I have bad news: Len made Auckland even more livable



I’m in denial right now.  In spite of everything Auckland Council has done over the last few years to drag the city into debt, and regardless of the pointless rail system, the charges for spreading ashes, parking meters out as far as Pukekohe, the fact you have to ask up to 11 Iwi and Hapu if the paint you chose for your house is culturally ok, nor the fact that the tree the council said you cut down springs a greenie infestation and then you are not allowed to cut it down.

In spite of all that, Auckland climbed one spot on the ‘most liveable city in the world’ list.  

Auckland continues to be identified as one of the most liveable cities in the world.

Last week, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its report on 140 cities, and for the fifth year in a row Auckland has made it into the top 10.   Read more »

Maori “King of Huntly” told to naff off by Ngapuhi, they reckon Auckland is “theirs”

Ngapuhi…who, I might point out, controlled Auckland by conquest, have told Tainui to bugger off.

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin said Friday’s announcement that Maori King Tuheitia will lay claim to Auckland, is a “bit cheeky”.

He told more than 500 people gathered at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, including Prime Minister John Key, he was determined to see the claim through.

“It must be done,” Tuheitia said on Friday. “I am determined to do it with the start of the Kingitanga claim in Tamaki.”

The claim extends north to Mahurangi, down the Firth of Thames and across to the Manukau Harbour and to Piha.    Read more »

It seems Goff is failing to convince some hard core lefties

Simon Wilson, the editor of Metro, has an editorial about Phil Goff which seems to suggest that this hard core lefty is not that enamoured by the prospect of Phil Goff taking the mayoralty.

He even starts the article by paraphrasing the age old question that if Phil Goff is the answer then it must have been a silly question.

The mayoral election will be on us next year, which means the serious candidates should be walking among us now. So far, we’ve got precisely one: Phil Goff, the only man in Auckland who can keep a smile pasted to his face for longer than Len Brown. His intentions are not official, but they’re clear.

Brown himself continues to suggest he’s standing again. “Got it in the bag,” he declares to anyone who asks. Is he deluding himself? Or perhaps he knows he can’t announce his retirement yet because that would undermine his ability to keep doing the job for the year to come.

We’ve said it before: Len Brown will be thought of quite well by history. He’s the leader who gave voice to the reinvention of Auckland. He has wrangled a working majority on council across party lines and through two terms, in an environment where a lot of people want him to fail.

He has also presided over a steady rise in the quality of our top city officials. He inherited a lot of the CCO leaders and other key people from the old councils and central government appointments, but since the early days of the supercity Auckland’s civic leadership has grown stronger and more effective. Brown’s CEO Stephen Town is the most influential person in all that, but Town couldn’t be as effective if Brown stood in his way.

Still, Len Brown will not remain our mayor. Whatever his achievements, he’s unelectable. He lacks popular credibility, he lacks party and organisational support (Labour supports Phil Goff for the job) and he lacks financial support. All those people Brown thinks are telling him he’s their guy? They’re just being polite.

Besides, Len Brown has run out of puff. He’s not out front on the reinvention of the city anymore, but scurrying around in the background. Whether it’s the future of our port (see page 42), the intensification of housing or proposals for a new east/west freight connection, he has been, at best, muddled. He will do his own cause — the creation of a great “liveable” city — no good by clinging to the illusion that he can win again.

Read more »

Riddle me this: if 1080 only kills possums, why aren’t dogs allowed in after a drop?

The Council is carpet bombing the Hunua ranges…where only possums will die…if we believe the experts.

Oh hang on a minute….

Dog-owners will be discouraged from taking their pets into Auckland’s Hunua Ranges for at least four months after a major drop of 1080 poison began today.

Watercare has taken two of its four Hunua supply dams out of service until they receive a clean bill of health, and three regional parks have been closed to the public for five days.    Read more »

The Maori King wants all of Auckland. Don’t laugh, he may be onto something

The poor old truck driver from Ngāruawāhia has decided he wants all of Auckland.

The Maori King has laid out a bold wish, after revealing a Treaty claim for the entire Auckland region.

King Tuheitia explained the plan to 500 people gathered at Turangawaewae Marae, including Prime Minister John Key.

The Kingitanga claim covers a huge area from Warkworth all the way down to the Hauraki Plains.

King Tuheitia says he’s already started talks with Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson over his historical grievance.

