One-trick pony Len Brown makes Auckland least livable while wasting time on his train set

Mayor Len Brown

Mayor Len Brown

Auckland as the Most Livable City is nothing but platitude as it slides backwards as one of the least affordable places to live.

Auckland has once again been named one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world.

The 11th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey classified Auckland as the ninth least affordable major city in the world.

Auckland is the 14th least affordable city out of all 378 surveyed.

Auckland has been rated as “severely unaffordable” in all 11 surveys.

Take a bow Len.  Awesome job.  Apart from penny pinching your rate payers and reducing basic council services while pushing rates up to unsustainable levels, you also have made it one of the least affordable places to live in the whole world.   

Auckland mayor Len Brown told TV 3 this morning that progress was being made to improve housing affordability in New Zealand’s largest city.

Auckland Council had worked closely with central government to put in place the framework and remove “red tape”, making it easier for Aucklanders to build houses, Brown said.

In November, 967 new building consents for Auckland were issued, including 442 apartments, Brown said, adding that this was the highest number of new consents issued in one month.

“We’re seeing real progress with a big bow wave here.”

Brown told TV 3 more affordable housing was being snatched up by Kiwis for between $200,000 and $500,000.

Largely this marked a shift towards apartments and townhouses, he said.

“Auckland is really coming of age as a city that’s building choice for its community.”

Waffle waffle waffle.  Len’s so fond of explaining away his failure to deliver.  His standard technique include:  1)  it’s central government’s fault  2) I’ve been working hard, but the results are still to come,  3) the report is wrong, actually, there are lots of affordable houses available.

 

– Laura Walters, Stuff

 

 


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  • Sailor Sam

    Who in his/her right mind believes Len anyway/

  • Pete

    To me, a dynamic growing city like Auckland needs a dynamic and pro active mayor, not near 60 year old Socialist noddy like Brown

  • Damon Mudgway

    Thanks to WO, the only thing muppet Len will be remembered for is his extra marital affair. I mean seriously, what else has he ACTUALLY accomplished that’s a positive?

    • Dave

      Well, not even that was a success, my understanding is he has busted up his family, the family home is for sale, and his mistress is less than satisfied, just another failure brought to you by Len Brown.

  • oldmanNZ

    I see bare plots of land to build houses, around 300-400$k
    Why so expensive? Even the rates going to be high.
    Demand must be high if people are paying that… Or is it just expected?

    • Bob D

      They’ve created artificial demand, by restricting supply of land via the urban limit. Simple.

      • botti

        Demand has arisen from a net inflow of people and massive wealth to invest in residential property from Asia. It’s similar to many major cities around the world.

        • Bob D

          It is similar yes. But that is not the cause.

          From the Report:
          “For cities to expand outward at their current pace ─ to accommodate their growing populations or the increased demand for space resulting from higher incomes ─ the supply of land must not be artificially constrained. The more stringent the restrictions, the less is the housing market able to respond to increased demand, and the more likely house prices are to increase. And when residential land is very difficult to come by, housing becomes unaffordable.”
          -Dr. Shlomo Angel, New York University

          “…the affordability of housing is overwhelmingly a function of just one thing, the extent to which governments place artificial restrictions on the supply of residential land.”

          -Dr. Donald Brash, Former Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand

          • MaryLou

            There you go. Got it in one.

      • MaryLou

        And I still think his ploy is to ensure intensive housing around public transport. Makes his dream a self fulfilling prophecy. As to what the market is actually demanding?

        Meh. Doesn’t fit his plan.

    • Bryan

      it’s the price you are paying for land that is costing so much in Auckland in canterbury you have a good choice between 160000 to 190000 over a wide range of areas and form what i can see you are paying over 500000 for an average block of land simply i don’t know why you all want to stay there when in just about any other city in this country you would be better off. yes you might get paid more in auckland but you need about 25000 a year more to live there so no better off.

  • fergus

    “One-trick pony Len Brown”and Auckland rate payers always seem to be standing behind him……so don’t wonder what the smell is or the warm squishy stuff, you are standing in….they are called rates and debts.

  • Mick Ie

    Until the RMA is loosened and common sense once again prevails, the building of new houses will not increase at the rate that is needed.

    • botti

      I guess reducing foreign investment and immigration levels to lower demand is too obvious?

