They might have a plan but the market moves faster than that

Everyone knows that Auckland is seriously screwed by the prize muppets of Auckland Council.

No we’re not talking about the Councillors – although they vote in support of proposals they don’t prepare the mad hatched plans – it’s the council planners. Buoyed on by the support they get from Councillors they have planned a compact city and this plan isn’t working.

First home hunters squeezed out of traditional entry-level Auckland suburbs are being pushed to the far reaches of the city but face massive daily commutes to work.

As Auckland wrestles with how to squeeze in an additional 400,000 homes and stem house price inflation, debate is raging over whether to intensify upwards or allow further urban sprawl.

The Proposed Unitary Plan will set out which suburbs can expect a proliferation of more affordable terraced housing and apartment buildings to cater for up to a million new residents over the next 30 years.

But some commentators also want council planners to relax the metropolitan urban boundaries and free up land on the city’s outskirts to help meet demand. ?

The question of whether to allow more urban sprawl is vexed and divisive.

Proponents argue arbitrary boundaries are artificially driving up the value of scarce land within the metropolitan urban limits by constraining land supply that could otherwise be used for much-needed housing.

Removing this artificial constraint, the argument goes, would open vast tracts of viable land to developers, adding crucial housing stock and helping to stem house price inflation that has seen the median Auckland house price hit $820,000.

But opponents say allowing new subdivisions to spill endlessly into the countryside will have serious environmental consequences, put more cars on the city’s clogged roads and cost hundreds of millions of dollars in new infrastructure.

The whole argument on costs is also tripe. If Council didn’t spend so much money on other non-essential items and its ballooning staff it could easily afford to ensure its got the capital for infrastructure.

The place needs a flamethrower approach.

Someone needs to be employed to cruise through that organisation and cull the problem people. That’s needed because no matter what the Government does the cunning little rats in at Council will find a way to weasel around it and carry on with their plans.