Unitary Plan slammed by voters, Len still in hiding

Len Brown’s unitary plan has been slammed by voters.

The Herald reports:

A sizeable section of Aucklanders appear to prefer more urban sprawl to higher buildings, despite Mayor Len Brown’s goal of a compact city.

Herald-DigiPoll survey of 500 people has found more of them deeming the proposed Unitary Plan rule-book unnecessary than those prepared to give unqualified support to more multi-storey buildings and smaller average section sizes.

Only 18.3 per cent believe the plan is the best way to deal with population growth, and will make Auckland a better place to live.  

That compares with 28 per cent who said the plan was unnecessary, and that the Auckland Council should let the city grow outwards instead of allowing more high-rises.

But 23.4 per cent supported the plan in principle while believing some proposed changes were going too far.

Of course the mayor under the desk in the bunker squeaks through his spin weasels that he knows best.

Mr Brown remained unfazed by the findings yesterday, insisting Aucklanders understood the need for a compact city, but had the right to decide the best formula through submissions on the Unitary Plan which close on February 28.

Len Brown thinks he knows best but he is just issuing edicts from the bunker now.


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  • YoungA

    I agree with some further intensification in the CBD, only because there are a staggering number of hideous apartment buildings which IMO should be demolished and replaced with decent apartments a la Metropolis. However, I don’t see the reason why the CBD needs to be the one and only place of business in Auckland, which it seems what Len is trying to do – but why? North Shore is already thriving and East Tamaki will build up to be a buisness centre in the future with the land available. We have so much fucking land I don’t see the problem with building out a little further..

    • Cowgirl


    • Steve (North Shore)

      Went from Albany to Whangaparaoa on thurs. There is so much land just waiting for houses and factories. Just move the population out. Remember the Rosedale area and Clemows Orchard 20 years ago?

      • Bea

        Is it good productive land? If so, it would be a shame to see it hacked up for houses, lifestyle blocks and whatnot.

        • Kopua Cowboy

          Meh just cut down all the pointless forests in the central plateau

        • philbest

          Per acre, land used for farming contributes so little to the NZ economy compared to “urban” use, there is no point “preserving” it. It is not commercial sense for a business to concentrate on its lowest profit activities, and it makes no sense for a nation to either.

          We are confusing “total output” with “output per unit of land”, which are two totally different things. Our urban areas are around 0.6% of our total land, versus nearly 40% for farming and 20% for forestry; yet manufactured exports are now 30% of exports by value. And no-one is complaining about factories effluent ruining the environment, unlike runoff of fertiliser and cowshit from farms.

          • Muffin

            Remove the exportable earning from farms and watch that urban productivity dry up real fast

          • Dick Brown


            Productive farming land, over time, will always be the rock that holds an economy together.

            What good is 4000 people pe square metre if they don’t have a job during low economic cycles.

            Farming has always been the backbone of this economy and while successive governments continue to shortchange the country on its obligations in research and development it will continue to do so.

          • kehua

            Bullshit phil, might work in Singapore but not a shit show in hell here,, our export $`s come from the land noy the Urban centres.

        • kehua

          Nah it is crap land. Buttercups and kikuya.

        • Steve (North Shore)

          Land Banks mostly, for retirement funding

      • Muffin

        It’s a green belt to keep the townies away from the coast. Though is not working so good

        • philbest

          Time for a rebellion by the townies then.

          • Muffin

            I was a coasty so don’t care now but did at the time. Can’t stand Auckland

          • kehua

            Bring it on , most of the townies I see wouldn`t be able to walk the distance let alone fight when they finally got there.

          • philbest

            What you can’t stand, is what Auckland is. The whole point of letting it expand, is so it can become something different, and desirable.
            Its density and congestion is its ugliness.

