Property Developers, builders and the construction industry need to change strategy in the fight against Auckland Council. So far they have been losing.
Most of the industry is made up of small business. Think about how many builders exist cutting a living from building one, two or three houses a year. Predominantly – the greater portion of property development companies are staffed by a handful of people and statistically they build only 20% of the new housing stock each year. They are bit part players. Some of the group housing companies have ramped up and Asian investors are getting in on the game in bigger numbers but compared to overseas the business matrix is lacking real big players. And then there is the construction industry. A handful of bigger companies who dominate and the balance is made up of smaller business. Subbies and specialists.
Most if not all of these players are without a voice, except through the likes of their representative organisations – like the Property Council, the Builders Federation, Council for infrastructure, etc. Whilst these organisations are good to a point – they are failing miserably to get traction in Auckland. The organisations are well-connected but they play the nice-guy lobby game, organising meetings and group think sessions, talking to ministers and ministry advisors and even get seats occasionally around the table with Council for input on various matters. But the facts speak for themselves – Auckland Council is operating more or less the same as it was previously and it is charging ahead with ideas that have been fought over for years. So it’s hard to find any wins for the property industry in the current landscape that surrounds Auckland Council.
Even the Special Housing Areas are going to poo. The Council has found the gumption to tell the Government to sod off, has suspended consent processing for greenfield developments. Struggling for land – the supply chain for housing is choked and now noose is tightening. Where is the win in that?
Auckland Council is dead set useless. Consents are slow and the figures heavily manipulated. Infrastructure is poked and used as a lever to thwart greenfield. Simple consents and processes require much angst, meddling and frustration. Try getting a consent for a basic deck addition to a house and you’ll find out just how complicated, slow and costly it is to deal with Auckland Council. Only last month the Auditor General commented that the consent costs charged by Auckland Council are vastly expensive compared to the same charges for the same consents charged by other local authorities around the Country. Development Contributions, Network Growth Charges and punishing time frames are causing migraines for the development and building industry. Nobody is immune to the effect that Auckland Council has. Most Councillors are in effectual troughers who do whatever the officials tell them. Read more »