      • James Howlett

        This wouldn’t be enough. There are demand drivers here but they’re just exacerbating an existing supply side issue. Even if you cut foreign investment to zero tomorrow Auckland wouldn’t have enough supply.

    • James Howlett

      Not often the solution to a complex problem is as simple as pulling one lever – but in this case you’re right on the money. It is literally that simple.

  • Greg M

    I’m sick of hearing about train sets, public transport and cycleways. Not one of them is going to make Auckland the slightest bit more “liveable” if you live in Torbay and work in east Tamaki. Build more motorways and arterial roads and get the city moving. If people spend less time getting to work, and actually doing some work and making some money, things suddenly get a whole lot more affordable.

    • Kash

      pretty sure it was all the right wingers of Parnell etc that opposed the eastern motorway project…
      When mayors propose more motorways people grumble and crib

      then a new mayor comes in and from seeing how motorways were disliked before proposes more trains.

      still the people grumble and crib.

      flippin decide what you want!!

  • Sally

    This man makes me so angry.
    “We can’t do anything it is up to Central Government”
    Rubbish. The Council could start by looking at their administration costs involved in processing developments, resource consents and building permits.

    • kaykaybee

      The council – it’s tunnel vision, lack of direction, care and planning is where the problem lies. It’s beyond a scandalous disgrace.

      • botti

        It’s hardly the councils fault. Central government determines immigration policy and also can reduce foreign investment in residential property. Those are driving demand and pushing up house prices.

        If the government was serious about addressing the issue, it wouldn’t have altered the residency investment rules in 2011. Now the $1.5 million investment can be made in residential property. That is insane, it’s no wonder house prices are going up.

        The NZ Herald article today touched on the issue – huge Chinese foreign residential property investment.

        “Sam Yin, whose Mandarin website hougarden.com promotes NZ properties for sale, said Chinese spent nearly US$37 billion on foreign residential property in 2013”

        It will increase too as capital restrictions in China are loosened. London, has a similar problem.

        http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/26/londoners-miss-out-as-foreign-investors-buy-up-home-sites

        • kaykaybee

          I am someone invested in strategic land in the middle of a major area for development. I could not begin to catalogue the years of council fluffing which includes vision change, subjection to hoop jumping, plain stalling and utter obfuscation. They don’t know their proverbials from their elbows and they ARE the main problem that the very well known situation of immigration to Auckland has not been addressed.

    • botti

      Central government determines immigration policy and also can reduce foreign investment in residential property. Those are driving demand and pushing up house prices.

      If the government was serious about addressing the issue, it wouldn’t have altered the residency investment rules in 2011. Now the $1.5 million investment can be made in residential property. That is insane, it’s no wonder house prices are going up.

      The NZ Herald article today touched on the issue – huge Chinese foreign residential property investment.

      “Sam Yin, whose Mandarin website hougarden.com promotes NZ properties for sale, said Chinese spent nearly US$37 billion on foreign residential property in 2013”

      It will increase too as capital restrictions in China are loosened. London, has a similar problem.

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/26/londoners-miss-out-as-foreign-investors-buy-up-home-sites

    • MaryLou

      Yes I noticed he touched on plenty of other stuff, and that was conspicuous by its absence.

  • sheppy

    Let me finish the statement for you Len using the words you missed out:

    “We’re seeing real progress with a big bow wave here.”
    IN FORCING PEOPLE INTO INCREDIBLY OVERPRICED
    “apartments and townhouses,” regardless of what type of property they want to live in.

    Not only that but they haven’t noticed us cutting the services everyone expects whilst charging much more.

  • Builder

    He won the vote, Aucklanders have no one to blame but themselves.

  • CheesyEarWax

    Leave Len alone, he works hard for all Aucklanders not just himself, even cost his marriage. Secret bathrooms and Mustangs are little perks compare to what he has achieve for Auckland. We are lucky to have Len.

  • Michael S2

    It’s time to prepare for a competent mayoral candidate to replace Brown. How about Rob Fyfe – did a great job with Air New Zealand and clearly loves Auckland to the extent that he refused highly lucrative job offers from overseas. Why aren’t the NationalParty taking an interest and quietly helping to mobilize candidates, both for mayor and council?

    • Why aren’t the NationalParty taking an interest and quietly helping to mobilize candidates, both for mayor and council?

