She said, he said, she said

via 3 News

via 3 News

She believed Dotcom’s claims that his involvement with the Internet Mana party would eventually relieve the family of his threat of extradition, she said.

“At the end I was fine with it because Kim explained to me how this Internet Party would benefit us and the kids because it would help him with his political issues,” she said.

– Auckland now

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Graeme Wheeler should sick to monetary policy

Graeme Wheeler should sick to monetary policy because he clearly knows nothing about property and how cities are built.

I don’t want to repeat like a broken record the things I have said before on this site, but suffice to say Wheeler’s view that NIMBY’s are to blame is just dumb.

Building height restrictions and NIMBY attitudes in inner Auckland are standing in the way of an adequate supply-side response to Auckland’s housing shortage, Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler suggested today.

Appearing before Parliament’s finance and expenditure select committee he reiterated the bank’s estimate that the backlog of unsatisfied demand in the city is between 15,000 and 20,000 houses.

While dwelling permits issuance had risen to an annual rate of around 7500 — “a huge improvement” — that was still well short of the 10,000 a year over the next 30 years the Auckland Council had estimated the city needed, let alone eating into the backlog, he said.

“Some very good work has been done on opening up new areas but a major challenge there is getting the houses built quickly enough and a lot of those areas are in the periphery of Auckland where people may decide the transport costs make it less attractive for them or the infrastructure needs might be considerable,” he said.

“I think work needs to be done in inner Auckland in addressing the height restrictions and the not-in-my-back-yard syndrome that’s there.”

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Auckland Council win on compact city

​Auckland Council wins on compact city direction from Hearings Panel

It looks more and more like Auckland is screwed and destined to continue to be one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Yesterday the Independent Hearings Panel has issued it’s direction on the issues of growth and the Rural Urban Boundary (RUB) – deciding to side with Auckland Council.

While this does not set in stone the Regional Policy Statement it does clearly signal to all concerned that the panel is going to run with Auckland Council on the compact city aspirations.   Read more »

About Unitary Plan tricks

A general view of newly-built houses at Dadun village of Lingshui ethnic Li autonomous county

Auckland Council is trying to stiff the Independent Hearings Panel on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

Now that evidence is mounting against the compact city Auckland Council officers have been busy thinking up a strategy to gazump the property world and residents by circumnavigating the issues.

The problem for Council is that it is now finding itself against the entire community. Everyone is in agreement over the evidence and what outcomes should occur. Council – threatened by the chance it will lose – thinks everyone else is in looney land. Hardly a surprise because Auckland Council always thinks it is right. Supreme arrogance.

Word on the street is that new head of legal at Auckland Council – Catherine Anderson – has started working to wrestle decision making for big issues off the Independent Hearings Panel by regulating those matters outside of the Unitary Plan and the Resource Management Act and under the cover of the Local Government Act.

Firstly that’s a significant act that undermines all good faith.    Read more »

Show us the report Len

Where is the central wharves strategy report?

Auckland Council has for some time been secretly planning to open up the central wharves of Captain Cook and Bledisloe. It is for example – about to embark on a significant spending spree to pedestrianise Quay Street and reduce vehicle traffic down to two lanes.

The Wharves are the next step. Personally I don’t have a problem with opening the wharves up into the public realm. But I do have a problem with the way Council goes about it. Simply put – they are not transparent, and when put to the test – they tell lies about it.

Regional Planner Penny Perrit is on the record as saying a non complying activity status for reclamation of the port was indefensible. But it turns out they have plenty of advice to the contrary.

I have it on good authority that Council went about concocting a story around the activity status to make it easy for the port to go through reclamation.

Why? Because Council wants the central wharves and Ports of Auckland will only release the wharves if the activities upon them are relocated elsewhere in the area. A bargaining chip it became.   Read more »

Len Brown’s council shuffling deck chairs to make ends meet

While Len Brown is enthusiastically supporting spending more than $500,000 per annum on troughers in Ateed living overseas…and looking at expanding that, his council is reducing the public services that rates are supposed to cover.

Library hours are being reduced in a bid to save $1.1 million. Perhaps if he recalled our ‘city ambassadors’ he could find a large chunk of those savings?

Most libraries will have reduced opening hours, while some others will be extended, in a bid to save $1.1 million in Auckland Council’s proposed budget.

The core service is not spared in the 10-year budget, which also targets a 7 per cent cutback in park maintenance. The city’s 55 libraries will remain open on Saturdays, but Whangaparaoa, Mahurangi East and Birkenhead or Northcote will be closed on Sundays.

Warkworth, Ranui and Otahuhu will, however, extend their opening hours to include Sundays.

The Botany library has the biggest reduction, losing 12 hours to end up with 56, followed by Waitakere library and research centre, which loses 10 hours.

Even the hours at the central city library are being cut by five, doors opening on weekdays at 10am instead of 9am.

