It’s the Auckland Council that is the problem

Finally the Herald is waking up to the fact that Auckland Council is a useless organisation who are still the reason why housing is an issue.

Yesterday property developers were fingered the blame for supposedly sitting on their hands and land banking. And yesterday I said it wasn’t developers but Auckland Council.

Property developers say the failure to quickly resolve Auckland’s housing crisis is not their fault – lack of infrastructure is one of the biggest impediments to more building.

Connal Townsend, chief executive of the Property Council, said one of the biggest blocks to creating new subdivisions was lack of adequate sewerage, stormwater and fresh water connections.

Those often needed to be upgraded from existing residential areas to vast new tracts of land to enable developers to put up the homes, he said. Until that happened, developers might have consents to build but they could not go ahead.

Lack of Resource Management Act reform, no mezzanine or second-tier finance, a labour shortage and the high cost of building materials were other factors stopping the rush to put up new homes, he said.   

Labour’s housing spokesman Phil Twyford asked whether developers were landbanking or sitting on their hands, while seeing their land rise in value.

Evan Davies, Todd Properties Group chief executive, also blamed infrastructure, expressing fears about “severe budgetary constraints” on the council’s ability to keep pace with underground services and other infrastructure.

The Council clowns are screwing the scrum and they are pressing on with agenda for a compact city.

The Special Housing Areas are not conducive to that agenda.

They will do anything to choke progress snd stamp out the things that undermine their goals.

In part I blame Len Brown as well.

His encouragement only fuels the fire and his desire to put off spending on everything else to get his pet train project is only making it worse.

Unless the Government steps in to take over, this problem will continue.


– NZ Herald


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  • sheppy

    National seem totally inept when dealing with non performing local councils. The longer they bury their heads in the sand the worse it will be, ultimately ending with a defeat at the next election due to voter discontent.
    This leads to two questions,
    1)have National had enough of being in charge?
    2)do they really want a lefty coalition to get in by default and wreck the economy in 2 1/2 years time?

    • philbest

      Exactly: whatever blame is due to Clark and Cullen for letting one of the world’s worst house price bubbles happen on their watch, a new administration that came to office when prices had peaked and were reverting towards normal, in 2008, and has presided over a new bubble attaining higher levels than ever by 2014 and is still stuffing around avoiding the obvious solutions, is utterly damnable.

  • Blue Water Coastie

    Agenda 21…

    “Agenda 21 goes well beyond environmentalism. Other broad goals include combating poverty, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, and reducing private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership, and privately owned farms. It seeks to cram people into small livable areas and institute population control. There is a plan for “social justice” that will redistribute wealth.”

    • johnnymanukau.

      It is called COMMUNISIM, Brown style.

  • rua kenana

    The Auckland Council, despite its many deficiencies, represents local democracy better than do Evan Davies, Todd Properties Group chief executive or Connal Townsend, chief executive of the Property Council.

    Advocating that “the government steps in” is a socialist idea of the type that has failed so many times in the past. Where that approach leads, apart from effectively subsidising property developers by the taxpayers, is well described in Friedrich von Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” of which I thought a putative right-wing blog would approve rather than advocating the opposite.

    Opening Auckland’s housing market to world demand, and then somehow expecting not to pay world prices, is dreaming, and no NZ government “stepping in”, “opening up” land, getting ratepayers and taxpayers to subsidise property developers, etc., will get around it.

    • philbest

      In this case, “the government steps in” means major reform of Councils and freedom to use land. That is not socialism; socialism is what we have got and is the problem. What the Auckland planners are guilty of is exactly the same pig-ignorant exercising of far too much power, as planners in the former USSR. Only in this case, it is in toxic combination with property markets, price gouging, and wealth transfers. If there was ever an illustration of how socialism and big capitalist gougers can co-exist just fine, it is this.

  • KGB

    Developers want to make money. That’s what they do.
    To accuse them of hindering the process is ridiculous. Change the rules and they will all be there boots and all to make a buck.

    • philbest

      Do you see any moral difference between the money a developer makes by taking risk, hiring workers, and building stuff for which there is demand – versus the site owners who sit on their fat arses and watch the value of their portfolios increase 1000% in a decade? Thanks to urban planners? The potential for corruption is massive. There is absolutely nothing like zero-sum capital gains to get the political process utterly corrupted; honest “producers” tend to not get involved because one way or the other, they just do stuff and pass costs on.

  • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

    A major problem is that there is only one person employed by each Council (the one made up of Councillors, that is. The CEO

    The rest of the municipal employees are actually employed by that person, and none are therefore in any way answerable to the Councillors.
    So, the bureaucracy does whatever it wants – and that tends to align pretty well with “big government” ideals like higher rates, less service, take your time, duck-shove.