      A very good question. Why is it that New Zealand’s major local councils are dominated by Labour and Green party ex-MPs and close associates, and National show no interest to join that race?

      • Jimbob

        Simply put by a Auckland Nat MP – Too hard finding a right wing candidate who would put up with the crap and do the job for that money.

      • Luis Cannon

        Who would really want to pick up the poisoned chalice. Their tenure would be hamstrung trying to pay off debt, dealing with obdurate socialists and undoing the village idiot’s idiotic decisions.

      • MaryLou

        It’s always been that way – well, ever since I can remember. I don’t know why, but if “super cities” are the way of the future, best they take an interest.

    • Dave

      Agree Michael, i have previously mentioned Rob Fyfe for Auckland mayor, and he was a hero with almost all Air NZ staff, he is a true leader and really made Air NZ work. I was very privileged to meet him a few years back. My belief is if he did stand, he would win hands down, but he would then clean council out, a lot of their staff would need to be very very worried.

    • Aucky

      Why would Rob Fyfe want the job? The ‘feel good’ factor would wear off very quickly dealing with numpties every single day for a mere pittance. Rob Fyfe would be better employed on a three year renewable contract at xx million $$ per annum to root out the corruption, rationalise staffing & totally restructure Auckland City and the way it does business.

  • exactchange

    Nick Smith said on National Radio today that the report also said the median income in Auckland has dropped by over $5000 in the last year – median income being one of the two measures of affordability. Dr Smith says that is definitely not the case, and it does seem unlikely doesn’t it, with benefit numbers falling and employed numbers rising among other things?

    So if the median income figure is wrong, the affordabillty figure is also wrong.

    • Albert Lane

      I imagine that the median income amongst Auckland City Council employees has grown by well over that amount in the past year. And under Loosehead Len, it will keep growing.

  • cows4me

    I hear your glorious leader is calling for large overseas construction companies to come in and offer some competition to the local boys. He’d be better off calling for competing councils to come in and offer some relief from the thieving parasites that now rule the roost. Want to see where the real costs come from Lenny, get a bloody mirror.

    • Aucky

      Yeah, I’m sure that Lennie has umpteen ‘contacts’ in Guangzhou that he would love to see ensconced in NZ with some juicy Auckland contracts.

      • Luis Cannon

        Was sitting in a Christchurch bus shelter a few weeks ago and mentioned to a woman sitting next to me that if the Chinese had come in the reconstruction would have been finished long ago. Her reply. “That may be so, but we have a heart”.

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Watercare Services, Lendlease, AT (Auckland Transport) come to mind

  • Michael

    In third form, my first economics class was on supply and demand. When demand exceeded supply, prices rose. And so is the case with Auckland housing. There are only two ways to stop prices rising. Open up more areas for housing, or stop people demanding property by lifting deposit requirements to 20% (or more).

    Of the two, increasing supply will always win. Otherwise you end up in a Muldoonist cycle of adding regulation upon regulation in a futile attempt to control the uncontrollable.

    • MaryLou

      But (despite what they’re actually trying to achieve), it will stop people overextending themselves, by borrowing more than they can afford to service. Interest rates won’t stay this low, although it’s gonna be a while before we see a rise I think – but the American experiment of ensuring “everyone” could afford a home proves the point of what a dumb idea that really was.

    • Albert Lane

      There is one major difference between Auckland housing and housing in London, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne. Most Auckland homes are traditional single-storey, built on a quarter-acre site. I would suggest our population density rates are probably the lowest of any major city on earth. So whats the answer. Go to Sydney. Go to Melbourne. Apartments springing up like daisies. Apartment living may not suit everybody, but it would suit a lot of people who want security, no lawns, no maintenance worries etc. And the advantages are clear. Because of population densities overseas, there is better public transport. One leads to the other. We need to start talking about the options available to us.

  • Mythrandir

    How much longer do we have to put up with this tool before we can vote him out?

  • Dumrse

    Give me a dodgy socialist dam building council problem any day. Our dodgy dam saga will die shortly but I suspect your Lenny will be with you for some time yet.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Will Len be at the Chinese/Korean Festival at Northcote this year? He got rubbished there last year. Don’t forget your ‘duck callers’ or maybe we should go “BAAA”

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