Houses For Everyone!!! – The Continued Delusion of Bernard Hickey

Bernard Hickey has written some silly pieces on housing issues but this one in yesterday’s Herald on Sunday ranks right up there as the worst.

Residents are fighting a plan by property tycoon Michael Friedlander and QC Marie Dyhrberg to remove eight villas in Ponsonby for more intensive development.

The Herald journalists recently ran a story about this

Mr Thorby has made a submission opposing Ms Dyhrberg proposal for possible commercial development on the site of five villas she owns, but says the lawyer is a friend and does not want to speak publicly

Through these companies, Mr Friedlander wants 2 Franklin Rd and 2 Arthur St, which includes Ponsonby Backpackers in a large villa with its distinctive turret, changed from a residential to a town centre zone due to the sites’ proximity to Ponsonby Rd.

Michael Friedlander doesn’t want to even build more housing for rich people he wants to commercially zone the area. He’s a ruthless heavy-handed style billionaire businessman who quite frankly doesn’t give a shit about heritage, trees or locals. That’s how he’s got rich.

Marie Dyhrberg, defence lawyer to the hapless idiot Teina Pora when he was put in the clink, wishes to knock down five villas and build commercial property that will no doubt sell for more than $1.5m. In the area a modest weatherboard home has recently gone for $1.25m at auction.

Neither of these examples from Hickey will contribute one bit to young and poor people buying their first home.  

Young and poor people don’t live in Freemans Bay unless they live with their parents. The young and poor haven’t lived in Freemans Bay for a long time and never will again as homeowners.  This is just the way things are with an increased population in Auckland.

Freemans Bay is an affordable suburb. It is so affordable that many people who can afford a home are turning up to auctions and bidding against each other creating new record pricing.  That an average wage earner or zitty 20 something dreamer cannot afford a home in the suburb doesn’t make it unaffordable to others.

Such emotive nonsense from people like Hickey is an unwelcome sideshow in the actual debate – more homes need to be built in Auckland in areas where land is less expensive and there is more space. These are first homes for the young and poor. Not in an exclusive inner city suburb that is within walking distance to town.  Buy an inner city apartment if you want to live that close to town at low prices.

Hickey bemoans the lack of thought for the youth of Auckland

The missing voice is that of the young and poor who are locked out of home ownership in Auckland by the restrictions and infrastructure fees on development.

When is a politician going to stand up to the rich, comfortable and mostly old property owners of central Auckland and tell them to think of the young and poor when they block development, not to mention the rest of the country’s exporters and home owners labouring under a higher interest rate and currency than is necessary?

For Auckland to successfully engage the young and poor here’s how to do it.

They all vote for left wing twits who keep putting up rates. So make these young hipster tenants responsible again for rates so they feel engaged with the future of the city. At present rental returns and body corporate/maintenance expenses are barely covering rates making people like Hickey question the economics of purchasing investment property for anything but capital gains. All rents should be rates exclusive. Every quarter hand tenants the rates bill and tell them to pay it.  Make this the new norm from the days past.

Such engagement will focus the young and poor on what really needs to happen in Auckland. A fiscally responsible Council that supports making it easier to build lower cost housing in less populated areas where there is less expensive land and a return away from excessive spending to core responsibilities of a council.


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