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Granny Flat Rule Changes

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Granny flat rule changes: The gritty detail, explained

RNZ

The government’s plan to liberalise granny flat rules will significantly save people time and money, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland says.

Bill McKay, from the university’s School of Architecture and Planning, has gone through the “nitty gritty” of the government’s proposal and all in all, believes it is a good idea.

The proposal is also supported by the opposition, and would see people able to build small dwellings on their property without needing resource consent to do so.

But what exactly is being proposed, and how easy will it actually be to build a self-contained dwelling in the backyard?

McKay told Nine to Noon the government was seeking feedback and people could give it through the Ministry for Business and Employment’s website until August.

A discussion document released by the government had “quite a bit” of information about how it would change legislation to allow this to happen.

Can be 60sqm in size

McKay said the granny flats could be up to 60 square metres in size.

It was “plenty of space” and “quite significant”.

According to Stats NZ, the median floor size of a new home consented in 2022 was 126sqm – so the dwelling could be just under half of that.

McKay said the dwelling could only be one-storey high and had to be detached from the main house.

There was nothing in the proposal saying how many bedrooms the dwelling could have, with McKay saying a dwelling of that size could easily have two along with living, kitchen, dining and a bathroom.

The dwellings could be build without consent – as long as they met a certain criteria.

What’s the criteria?

McKay said people would need to notify their local council that they were planning to build such a dwelling – and they would need to get some information.

This included areas on the property that were prone to flooding.

Once the build was complete, the council would need to be notified and be supplied with some drawings, showing locations of drains, for example.

All dwellings would still need to comply with the Building Code.

How does one ensure this happens?

McKay said there were a couple of options – including a licensed building practitioner building the dwelling or supervising construction.

Dwellings would have to be “well off the ground” to avoid flooding – and plumbing and drainage would need to connect to council infrastructure.

The whole plan was “not as simple as we think” and a lot would still need to go into the planning stage.

Once built – who owns it?

McKay said there needed to be common ownership with the main house.

The area could be subdivided but there would be “hoops” to jump through with doing that.

It was up to existing council policy for whether or not it could be rented or used as an Air BnB, for example.

Overall, McKay said he supported the plan but not everyone will be out on the weekend “knocking these up”.

But it would be faster, cheaper and enable families to look after themselves.

He said he was interested to see how it would work on Māori land – as there was a huge need.

The current proposal only allowed one granny flat per property and it must be near the main house.

On Māori land, McKay said several dwellings of this smaller size – and maybe no main house – were “really needed” as kaumatua housing or starter homes for young people.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. A great idea, only limited by the need to find a Granny!! Covid has a lot to answer for and removing both Grannies and Grandads from permanent circulation is one of them.

    There appears to be a shortage, which with the decline towards extinction of the Boomer generation will only increase with time…

    Perhaps ‘Rent a granny’ could be a post-retirement’ income source for some!

    (Just saying)

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  2. “plumbing and drainage would need to connect to council infrastructure”…. so i take it this is a fuck you to rural folk? but then it goes on to say about maori land, much of which is in rural areas so maybe septic is ok unless theyre only referring to urban bro land.

    my daughter wants dad to build her a tiny home to live in up the back paddock, she already has her spot picked out. if this rule apllies to rural land then a granny flat would be so much better and more practical.
    same with on farm worker accomodation etc but i suspect the granny flat rule wont apply to rural land as “rich farmers” can afford to be bled dry by council scum.

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    • hence why the need to still notify the council.
      guess it goes down as an improvement, if they know the m2 then theyll have an average value theyll most certainly add to rates.
      to be fair tho if its connected to council services then there should be some ratable aspect to it.
      i still think rates are unfair in some circumstances tho eg. island family of 12 crammed in a 3 or 4 beddy the rates are the same as a couple next door in same size house.
      should be based on occupancy/service usage not property value… poll taxes seem to go down like a cup of cold sick with you lot and most other kiwis tho.

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  3. Under current building regs (at least those in Masterton) it is going to take a fair juggling act to get a 60 sq/m granny flat on many of the current sections. Given two constants of an average sized primary house of 120 sq/m (ex article) & a 60 sq/m secondary building with no detached garage or carport:

    # Current ground coverage is set at 33% max. Section would have to be 540 sq/m which is large by today’s standards.

    Even if this requirement is wiped:

    # Most houses are currently situated fairly much dead centre of the section & set back from the road to give privacy which reduces the options for siting a second dwelling.

    # A note pad sketch which allows three metres between the buildings & regular offsets of 2 x 1.5m & 2 x 3m & absolutely ideal siting of the first gives a minimum section size of 420sq/m.

    # Most subdivisions built on in the past three decades are riddled with covenants. Will the enabling legislation override them?

    I doubt that this proposal is going to be practical or possible for many who could benefit from it.

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    • nasska ya silly goose, do you not understand politics and optics?
      its all about feelz and the illusion theyre doing stuff to make things better. other near useless policy introduced lately is the new 3 strikes and youth boot camps. it may only benefit/affect a handfull of kiwis yet the plebs crow in approval.

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