Queen St is now Fast-food Valley

Policy Parrot says:

Brian Rudman must have taken his medication today because he is making sense.

Fresh with a good nights sleep Rudders has hacked into the notion that Auckland could have its own Silicon Valley. He reminds us all convincingly that others have tried similar ideas like Sir Bob Harvey declaring West Auckland a future Hollywood, then later Wynyard Quarter a mini Silicon Valley and finally some plonker suggested Hobsonville as a major Marine precinct.

The reality is all these ideas are shit because New Zealand is a place at the bottom of the world with a population the size of a small colony of ants in a child’s ant farm.

We think we are major players in the world and every now and then we kick-arse in sports or perhaps we flog off another start up business to some corporate overseas.

Some people need to get a grip. 

Rudman is right. Queen St is filled with $2 shops and Maccas and there is not really much of a show innovative precincts or centres of specific expertise will spring up.

Rather than pop our flippant ideas our leaders could so so much more if they took a dose of reality. This Parrot offers to do that with the side of a wet fish and a bucket of ice cold water.

Auckland is 180th largest city by population and 150th by land mass. In between there and the biggest cities are places you never even heard off. Each of those thinks its going to have a Silicon Valley or be something remarkable.


Time for a simple idea that has merit this Parrot says. But let’s start with dropping the loony ideas and begin with a healthy sense of self.

Parrot out.


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  • Michael

    Agree with Rudman’s diagnosis, but not with his solution. Queen Street will never be a Silicon Valley because the rents are too high. The initial reason the IT companies went to Santa Clara was because it was both cheaper than San Francisco and had Standford University on the doorstep.

    • philbest

      Exactly, Michael. It is incredibly encouraging to meet someone as clued up as you are, on the blogosphere.

      And there was no zoning prohibition at that time, against developers putting up low-cost commercial buildings in rural areas. Silicon Valley started on DIRT CHEAP land.

      It is common knowledge among genuine urban economics experts, that one of the negative consequences of urban growth containment planning, is DEFINITELY NO NEW STARTUP CLUSTERS LIKE SILICON VALLEY.

      In fact growth containment urban planning is perfect for “incumbency” in urban economies, it is strongly anti-competitive. It also REDUCES clustering efficiencies because there is no spare land and/ or no affordable land for potential new participants in embyonic clusters.

      Contemporary urban planners in most western cities are just as ignorant and destructive as the central planners and their conceits in the former USSR.

  • surfisup

    Yes, you see these ridiculous statements which never come to fruition.

    Politicians do it all the time too — recall Helen Clark proclaiming NZ to become a 0 carbon nation and that failed.

    John Key proclaim NZ wages would catch aussie — Even with the recent Aussie economic performance that looks highly unlikely.

  • Clive

    Walking up Q street these days is like walking in a sleazy part of shabby part of Hongkong …

    • sheppy

      But isn’t that Len’s vision for Auckland?

      • Clive

        and what about the desolation that is the “Wynyard quarter”

        • sheppy

          Probably not crowded enough yet for Lenny

  • Jman

    I thought Albany was Aucklands silicon valley as there are so many tech companies based out there.

  • Whafe

    Queen St in the CBD, is a seedy shit hole… I happen to be in the CBD today, tried to find a cafe at 7.45 close to Albert St, nothing obvious, just crap places that can’t make a coffee to save themselves and fast food chains…..

    Vote with feet, don’t support these business’s

  • Tax Haven Inc

    Unless someone in New Zealand comes up with a new idea in the same way the internet was new – we don’t stand a chance.
    Rather I think we should say screw the rest of the world and thumb our noses up at international agreements by becoming the world’s preferred tax haven where banks and all manner of asset and cash bolt holes are established. Imagine how booming our economy would be if we had Swiss and Cayman Islands style banking? Think of all the boats registered here. How about holiday boot holes and investment. It would go gang busters.
    We’d piss off the yanks and perhaps a few other nations. But who cares if we are swimming in cash and prosperity?

    • sheppy

      If only…
      Of course the reality is someone in Labia / the Gweens would get in power and try to steal the lot…

  • philbest

    Yeah, Parrot, when I read that column of Rudman’s, I wondered about calling the police and getting them to investigate who actually wrote that, and whoever they are, what have they done with Rudman?

  • cows4me

    I don’t know Rudman might be onto something, I’m sure we could specialise in lunatic politicians, seems to be plenty around.

  • conwaycaptain

    Auckland is fast becoming an overpriced city where doing business is prohibitive.
    With Queen Street fast becoming the haven of clip joint “souvenir shops” fast food joints and knocking shops in the adjoining streets who the hell would want to be there.

    • kehua

      I always thought that the English Language Education Institutions would have been a success, but alas the lack of regulations and then high exchange rates had an adverse effect on it, I do believe that it is still an under-rated industry as the earning demography in all of Asia increases. We have an advantage that NZ is preferred over Australia, and it requires so little capital to get going, for instance we have schools that are closing that no doubt with some upgrades would
      suit or even `night leasing` current school premises etc . Perhaps an area that could be revisited as the demand is only ever going to increase as these developing Nations continue to grow. They all undestand that it is one thing learning the language and an entirely different deal learning the culture of an Engish speaking country.