Other cutbacks of an hour or half-hour are minimal and several libraries will be open for longer. Warkworth will gain an extra six hours and Wellsford an extra three.

For libraries open Monday to Saturday, it is planned for a “neighbouring” library to be open on a Sunday to keep a seven-day service within reasonable reach of the community.    Read more »

Auckland Council’s dodgy survey delivering as expected

The Auckland Council’s farcical and illegal survey is now in full PR spin mode as the boffins try to tell the story that Aucklander’s want tolls.

Motorway tolls are gaining far more support from Aucklanders than lifting rates and fuel taxes to fill a $12 billion transport funding gap over 30 years.

A snapshot Auckland Council has given the Herald of public feedback received in consultations over its 10-year budget also shows more than twice as much support for a $10.3 billion enhanced transport programme than for a stripped-down $6.9 billion version it warns will be the Super City’s lot if it cannot raise extra money.

The consultations began on January 23 and remain open for submissions until March 16.

Tolls have been backed by 51 per cent of 3418 responses received so far to a council mailout, and 17 per cent have indicated part support.

With a population of over 1.5 million to receive just 3418 responses is laughable. It is only 0.22% of a percent. Len Brown will no doubt claim this as an endorsement.   Read more »

Welcome to Len’s apartheid city

When Len Brown was first elected as Mayor if Auckland Council he had promised to hold a referendum on Maori seats for the Council.

He reneged on that and instead went for a Maori Statutory Board with appointees rather than elected officials.

Len Brown also stated that he wants the world’s most liveable city.

One would presume that would mean that everyone in the city could enjoy the facilities of the city at all times.

However it appears that what he really means is that one race is being preferred over another with the latest outrage being the closing of a popular beach so some Maori can have a party.

Auckland’s popular Okahu Bay beach will be closed to the public this Saturday for a “private family event”, local iwi Ngati Whatua Orakei says.

It has placed a public notice in local newspaper the East and Bays Courier saying the beach on Tamaki Drive will be closed between 6am and 4pm tomorrow.

No-one from Ngati Whatua was available this morning to give further details.    Read more »

Sometimes Farrar says the most ridiculous things

Usually it is Wellingtonians talking about what is best for Auckland.

David Farrar is one of the worst offenders.

Today he says this:

The waterfront is now the crown jewel in a city. It wasn’t 100 years ago, but times have changed and long-term the ports should be in places like Manukau and Petone – industrial areas. Yes it will cost a lot to move them, but it would be w worthwhile long-term investment for better cities.

What an idiot.

Let me begin.

Firstly he shows how Wellington CBD centric he is. Auckland has two harbours…not one…and therefore more waterfronts. He is suggesting that the Waitemata waterfront is best as a jewel in the crown. I am sure the residents of Onehunga and surrounding suburbs would disagree, who btw would probably out number the total of Wellington residents just quietly.

Even his comment about Petone is blessed with stupidity…it is at the end of a crappy little harbour and therefore more susceptible to tides. That would require massive wharf structures and then dredging to be suitable for even tiny container ships.

While we are talking about dredging, if Farrar is to be taken seriously then the Resource Management Act would destroy his fantasies in a nano-second as the Manukau harbour is highly tidal, very shallow and would by necessity require huge dredging operations for ships to even cross the entrance let alone navigate the harbour.

The harbour has a water surface area of 394 square kilometres. There is a tidal variation of up to 4 metres, a very substantial change, especially since the harbour, being silted up with almost 10 million years of sedimentation, is rather shallow itself.

Because of the large harbour area and narrow mouth between the Manukau Heads, tidal flow is rapid and a bar at the mouth makes navigating in or out of the harbour dangerous. New Zealand’s most tragic shipwreck occurred on the bar in 1863 when HMS Orpheus ran aground in clear weather with a loss of 189 lives. For this reason, along with the harbour’s shallowness, it is not Auckland’s favoured port, and the facilities at Onehunga are not very large compared to the other Ports of Auckland facilities on the Waitemata Harbour on the northeast of the isthmus.

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Dodgy ratbag council is as dodgy ratbag council does

It appears that the corrupt Auckland Council are donkey deep in making things easy for themselves whilst making it hard from anyone else to do anything at all.

The vote to make expansion of the container terminal a discretionary activity, that in turn makes consenting easy and possibly non-notified, is marred with all manners of agenda.

Firstly Ports of Auckland is owned by Auckland Council and the dividend paid to the Council is an obvious benefit that by default creates a conflict of interest.

But there is even more agenda at play.

In the same development committee meeting the Councillors had two topics for discussion being:

1. The now known activity status for reclamation of the port;

2. proposals to investigate changes to the CBD waterfront – but more specifically – Captain Cook Wharf.

Now call me cynical, but it would appear that Council is not only making the consenting of reclamation easier, but that Council has a reason for wanting to do that.   Read more »