Auckland Council writes Herald on Sunday articles

The issue of Auckland land supply has raised a lot of criticism in the property industry. Only this weekend did the Council top thug Roger Blakeley attempt to point the finger at the market and past Councils for the problem.

We constantly read news stories that are actually spin from Councils and Auckland Council is a master of spinning tall tales.

But part of the problem is that the MSM regurgitates whatever it hears from these lying officials.

On Sunday former director of Harrison and Grierson – Jon Maplesden (now a consultant who represents a large swathe of land developers) came out with a solid sledge at the Herald on Sunday – who had previously reported about the progress that Auckland Council were making on the Housing Accord.

As always the MSM are lazy with their reporting  ​and the Herald on Sunday is no better than the rest of them, writing that there were now 45,000 sections ready to go.

Maplesden wrote back and it couldn’t be more accurate:

​Show me the houses

Speaking as an expert in land development, who has spent a lifetime consulting on the subject, l would be interested to know where your information on unbuilt houses came from (New homes to bust land hoarders, November 30). I do not believe “45,000 sections in Auckland are sitting there ready to go, with all the connections to water, power and roads – but no houses”.  

I am aware of press releases by council and Finance Minister Nick Smith, but they are not substantiated by fact or common sense. The average cost to develop a section, including the raw land, is at least $400,000. That payment is required before a new title can be obtained. I have never heard of any developer then holding completed sections in the hope of capital gain. The usual approach is to seek pre-sales (off the plan), or sales as early as possible to minimise financial exposure.

– Jon Maplesden, Director, Land Solutions, Manukau

It no longer amazes me that the MSM are so absent minded.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist and two hours driving around Auckland to work out that these sections don’t exist. They are a fiction of someone’s imagination.

​A proper journalist would see the story in exposing the lies but not the MSM – they would rather copy and paste someone else’s work to print. ​

So where did the Herald on Sunday get this nonsense from?

Aggh Auckland Council…The ivory tower of lies and half truths of course.​


– Herald on Sunday


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  • JJ

    “Maplesden wrote back and it couldn’t be more accurate”

    Getting Nick Smith’s portfolio right would be a step in the right direction.

  • cows4me

    45,000 sections, the ACC isn’t hiring Jesus by any chance, it’s a new take on the miracle of the loaves and fishers.

  • sheppy

    So Roger Blackley joined the council when? If he was there before Lyin Len his blaming of the last organisation is a bit hollow

  • chwaga

    John was a fellow surveyor and planner of mine for over 40 years with his firm creating the majority of sections in Auckland over that time. What he did not say was that to produce sections these days you have to first design the layout of the sections and prepared all the detailed construction plans before Council will consider the resource consent application. This can take some time as you deal with the developer and council staff.

    Then the council takes their 20 days to consider it but of course they have section 92 questions to delay the application. So then tenders have to be called and considered and construction undertaken but earthworks cannot be carried out between the end of May and late September. The subdivision construction was just started on the adjoining site when my brother moved into a retirement village in March this year. The footpaths are nearly complete and topsoil spread this week some 9 months later.

    So the process can take a considerable time. Another friend bough a section at Karaka Lakes last year and after some discussion with the building company anticipates that they will move in next August.

    Add these times together and you find that section development can take 18 months from start to finished section and building can take up to a year if you add in the time to design the dwelling and gain consent. So much for the lefties complaining that houses were not constructed in the few months from the SHA’s being located and the election

  • Whafe

    This is sickening reading. I cannot fathom that more recourse, more effort is not put in by the government… Bill English said at a breakfast meeting pre election that if the ACC did not meet goals re sections, buildings etc, the government could jump in.

    I would bet pretty much anything that in the honest sense, targets have not been met, step in now government…

    The MSM should be seen as more despicable than normal with not investigating this travesty

  • MrBarrington

    Totally agree with Jon Maplesden. Time is the greatest enemy of land developers as the longer they own the properties the lower their margin gets… the secret to successful land development is quickly turning land into sections that can be sold.

    It simply befuddles the mind to think that there are loads of developers out there sitting around waiting to time the market while their ROI goes south…

    The reality is that there is probably loads of land out there waiting to be turned into sections, but the process is being held up by the so-called ‘planners’ at Auckland Council…

    The council and their enablers are lying, plain and simple.

  • rustyjohn58

    Jon is a highly respected member of the development community and knows what he is talking about. The govt, council and MSM are all dreaming with the number of
    sections they think they can get online. At best the contracting industry in Auckland can build 3000 sections a year. So in fact their 45000 section will take at best 15 years to build the sections regardless of how quickly the consents are granted.

    I don’t understand why these guys don’t it. The causes of this so called housing crises is expensive land. Simple. Raw land prices are high because of the urban limit and the idiot planners and so called urban designers (social engineers). Then to make it worse council slow down the process, add unnecessary costs and muck people around. They want to tell you what to build.

    If the govt actually gets this they sure don’t know how to fix it.

    • Whafe

      i wish for less government intervention in our lives, however in regards to this topic, I wish the government would intervene and sort out this shocking thing call the ACC / Super City that is Auckland….

      It defies all belief

    • All_on_Red

      Yep, the so called “Smart Growth” policy is an oxymoron.