Auckland Council top brass defending their woeful performance is pitiful

Auckland Council has been copping flak lately as everyone realises it is to blame for the lack of housing. Top brass at Council have deliberately pretended to work with the Government on the Housing Accord but at the same time have pressed on with the compact city model.

In reality the two ideas are mutually exclusive. Everyone knows it and can smell a dead rat.

Now top brass at the council, like Ree Anderson, are in defensive mode and are even writing for the Herald with missives that might as well have been delivered by an elf on a unicorn.

Physically it takes time for construction; to lay pipes and roads, build foundations and fit out and complete buildings. Developers may also rely on pre sales to enable the financing of their developments.

The Housing Accord has targets for 39,000 consented dwellings and sections over three years, not built homes. Residential dwelling consents have been used as an industry standard for many years to estimate the number of homes built. Council agrees that new measures that record actual builds is worthwhile and is developing systems to enable the capture of new data.   

The council is also being proactive in other ways. It completed a Housing Action Plan at the end of 2012. As a consequence of that, it has approved an Auckland Housing Bond Guarantee that will assist community housing providers to supply more affordable homes. As well, it has established Panuku Development Auckland, and that agency will be working in partnership with the development sector to improve opportunities for more homes to be delivered.

In other words, council has not put all its eggs in one basket but has been working on multiple fronts in the domains it can influence.

Council are blaming everyone else and telling porkies.

In 2012 Council had no idea how much land was available until developers bothered to go count it to prove their point. Then MBIE also did a stock take and agreed with the developers, resulting in the Government stepping in with the Housing Accord.

Since then all the Council has done is try to screw the scrum behind the scenes. Never once has it changed its position on the Compact City. The Proposed Unitary Plan rule book doesn’t contemplate expansive greenfield growth and Council economists and, in turn all consultants have worked harder than ever to prove that all future population can fit into the city in accordance with the compact city plan.

Earlier this year Council introduced the Future Urban Land Supply Strategy (FULSS) to plan out the future greenfield areas including most of the Housing Accord tranche land over a 30-year period and has specifically used infrastructure as the method to curb that growth. No pipes, no new subdivisions.

With reduced budgets Council can simply shrug its shoulders at developers wanting to build in Housing Accord areas.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that Council is shafting everyone. And that’s why missives from top brass – like yesterday’s – are nothing more than a load of tripe.

 

-NZHerald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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