Affordable housing

Auckland Council officials squabbling like children

The left arm doesn’t know what the right arm is doing at Auckland a Council. It’s so typical you’d have got a low return from the TAB.

What a bunch of clowns!

Two Auckland Council bodies are at loggerheads over whether 20ha of land at Hobsonville Pt should be used for housing or a film studio.

Five consultant firms have been hired during the dispute, which arose when Ateed, the council’s economic development arm, made a late pitch to turn some of the council-owned land into a film studio campus.

Auckland Council Property Ltd says it has a masterplan for the site and work can start immediately on 80 of the 441 houses and apartments, of which up to 15 per cent would be in the affordable category.

The masterplan will recoup $36 million spent to date on the land and provide a tidy $34 million profit for ratepayers, says ACPL in a report going to the Auckland development committee today.

An analysis of the Ateed proposal by CBRE property consultants for ACPL said the film studio would get the land for free for about 20 years and the council would be $24 million worse off in cash terms.

Ateed, which has used three consultants to fight its corner, said a film studio campus on 10ha of the land would provide 435 jobs annually and generate $483 million to the Auckland economy over 25 years.

The other 10ha would be used to build 315 homes.    Read more »

The Low Rat Cunning of Phil Twyford

The Herald has run a very interesting article on Phil Twyford, saying he is doing a good job of pummelling Nick Smith.

This may be true but wait until Smith says “Well what would you do Phil?” as everyone knows Phil is a bit short in the brain department and doesn’t have a sensible, cogent strategy for dealing with housing affordability that will actually work in the real world.

And Twyford is not known for being a team player.

Twyford’s ambition has not always endeared him to his colleagues. During Labour’s frequent leadership changes since 2008, some within the party observed Twyford had a tendency to sniff the wind and ingratiate himself accordingly.

Twyford was among those understood to be trying to persuade David Shearer to step down although Maryan Street took most of the fall publicly for that. In the ensuing leadership contest Twyford helped run Grant Robertson’s campaign.   Read more »

Nick Smith was wrong, Iwi are going to court

Nick Smith’s ongoing omnishambles trundles forward and as predicted here Iwi are going to court.

Housing Minister Nick Smith says it is “disappointing” iwi are taking legal action on the issue of ‘first right of refusal’ and he would prefer the matter is settled out of court.

Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui yesterday challenged the Government’s interpretation of ‘right of first refusal’ in light of Budget moves to free up surplus land in Auckland for private housing developments.

“It’s a little bit disappointing, it certainly wasn’t raised when I met with the 13 iwi [yesterday],” Mr Smith said on Newstalk ZB this morning.  Read more »

Yep, Nick Smith really should give Daryl Kerrigan a call

Someone really does need to tell Nick Smith he’s dreamin’.

Housing Minister Nick Smith has just had a hui with Auckland’s 13 iwi who claim first right of refusal on up to 500 hectares of public land earmarked for housing.

“I emphasized to them that the Government is absolutely committed – both in spirit and in word – to ensure that their Treaty obligations are respected,” Mr Smith says.

Iwi took exception to treatment by the Crown over plans to develop huge tracts of land.

They say they would normally be given first rights but a clause allows the Government to sell public land for social purposes.

Mr Smith is reassigning education and transport land to state housing land.

Read more »

Omnishambles Smith tried to convince Ngati Whatua first right of refusal doesn’t apply – good luck with that

Nick Smith really is like Malcolm Tucker’s coffee machine.

Omnishambles Smith has tried to convince Ngati Whatua first right of refusal doesn’t apply.

Housing Minister Nick Smith is hopeful a dispute with Auckland iwi over the government’s plan to sell-off land for housing developments can be resolved without court action.

Ngati Whatua has sought legal advice after learning the government had no intention of dealing with it first over the sale of 500 hectares of public land in Auckland.

The Maori Party says a right of first refusal is a standard provision in Treaty of Waitangi settlements.    Read more »

Twyford ignores Labour’s own history with interest rates

Phil Twyford is trying to blame interest rates for the so-called housing crisis.

The average Kiwi household is $250 a year worse off because the Auckland housing boom has kept interest rates high, Labour has claimed.

With the Reserve Bank due to revise its 3.5 per cent official cash rate (OCR) on Thursday, Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford has issued figures showing an across the board 0.5 cut would provide an immediate $725 million boost.

