Why are the Herald playing favourites with the Auckland Mayoralty?

The NZ Herald has run an article today that is headlined “Candidates for the Mayor of Auckland give their views“.

I though great, let’s see what they all have to say, only to find that it isn’t all the candidates it is just Phil Goff and Vic Crone.

A reader emailed:

I was scanning the Herald this morning (for my sins) and saw this piece from the Auckland Mayoral candidates discussing the budget.

As I understood John Palino is a candidate so why hasn’t he been asked his opinion?

I don’t want to appear to be a conspiracy theorist but I think the left wing media are orchestrating this campaign before it even starts.

They know that Crone hasn’t a hope so they’re touting her as the right wing candidate leaving an easy run in for Phil Goff.

Am I alone in this thinking?

Read more »

The push back against ratbag councillors begins


I said it would come, and so it has come to pass.

Those councillors who voted for Len Brown’s massive rates hikes are now being targeted directly by the Auckland Ratepayers Alliance.

The Ratepayers’ Alliance has today launched a “These Councillors are Rubbish” campaign exposing two of the “Terrible Ten” Auckland Councillors who allowed Len Brown to hike rates by 9.9% last year, and are failing to prevent changes to local waste services which will see some households pay twice as much for domestic waste collection.

In the next 72 hours 72,000 leaflets will be distributed in Rodney and Albany targeting Councillors Penny Webster and Wayne Walker, their voting record, and their apparent support for a new waste regime which will see their constituents pay much more for waste.

Ratepayers’ Alliance Spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says “This is the first step of our campaign to name and shame those who have supported Len Brown’s high rates, high debt agenda.”   Read more »

John Palino on Auckland’s housing issues

John Palino has an opinion piece in the NZ Herald this morning about the Auckland housing issues.

He is the first politician to actually lay the blame where it belongs, at the feet of Auckland Council.

Make no mistake, Auckland is in crisis and it is a crisis of the council’s making. Housing is unaffordable due to artificial restrictions on land supply. The existing council’s compact city growth vision has not worked and has led to a chronic undersupply of houses. Many people in Auckland cannot afford even our cheapest homes.

Restricting development through something as blunt as a metropolitan urban limit has prevented large scale construction and forced growth into suburban areas without the services to handle density.

The urban limit and its replacement, the rural urban boundary, must be removed so those who are prepared to develop new homes can do so. It’s about enabling an efficient market which reflects the value of land rather than speculative investment.

Removing the urban limit is not about encouraging unconstrained sprawl. Infrastructure will always place limitations on development.

The key is managing infrastructure investment to balance the need to support competition in the property market and keep overall costs down for current and future residents; there’s no point building cheap housing if there’s no access to jobs and recreation.

Read more »

Irrelevant Dunne blames main parties for housing crisis when everyone knows it is the councils

I think we reached peak Peter Dunne some time ago. If only Winston would find a decent candidate to stand against this old fool.

He’s never really been the same since he fell for the glad eye from a journalist.

United Future leader Peter Dunne says the main parties need to stop playing the blame game and resolve the housing crisis with real solutions.

Mr Dunne’s proposing a National Housing Conference that brings together central and local government, the building industry, the banks and social services.

“The two main parties are playing political sniping games at each other,” he says.

“It’s easy to point the finger at Auckland Council but right around New Zealand there are people who have housing issues.”   Read more »

Red Katie isn’t happy either

You’d have to say that Andrew Little’s much touted pre-budget speech has gone down like a cup of cold sick amongst the journalists.

I watched Katie Bradford wiggle her way through her summary and was left with the distinct impression she was unimpressed.

She was quite disparaging.

Joyce was right, Little’s speech was a collection of slogans unsupported by any facts.   Read more »

So many promises, but no way of paying for them

Andrew Little has made so many promises, but hasn’t told us how he intends paying for them.

