Building can start on a $300 million, 600-home development at Riccarton Racecourse after the Government approved the final step for the Christchurch Racecourse Reserve Trustees and Ngāi Tahu Property initiative, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

Yesterday Cabinet approved the Riccarton Racecourse Development Enabling Order 2017, which lifts the land’s reserve status and allows the development to start. The housing development has been facilitated by legislation passed by Parliament last June.

“The benefits for Canterbury of freeing up this significant block of land are an increase in the supply of housing and a financial boost for the racing industry,” Dr Smith says.

“The key to improving affordability is increasing supply, and this development will do that while helping first home buyers into a new, high-quality home.

“Tremendous goodwill and vision by both Ngāi Tahu Property and the Board of Trustees of the Riccarton Racecourse has got us to this point and I congratulate them both. Together they have worked towards the release of this restricted use land so close to existing community redevelopment.

“This development, alongside those at Awatea, and Colombo and Welles streets, is the final phase of the Government’s housing response to the Christchurch Earthquakes. These Government interventions since the earthquakes in the planning and supply side of housing now position the region as one of the most affordable in the country. It provides a model of how we can resolve issues in other centres and a competitive advantage for the Canterbury region in attracting new industry and people.”

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