He says the analysis – which he admits is an assumption, given all interest rates would not immediately respond in a uniform way – reinforces his criticism of National’s “abject failure” to control soaring prices or build enough affordable housing.

“This is money that is currently going to offshore lenders. The whole country – households, consumers and businesses – are paying the price of the Government’s failure to fix the Auckland housing crisis,” Twyford said.

Which kind of ignores Labour’s recent history on interest rates.

David Farrar takes a break from arts reviews to point out the hypocrisy of Twyford’s statements.

Let’s have a look at the history of the OCR:


Yeah that 3.5% is just killing businesses and households. Labour never had it below 4.5% and even had it above 8% until they crashed the economy into recession (before the GFC struck).

Read more »

Whaleoil idea of the week – Housing affordability

In the search for the magic bullet to solve housing affordability woes – in Auckland particularly – there has been much debate about the causes and subsequently the solutions.

The National Government is tinkering, but to be honest – isn’t really doing much. ​But before anyone gets their knickers in a twist I qualify a defence ​- there isn’t a lot that the Government can do to stop the runaway freight train, ​because​ whenever it makes a policy decision it is inevitable that a barrage of opposition and politicking interferes with the process and diminishes the outcome. Short of becoming an errant dictatorship their hands are mostly tied.

For example – the Special Housing Areas​ and Housing Accord​​ ​is a rational​ solution for relieving pressure. But with Auckland Council ​now ​suspending consent​ processing​ for SHA’s in greenfield areas that initiative is now on the rocks​.​

Releasing Crown land​ in Auckland​ has ​al​ready hit it’s first hurdle with legal action threatened by local iwi​ – Ngati Whatua – who believe they have first right of refusal to acquire any land sold. ​

I am sure you see what I mean.

Most of the talk is hysteria from the MSM, which is fanning the flames on this housing issue; and a lot of the hysteria around rampant house values has been heavily focussed on foreign buyers and immigrants in xenophobic rash of finger pointing. It is claimed that foreigners are speculating.   Read more »

Why does Labour jump on every passing bus?

Labour seems to have a strategy of jumping on every passing bus in the forlorn hope that it might arrive at the destination they desperately seek – the treasury benches.

It seems that if someone is angry or bitter with the government then Labour cuddles up to them. It hasn’t worked for them so far and in fact, makes them look as angry and as bitter as the whingers and complainers they use to put hits on John Key.

The Government is ready to defend in court its decision not to offer iwi Crown land before it is sold to developers.

A legal skirmish has broken out after Ngāti Whātua thought it would be given first right of refusal to Crown land up for grabs in Auckland. The Government announced as part of the Budget that 500 hectares of public land would be sold.

The issue has drawn the ire of Government support partner the Maori Party, which said Ngāti Whātua had sought legal advice after learning the Government had no intention of dealing with them over the sale of Government-owned land in Auckland.

But Prime Minister John Key and Housing Minister Nick Smith have staunchly insisted the law was on their side.

“What the Government’s trying to do is expand the amount of land that is available for housing.

“It’s quite legitimate for us to do that,” Key said.  Read more »

Do you want a home for $300,000 or less?

Are there any affordable homes in New Zealand for $300,000 or less? I let my fingers do the typing and searched Trademe for properties for sale for $300,000 or less. Previously I have blogged about houses for sale for $200,000 or less and $100,000 or less.

A 20% deposit on a $300,000 house is $60,000.

The fortnightly cost of paying off a 30 year table loan for $240,000 is $661.27

It turns out I am not the only person who has realised that it is possible to purchase a home if you lower your expectations.

While thousands of Aucklanders despair at their chances of owning a house, a determined 22-year-old student is proof it can be done.

University of Auckland under-graduate Brandon Lipman has just become a property investor and hopes to add a second house to his portfolio within 12 months.

“It’s not going to stop at one. There will be another purchase – it’s just a matter of when.”

He has always dreamed of being a homeowner. And on April 29 – his birthday – he bought a $300,000 Hamilton rental property after scraping together $45,000 through hard work and financial compromise.

Read more »

Do you want a home for $200,000 or less?

Are there any affordable homes in New Zealand for $200,000 or less? I let my fingers do the typing and searched Trademe for properties for sale for $200,000 or less. Previously I have blogged about houses for sale for $100,000 or less.

A 20% deposit on a $200,000 house is $40,000.

The fortnightly payment on a 30 year table loan for $160,000 is $440.85

Read more »