Should NPDC play a bigger role in housing?

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Soaring housing costs are leaving too many of us worse off.

If you can’t afford to buy or rent a home it’s a crisis, particularly for the elderly and families with children.

This is the second chapter in a six-week public conversation seeking feedback on five big issues that are important to our district as we work on our draft 10-year Plan.

These are:

  • Wild Weather.
  • Should we play a bigger role in housing?
  • Keeping Taranaki’s economy pumping.
  • Keeping rates real.
  • What’s the gameplan for the sport and wellbeing hub (Tūparikino Active Community Hub).


In 2021 the Taranaki Mayoral Forum of the four elected heads agreed that housing was the most significant issue in the region and developed the Taranaki Regional Housing Strategy to work with government agencies and other possible players such as Toi Foundation and Ka Uruora. We’re looking to invest $200,000 to kick-start the strategy. 


Central government agencies are struggling to tackle this problem, especially as other areas of the country have more acute needs. However, residents and local housing organisations are telling us that the need is high across the board, from the limited ability to buy a home to the struggle to find an affordable rental.


“Home ownership and renting alike are becoming increasingly unaffordable and many people are struggling to find rentals at all. The more people spend on rent or mortgages, the less they have to spend on food and essentials or on the nice-to-haves that keep our economy humming. When people can’t find accommodation at all, that has all kinds of other impacts – not just economic, but for wellbeing too,” says NPDC Councillor Amanda Clinton-Gohdes.


New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) currently manages 140 Housing for the Elderly units, but could we do more?


Similar-sized councils are stepping up to help fill the gaps. Palmerston North City Council decided to spend another $14million on social housing when it last reviewed its 10-year plan in 2021, and it’s working on planning changes to open up more land for housing, including providing council land to housing organisations to provide affordable homes.


Hastings District Council claims its partnership with government agencies, social housing providers and iwi has delivered hundreds of homes since it was launched as the pilot area for the government’s Place Based Housing Plan in 2019.


“We’re investing $200k from our existing housing budget to look at the options for implementing the Taranaki Regional Housing Strategy so we can open up and fast-track housing opportunities and to plan ahead for potential bigger projects,” said NPDC Councillor Bali Haque.


NPDC’s 140 Housing for the Elderly units are rented by over-65s who don’t have a home of their own and can’t afford market rents. The units are self-funding, which means the rents pay for their upkeep and help to finance improvements or more units; no ratepayer cash is needed. 


More than 80 people are on the waiting list for NPDC’s Housing for the Elderly units. Should we set up a Trust to run our Housing for the Elderly units as Wellington City Council recently did for its social housing?  It means tenants can access government subsidies that cap rents at 25% of their incomes. Is this an option?


Every three years, residents help us build our draft 10-year work programme to manage $4 billion worth of assets and $3 billion budget.

Should NPDC be doing more in affordable housing and how could it work to deliver something better?


Give us a hand by completing this short survey. Everyone who completes it goes into the draw to win one of five $300 shopping vouchers. Find out more at

Feedback closes 5pm, Wednesday 12 July.


Caption: NPDC manages 140 Housing for the Elderly units, but should we be doing more on affordable housing?