A spokesman for the iwi, Tukuroirangi Morgan, told reporters they wanted to resolve the issues within a year.    Read more »

“So called” housing crisis

Len Brown smacking himself in the face

Len Brown smacking himself in the face

An 1800-home development is reportedly set to be constructed in west Auckland in an effort to put a dent in the city’s so-called housing crisis.

Located in the suburb of New Lynn, the 12ha project will accommodate more than 5000 people in both terraced homes and multi-level apartment buildings, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Project manager Winson Tan says property company Avanda Ltd purchased the former Monier brickworks site last year and is currently working with consultants to finalise plans. Read more »

Model for success lies out west?

As a newspaper continues to peddle the PR spin for Auckland Council they focus on New Lynn.

Desperate for a story of how the city is changing they are trying to pimp New Lynn as a place of golden utopian opportunity.

When you mention New Lynn, there’s a good chance anyone who hasn’t been there for a long time will conjure up many thoughts – but none involving the phrase “world class”.

Back in the day the mall was tired and far from a destination shopping centre. The cinemas shut down and moved closer to newer malls, pedestrians competed with motorists on cluttered streets, there were limited choices for a great meal or entertainment and the police helicopter visited more often than any resident would like.

But, as those who have been there more recently will know, those days are fading. The former “tired old town” is having a facelift costing about $400 million, complete with a well-oiled transport hub and a central entertainment and shopping precinct amid more affordable medium-density housing, great schools, office spaces, gyms, a library, a community centre and open public spaces.

New Lynn’s growth into a vibrant suburb where locals can live, work and play locally has been the result of more than a decade of planning and public and private investment.

The initial vision was to create a sustainable community around a transit interchange, capable of drawing and maintaining a population of 20,000 residents and 14,000 workers.

Now, says Auckland Mayor Len Brown, the vision is becoming a reality.

“What was a tired old town with great roots has become a place … with great liveable qualities.”

Read more »

Guest Post – The Future of the ‘Compact City


By Redqueen

As Auckland Council tries to move towards a ‘compact city’ model, I thought it would be interesting to examine what this will likely lead to. We have lots of ‘doom, doom, doom’ from various quarters (in terms of this being a negative thing that will see us all raising our two or three children families in pokey Soviet-style flats). On the reverse side, we’re told that this new compact edition of utopia will lead to better environmental outcomes and less congestion (as more people being shoved into a single space will obviously reduce overcrowding – whether on the footpath, the motorway, or in the café).

So let’s start with the basics: the creation of the Auckland ‘super-city’ puts all areas outside of the previous ‘urban limit’ under the control of the people who brought you the urban limit. This means that limited growth can occur in Rodney and Franklin, because it’s subject to urban development rules dictated from Auckland’s town hall. Whether this was intentional or not, it is the effect, and reduces local input on outcomes (the Hibiscus Coast, for instance, is going to be subject to ‘intensification’, regardless of whether this is what locals want or what the local infrastructure can actually handle).   Read more »

Auckland Council have blown it again on housing

Auckland Council have blown it again.

Their dirty attempts to stop greenfield expansion of the city are stronger than ever, despite the Government wanting them to release more land to increase housing supply.

But no matter how hard the Council tries to pull a trick they just cannot find the evidence to support them.

An expert report to Auckland Council suggests a huge shortfall in the amount of affordable terraced housing likely to be built over the next 30 years.

Just 3.6 per cent of new housing intended to address Auckland’s housing shortfall and cater for forecast population growth of up to one million new residents is likely to be terraced houses.

The report found many of the city’s local board areas marked for intensification would likely have no terraced housing or apartments built under proposed planning rules because they would not be financially viable.

“The political game that’s been played with the Unitary Plan has really fought against sense, so market-attractive areas have been deemed to be political hot potatoes for intensification,” Construkt Architects director David Gibbs said.   Read more »

Consultation from Auckland Council? Not so much

​The PR spin machine at Auckland Council is in full blown propaganda mode wi​th the pitch to up-sell their performance and the direction they are taking with the compact city.

Now they are peddling in more snake oil charmers from overseas to try to convince the masses that there is a need for city limits.

Of course its all totally unbalanced. There isn’t any ‘conversation’ being held about alternatives such as greenfield expansion.

But that’s not how the leftie socialists of Auckland Council want to run their show. There is absolutely no way in a million years that they are going to balance out the debate with speakers from Demographia such as Hugh Paveltich. Not a chance.    Read more »