          • philbest

            Yeah, like Japan’s productivity has been dreadfully low because it has to actually import food, shock, horror.
            Actually, food exporters most of the time for the last 6 decades have had to be helpless price takers on global markets, and literally no country is at an advantage for producing it. Reliance on food exports results in slippage down the global wealth rankings, this is NZ’s problem.
            It is extremely misguided to be cavalier about the exports of urban economies: we are fools if we refuse to even allow a local equivalent to Nokia or Samsung or Microsoft to develop because we have romantic ideas about farming. Sir Paul Callaghan’s books and presentations were spot on and everyone should be aware of them.
            NZ would be definitively worse off without the manufactured exports we already produce, and there is scope for growth in this. Any growth in this will lift NZ up the global wealth rankings.
            In global shocks when urban economies suffer a downturn, so do the rural economies; the prices of produce falls. It is all very well saying “everyone will always need food”, when they can’t afford to pay you for it. Remember NZ dumping meat and dairy products out at sea while millions of people were starving around the world?

          • philbest

            Actually, much of NZ’s farming throughout its history has been of marginal net benefit and we might as well have not done it at all in the more marginal areas of the country. The product is bulky and low value, and the transport infrastructure to haul it has been extremely cost-ineffective. We have stretches of urban road that carry more than 30,000 vehicles per day that the parsimonious government will not “4-lane”, while the entire country is criss-crossed with roads of similar capacity that carry less than 10 per day. Who is “over subsidised”? And the rail network is ridiculously intense for a country the size of NZ producing such low value product, and most of this network has been a dead weight loss to the country.
            We are arguing about letting NZ’s urban space grow from perhaps 0.6% of its land, to 0.8% over the next few decades, and we think we need to “protect farmland”???? SHEEEESH.

          • kehua

            More Bullshit Phil, the roads, railways, most hospitals and indeed the majority of capital works in all provincial towns and cities were originally paid for with the returns from the farming sector pre and post both World Wars , and it is still the source of most of NZ`s overseas funds, this cannot be denied. The problem of freeing up more land for Urban use is not about preserving farmland, it is about Council policy and `Green` pandering. The fact that Councils since the mid 1970`s have squandered their Revenue on `patsy` schemes whilst ignoring the maintainence of core responsibilities is not the fault of the rural sector.

          • philbest

            Kehua, what you are saying is mostly true. I am just trying to temper the enthusiasm for the myth that farming exports can keep any nation up in the world wealth rankings in the 21st century. And the idea that farmland should be preserved from urban sprawl is nonsense, I am sure you don’t disagree with me on this.
            The world has changed drastically since the era you fondly refer to. It is not necessarily true that “farming paid for urban infrastructure”. The Seddon government and others since borrowed massively, and this debt was not paid back until well into the 1960’s. And the Seddon government anticipated a population of 20 million by 1940 to help pay the infrastructure off. But immigration from Pommyland suddenly dried up about at the point where international trade was efficient enough to bring the cost of living down in Pommyland.
            Yes, farming exports have always been the principal source of NZ’s foreign earnings, but all I am saying is that within the whole system by which NZ farmed land and exported the products, some proportion of it has been a net loss due to the marginal nature of it. Sure, the best farmland closest to the ports has been a net gain. If you say I am talking bullshit, you just don’t understand what I am saying.
            And it is destructive to perpetuate a comforting past way of doing things in a changing world. Like I say; many of our traditional customers for food no longer need us; most nations in the world are now self sufficient in food; and new exporters are joining in the competition for the buyers that remain. Farming exports are now a quarter the value in real terms on global markets, that they were 60 years ago.
            We are a pack of idiots if we do not use every possible policy to breed successful urban-economic export income successes in the current state of the world economy. This includes not strangling the growth of our cities and pushing up the costs of land and workforces for urban businesses. It is common knowledge among urban economists that the UK’s Urban Planning system means it cannot ever have anything like “Silicon Valley” emerge. How smart is this?
            Silicon Valley came into existence on exurban farmland with land costs low enough for undercapitalised young geeks, and relatively light regulations regarding what they could do there. It is different in California now, but that is their funeral. There is plenty more of the USA that welcomes opportunity seekers.

          • philbest

            In spite of what you think, manufacturing exports have been growing for 20 years now, and is an unsung NZ success story (we are way ahead of Aussie on manufactured exports relative to the size of our economy). And as Paul Callaghan repeatedly pointed out, this sector pays better money and lifts average incomes. Has Germany or Japan got rich by exporting carcases of meat and tanks of milk?
            All the real growth in the world economy has been in the urban production for the last 60 years; the terms of trade for primary produce have fallen by a factor of 4 as more and more countries become self-sufficient and new exporters enter the market. Brazil is cranking up right now. If Africa’s former breadbasket of the British Empire sorted its political shite out, it would be all over for the “primary produce exports = wealth” comfort blanky theory.

