5. Twyford: Land sale "easiest" value capture option

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford with Newsroom reporters. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

Phil Twyford has said that the sale of Crown land is the “easiest way” to implement value capture. Thomas Coughlan reports.

He made the comments as speculation mounts over what form or forms of value capture the Government will implement.

Newsroom reported that the proposals before Twyford include a targeted rate on businesses which calculates the value added to a property as a result of nearby infrastructure, or a joint development model.

Under a joint development model, the Crown sells land to the private sector to develop under the assumption that the infrastructure will increase the value of the private sector’s investment.

Officials concede it is controversial for providing greater benefits to the private sector than taxpayers.

Crown land sales “easiest”

Twyford said today that the “easiest” form of value capture is when the Crown owns the land in question, but cautioned that he was not committed to the sale of Crown land nor the imposition of a targeted rate.

“The easiest way is when the state owns the land,” Twyford said.

“An example of that is if you’re talking about the light rail project out from the city to Mangere, it goes through two of the biggest concentrations of public housing in the country: Roskill and Mangere itself. The Government, through Housing New Zealand, will capture much of the value that happens as a result,” he said.

But that land would have to be sold for the value uplift to be realised. Twyford cited the redevelopment of Mangere land into state housing, KiwiBuild and open market housing as an example where value was captured by the Government, whilst also fulfilling some of its social and infrastructure ambitions.

It appears this option is popular in Auckland too, when Newsroom spoke with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, he also noted the preponderance of Housing New Zealand properties along the value capture corridor of Auckland’s light rail.

But Twyford may have difficulty getting the proposal past the Acting Prime Minister.

Winston Peters labelled the idea “seriously old-fashioned economics” in his post-cabinet news conference on Monday.