Idiot councillor can’t see wood for trees

It appears that everyone else in Auckland knows why the Special Housing Areas have been a flop – except Chris Darby.

Darby just doesn’t know and is seeking ‘data’ to help him understand.

An Auckland councillor has expressed frustration at the lack of information and progress on the city’s special housing areas.

Chris Darby, deputy chairman of the Auckland Development Committee, said he had sought the data on progress many weeks ago and deputy mayor Penny Hulse supported him in his requests.

“I’m disappointed and that’s why I’ve been asking for this information formally since September 9,” Darby said.

The Herald revealed how only 102 residences are known to have been built two years into a three-year timeframe target to get 39,000 consents for new Auckland homes and new residential sections.


Darby said he wanted far more extensive information, including the date of request for a special housing area, date of council confirmation, what type of houses were being built, the location and whether houses were to be built in greenfield or brownfield areas, resource consent application and consenting dates, building consent application and consenting dates, when works started, when the final Code Compliance Certificate was issued, when the residence was occupied, and the total development contributions either due or collected.

“The SHA legislation [has some] serious gaps, the biggest being the lack of an accompanying bulk infrastructure plan together with confirmation of government funding to deliver the infrastructure. The complete lack of meaningful progress data doesn’t allow either council or the Government to read the success or failure of the SHA programme.

“Until we receive the information in a format as I’ve outlined, we’re none the wiser on how Auckland’s housing crisis is benefiting from the SHA legislation,” Darby said.

The trouble for Darby is that I am pretty certain the odds are good that he does know what the issue is.

He knows that along with a handful of other Councillors over the last two years he voted for reduced infrastructure budgets and he supported decisions on the Unitary Plan process that didn’t support SHAs.

These decisions deliberately killed off SHAs and affordable housing to protect the compact city model that he and some of his fellow Councillors have been supporting the whole time.

Asking for data is not going to save his skin. The government knows it and his constituents know it.

One can drive to SHA sites to see what’s built and one can call the developers to understand why nothing is being built.

Or he could read Whale Oil. I’ve been reporting on the issues since the beginning.

Chris Darby is in need of a rinsing come next year’s election.


– A newspaper

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