Labour leader Andrew Little has used a pre-Budget speech to accuse National of neglecting ‘middle New Zealand’ and promised a Labour government would do more for housing affordability and health.

There were no new policy announcements in Mr Little’s speech, which focused mainly on criticising National’s record and accused it of favouring “the few at the very top.”

Mr Little said if Labour was in charge of this year’s Budget it would invest heavily in new infrastructure to kick kickstart the economy.

“And to help everyone succeed, the Government I lead will address the real causes of the housing crisis.” He said Housing Minister Nick Smith was “flailing round with gimmicks” such as special housing areas and releasing Crown land for housing.

“We can’t keep going like this. If we do, we’re going to be left with a country where home ownership becomes the privilege of just a very lucky few rather than a birth right for most Kiwis.” He said restoring widespread homeownership should be a priority and listed Labour’s plans to ban overseas buyers buying a house unless it was a new build.   Read more »

Auckland Council goes to war against critics

The desperados at Auckland Council can’t help but act belligerently. They’re also becoming a bunch of angry wasps.

So last week Labour and the Greens ganged up with National and Act to clearly state that Auckland’s city limits have to be abolished. It’s clear Auckland Council needs to dispense with it and do as it’s told. Everyone is against them.

But they can’t. Because they think they are right and they think everyone else is wrong. And you can all stuff off because they spent loads of time dreaming about their compact city and they bloody well should get it.

As always the filthy PR machine swings into action and waddayaknow they are trying tell us all that they do know best and the RUB is ok.

And here is what they say…

“Auckland Council is busting the myth that there is a constraint on building beyond Auckland’s current Metropolitan Urban Limit (MUL).”

“23,000 homes already planned outside the MUL

Over the past three years Auckland Council has approved developments outside of the MUL that could provide up to 23,000 new homes. This is possible through Special Housing Areas legislation, but it is also part of council’s strategy for the forward supply of urban land.

The Unitary Plan could open up 11,000 hectares outside the MUL.   Read more »

Winston goes all Green and wants to ban something

Winston Peters hates the Greens but he doesn’t seem to worry about using their ban hammer at times.

Winston Peters has come up with a radical solution to Auckland’s housing crisis – force speculators to develop their land.

As the government and Labour find common ground to tackle the shortage, the NZ First leader says they’ve lost the plot.

“Instead of addressing the real issues of artificial demand and speculative land banking, they want to create an ugly, urban sprawl with no supporting bus and rail links or other critical infrastructure,” he said on Thursday.   Read more »

Auckland Council getting their beans from all sides now…except Phil Goff

Labour have called Auckland Council’s housing plan deluded:

Labour says Auckland Council is deluded, after it said its metropolitan urban limit wasn’t holding up development of new housing.

“I think [Auckland Council is] utterly out of touch,” says Labour’s Phil Twyford.

“If they think that the current status quo is working they are absolutely deluded.”

A rare alliance between Labour and National saw the council backed into a corner, but today the council came out fighting.

“We feel there’s quite a lot of misinformation out there,” says Auckland Council’s Penny Wright.

Much of the debate is around freeing up land for new housing.

The council rejects the idea it’s kept a tight grip on the Metropolitan Urban Limit — essentially a ring around Auckland dictating where housing is built.

Read more »

Mark Thomas is right – people will be “living on Mars” before the port is moved

John Palino wants the port moved and provided some analysis on how that might be achieved. Vic Crone also wants it moved but has no idea how to move it, it’s just blocking her view. Phil Goff is just echoing what his corporate donors are saying.

Mark Thomas says that people will be living on Mars before the port is ever moved, and he’s right.

NBR reports:

Even if Auckland Council’s Port Future Study recommends moving Auckland’s downtown wharves, mayoral contender Mark Thomas says it will be pie in the sky.

Mr Thomas says people will be “living on Mars” before the port is moved as there are higher priorities for the city.

He says the port is a low priority for the thousands of Aucklanders he has spoken to during his campaigning.    Read more »