Change of strategy needed to fight against Auckland Council

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 »

Defence force trainers settled into Taji

Photo/ Supplied

Photo/ Supplied NZDF

The NZ Defence Forces have confirmed the troops are in Camp Taji and commenced their training operations.

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) trainers and supporting Force elements are now established in their base in Taji and have begun the task of training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in a range of military skills to help in the fight against ISIS.

This week, the combined New Zealand-Australia Building Partner Capacity mission officially took over the training of ISF personnel rotating through the Taji Military Complex, previously carried out by a US Army unit.

The training focuses on basic operational skills such as planning, weapons training, basic manoeuvres and the profession of arms.    Read more »

The (2nd) Great Whaleoil Census – Part 4: Whaleoil read frequency


Good morning.  About two years ago we ran a “census” to get an idea of what our audience was all about.  We’re going to do that again, but this time it will be one question per day, each morning.  I will attempt to collate the previous questions as we go along, so that anyone who misses one can find a reasonably easy way to have a vote or to review the results.

Although we have a huge list of questions to work through, feel free to suggests ones that are close to your heart in the comments.

Part 4:  How often do you read Whaleoil? Read more »

Whaleoil General Debate

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Today in History


On this day, in 1934, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed on a rural road in Louisiana by 4 Texas and 2 Louisiana law enforcement officers. Read more »

Face of the day


Malte Woestefeld is left open mouthed as the cheeky zebra muscles in on his selfie

Malte Woestefeld was left stunned as a zebra photobombed his shots on a trip to a zoo but the animal truly earned his stripes as he leant through Malte’s car window then appeared to smile for one of the snaps.

“The zebra was actually super cuddly and didn’t leave the window for a few minutes,” said Malte, 24, who is studying business administration.

“I had a carrot in my backpack so I gave it to him.”

Malte was on a day trip to Zoo Safaripark in Holte-Stukenbrock, Germany, when he managed to take the zelfie of all selfies.

Malte said “There was a big horde of zebras but this one was standing alone.

“It looked like it was waiting for us.

“We had our windows closed the entire team because they also have lions and other dangerous animals and this is the regulation of the park that we respected.”


Malte Woestefeld took a few more ‘zelfies’ with the friendly zebra at the Zoo Safaripark in Germany

But as they drove into a safer zone they opened their windows to say hello to the friendly creature.

And the distinctive black and white striped animal could not resist popping in to say cheese.


Word of the day

The word for today is…

quintal (noun) – 1. (Units) a unit of weight equal to 100 pounds.
2. (Units) a unit of weight equal to 100 kilograms.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : “a weight of a hundred pounds,” circa 1400, from Old French quintal “hundredweight,” and directly from Medieval Latin quintale, from Arabic quintar, from Late Greek kentenarion, from Latin centenarius “containing a hundred” (see centenary).

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22

16A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.

Friday nightCap

Caution: language

If you’re having trouble hearing, try listening on headphones


Future of immersive news delivery?

Imagine being at the site where the war is, or the accident happened, or the murder scene…