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Parliamentary Reporter. WELLINGTON, this day. A reply to recent criticism by the Mayor of Auckland, Mr. Allum, of the Government housing scheme at Tamaki was made last night by the Minister of Works, Mr. Semple. "Development of the Tamaki area is absolutely essential, if the Government is to proceed with its endeavours to meet the housing needs of Auckland," said Mr. Semple. The Minister said that once before it was stated publicly that there •were thousands of available sections I in more suitable localities, but when particulars were called the number dwindled to vanishing point. During the last eight years the Housing Construction Department had literally combed Auckland city and its environs for house sites. It had acquired practically every section within a reasonable radius- that was economically available. Every vacant serviced section had been examined and many unserviced ones and Mr. Allum could be sure that those not purchased did not measure up to the requirements of the department, Mr. Semple continued.

"If we are to keep rentals down to their present level, we must consider the prices to be paid for the land on which we build the houses," he added. "Many of these sections might be suitable for purchase by private individuals for the building of more expensive private houses, but the fact that the department is being continually requested by exservicemen and others to sell the sections we have purchased is evidence of the shortage of reasonablypriced serviced sections in Auckland. "When it comes to undeveloped land, of which Mr. Allum says there is sufficient for 15,000 sections, I do not know where these are to be found, nor can I conceive of any area or group of areas which could be serviced more economically than Tamaki." The Mayor's estimate of £500,000 for the servicing of the Tamaki area was questioned by Mr. Semple, who said that there would be no need to incur this expenditure at the outset. For at least two years comparatively little expenditure by the council would be necessary and by that time rates could amount to several thousand pounds a year. In the case of roads the standard demanded by the Ctiy Council would provide that no maintenance would be necessary for 15 years, while electric power, water and gas were profit-making utilities and every unit . would pay its way. Another important factor apparently overlooked by Mr. Allum, said Mr. Semple, was that if the Government, was to acquire all the serviced sections in Auckland the individual who wished to build his own home would find it impossible to acquire a suitable section. The Government did not wish to discourage private building in this or any other way.

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Bibliographic details

REPLY TO MAYOR, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 187, 9 August 1945

Word Count

REPLY TO MAYOR Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 187, 9 August 1945

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