch Racecourse Reserve Act is a Local Act and, under a long-established rule of Parliament, any amendment to such an Act must be promoted as a Local Bill by the relevant local authority – in this case, the Christchurch City Council.
“This housing development is part of the Government’s housing accord with the Christchurch City Council. The combination of this project and those already under way at Welles Street, Colombo Street and Awatea will deliver more than 1000 new houses for Christchurch,” Dr Smith says.
“The Racecourse Trustees will partner with Ngāi Tahu to deliver new homes, and at the same time the racecourse will benefit financially from more effective use of this land. The Racecourse Reserve was created in 1878 - before the first cars arrived in New Zealand, and well before the city grew to surround the racecourse.
“We are making great progress in increasing housing supply, with the annual build rate doubling from 13,000 per year to more than 28,000 during the past four years. Freeing up the supply of land at Riccarton Racecourse will help us maintain this strong momentum.”