  • conwaycaptain

    The Mayor is meant to be the LEADER of Auckland. A LEADER leads from the front and sets an example.
    Lacivious, Licentious, Loopy Len has no idea how to lead.
    Len, bugger off to Len Hollow and hibernate for the next 30 years.
    How do your two youngest daughters feel with their father’s sexual shennagins plastered over the paper and they have to front up at school.

  • Chancey

    Len needs protection from digi polls.

    When Council consults they hand pick their consultees and then workshop them into submission with plenty of staffers there to shame them back on track if they exhibit any notions of independent thought.

    Poor Len when he doesn’t have a big well paid machine manufacturing consent for him he might have to undergo attitude adjustment to live out here in the real world.

    Mayor culpa

    • captainnotsosensible

      Spot on there with “workshop into submission”. Seen that kind of thing in action. Creepy brainwashing, rampant throughout council, less so for IT dept who don’t need to because all they have to say is it will deliver efficiencies and back it up with ext consultants (hello SAP at $1000 a day) and away they go.

  • Statehousekid

    I wouldn’t, let this guy organise a piss up in a brothel let alone write a unitary plan.

    • Mr_Blobby

      He is not writing it. The real power is with the Council officers, he is just the front man or fall guy if it doesn’t work.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        He aint falling, he is hiding like s sniveling socialist wimp

      • Statehousekid

        We’ll I hope they are more focused on the job than he is.

      • Chancey

        they are not writing it either its been handed to them on a plate – their role is to implement it as quickly as possible before we wake up

        spooky how exactly the same thing is happening simultaneously around the developed world

        take a peek “behind the green mask”

        • philbest

          You’re definitely onto it.

          Brown, his cronies, his hangers-on, the MSM, the bureaucrats, the Council planners – are all part of a kind of “establishment” that IS THE PROBLEM.

          The Council Planners do computer models that are simply “garbage in, garbage out”. The people get fed bullshit about what the real options are for urban development, and get fed total lies about the real life outcomes of different policy approaches.

          I say “praise be” for the above poll result, but I also say, imagine how much more conclusive the result would be if people actually knew the facts rather than the B.S.

          Like, Dorkland is NOT “low density sprawling” and in fact neither is Los Angeles, which is the USA’s densest city. Both are on par with Amsterdam, which is about average for Europe. Only Paris is France’s denser city, the rest of France’s cities are like the USA’s, they have some real low density stuff 1/3 the density of Akl/LA.

          The Poms have much denser cities, similar to Asian ones, in fact, and it is an unmitigated disaster. They have a “productivity gap” in spite of all the Thatchernomics, and that gap – around 30% – is almost entirely due to growth containment urban planning.

          If you compare a UK city of a given population with a US one of similar population without growth containment policies, the UK one will be around 4 times the density, housing will be double the price in spite of its far smaller size and lower quality and higher average age; and traffic congestion will be at least twice as bad.

          The Dorkland planners who say higher density makes housing more affordable and reduces traffic congestion are either inventing the lie themselves or are dupes of it. Dorkland voters who elect tools who run on this platform are just as cheated and lied to as Len Brown’s wife.

      • philbest

        Yeah, but he and them are ideological cronies.

  • Mr_Blobby

    So what, why bother Lying Len doesn’t care what people think.

    We are just doormats to wipe his feet on.

    The sad thing is that his doormat wife appears to be OK with the current situation.

    • philbest

      Ditto the Dorkland voters, sadly.

  • Dave

    If only len was remunerated by his % of time doing the Job, and his achievements, he would end up owing the people of Auckland hundreds of thousands.

    No Show Len, just an irritating side show Len.

  • James Growley

    Auckland already looks like down town Wanchai in the 80’s thanks to all the cheap looking apartment buildings that council rubber stamped. If Len’s urinary plan is given the tick, I can see more of the same cheap apartments being rushed through without the necessary consideration to infrastructure.

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    When you think about the way Len Brown acts, he is no better than a fucking dictator.

  • Mr_V4

    Breaking News: It appears Len is in Christchurch for the weekend perhaps?