WAKE UP AUCKLAND! You do not have a traffic problem

Before politicians get too keen implementing tolls on roads that are already paid for…

Just driven around Auckland this morning after dropping off my kids.

Free and quiet roads at 8-8.45am. Nobody on them. We don’t have a congestion problem in Auckland.

Therefore we don’t need expensive public transport.

What we have is a cultural issue.

The roads are empty today because it’s a school holiday.

When school holidays are over we will have full roads again.

I put it to you that the congestion we experience is mostly to do with people dropping off kids who should bloody walk. Read more »

Finance Minister cautions Auckland first home buyers: Don’t


It’s remarkable to have a Finance Minister give such an overt warning to the market.

Bill English is cautioning first-home buyers about committing themselves in the current Auckland market, saying if they are patient, prices might fall soon.

He also indicated that if the Auckland Council does not accept a Unitary Plan that allows supply to meet demand, the Government could force it to do so by law.

The Finance Minister said there were risks in taking out a mortgage right now that stretched a two-income household. Read more »

More hypocrite-driven road-lice lies

Guest post

Have a read of this post by Bike Auckland, bragging about bike numbers being up in Auckland.

Then have a look at the Skypath patronage figures – the ones ratepayers will be underwriting:


(click here for a larger view) Link fixed now

Read more »


Guess who gets to take home the money for building Len Brown’s rail loop?

Australian-listed Downer EDI has won one of the first construction contracts for Auckland’s $2.5 billion City Rail Link.

Downer has joined forces with French specialist geotechnical and civil engineering company Soletanche Bachy to build part of the CRL.

The city rail link will have twin 3.4km tunnels up to 42 metres below the inner-city’s streets to create an underground line linking Britomart with the existing western line near Mt Eden.

Boring machines will be used to create the tunnels and new train stations will be built at Aotea Sq and Karangahape Rd.

It is estimated it will take five-and-a-half years to build the CRL, which has been divided into four work packages – a decision AT made after consulting with international rail constructors and experts.

I understand that we don’t necessarily have the experts lying around locally, but New Zealand companies can hire them. Why are we pushing all that money into overseas balance sheets?  Read more »

Former Reserve Bank chief economist: Crash Auckland house prices by 40 percent


A call by a former Reserve Bank chief economist to flood Auckland with new houses to crash house prices by 40 per cent is “crazy”, Prime Minister John Key says.

[…] Arthur Grimes, who is now senior fellow at Motu Research and an associate professor at Victoria University, said drastic action was needed.

REINZ data shows Auckland’s median house price reached $820,000 in March this year – a 66 per cent increase in only four years, Mr Grimes noted. Read more »

$1b for councils to get around their own shitty credit rating

When I heard National were handing out $1b to councils, my first question was: Where the hell did Bill English find a spare billion?

The Government says councils facing dire housing shortages are “incredibly enthusiastic” about the $1 billion infrastructure development fund that’s just been announced.

It’s the latest move to tackle the Government’s most pressing problem and Prime Minister John Key says it could help create “tens of thousands” of new homes.

He announced the initiative at the National Party’s annual conference in Christchurch on Sunday.

The fund will be open to councils in areas with high population growth – Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga and Hamilton.

“I’ve spoken to all five of those councils, they are incredibly enthusiastic about its potential,” Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith told reporters.

“The Government wants pace around housing.” Read more »

Paula Bennett is planning a second refugee centre in Mangere – for New Zealanders

Paula Bennett wants to build a slum emergency housing…in South Auckland.

A “pop-up” housing park of 100 or so prefabs for temporary use could be established in South Auckland by next autumn, says Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett.

It would house present state tenants whose property was being redeveloped and others in urgent need of housing.

She told the Herald on Sunday she was thinking of about 100-150 houses for the first and she had identified three sites in South Auckland that could take that number.

But “temporary” housing has yet to be defined and she was looking at several options.

“Some of the modular housing is just outstanding – for like 20 years,” she said.   Read more »

An interesting idea, but one no political party will touch

Arthur Grimes reckons that the government and Auckland Council should work together to collapse the Auckland property market.

A former Reserve Bank chairman has called for the Government and Auckland Council to enact policies to deliberately “collapse” the city’s house prices by at least 40 per cent and intensify building along Tamaki Dr with Gold Coast-style towers.

Arthur Grimes delivered a hard-hitting speech at an Auckland Conversations event, calling for swift action to resolve the housing crisis, and the city’s eastern suburbs to have high-rise residential blocks, ready for the next generation of Aucklanders.

The median house price was $1 million, up from an already too high level of $600,000 five years ago, he said.

“I think we should set ourselves a target now of looking for a collapse in house prices of at least 40 per cent in Auckland, OK? And that should be a political approach … central Government and local government politicians should be out there saying, ‘We’re trying to have policies in place that will collapse house prices in Auckland by at least 40 per cent’, because that will only take them back to a level where they were too high already five years ago,” Grimes told the Auckland Conversations forum.   Read more »

Twyford epitomises Labour’s chasing passing cars strategy

Phil Twyford, the architect of Labour’s assault on people with Chinky-sounding names, has again wrapped himself in the Cloak of Hypocrisy and strode forward hiding behind his Shield of Sanctimony.

Labour’s housing spokesman Phil Twyford has been accused of being a hypocrite after calling out the government for turning the housing debate into a “race issue.”

In Parliament last night, Mr Twyford accused the government of standing on the side of foreign, non-resident speculators against the interests of young Kiwi first-home buyers.

He was speaking on Labour’s bill that would amend the Overseas Investment Act to apply new restrictions on non-resident buyers of New Zealand residential properties to “better protect New Zealand home buyers.”

He says most New Zealanders want to see more restrictions on foreign buying but the government is telling voters that they are “xenophobic.”

But National MP Christopher Bishop says Mr Twyford’s comments are hypocritical.   Read more »

Could the new port be on the Firth of Thames?

Richard Harman from Politik seems to think so.

The study on the future of Auckland Port to be released on Friday is likely to recommend a “super port” near Waimangu Point in the Firth of Thames to be built within the next 35 years.

And the port is likely to replace  both Auckland and Tauranga.

POLITIK understands the study will reject the Manukau Harbour proposal because it would pose huge technical and resource consent challenges.

Northland has also been rejected because of the difficulty transporting cargo backwoods and forwards across Auckland city. POLITIK has spoken to two sources close to the Study Group and has been briefed on the details of the report.

One source  says  offers several advantages:

  • There is 15m of water depth almost right to the shore
  • It is closer to South Auckland
  • And it is closer to the Waikato

Read more »