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.




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  • biscuit barrel

    The unitary plan is increasing the area in the urban-rural boundary. The reality is most people want to live near good schools and shopping jobs that are in existing suburb.
    I went down an average road in Blockhouse bay the other day for the first time in years. I was surprised by the number of demos done on existing larger sites.
    You look at new houses out on the ‘fringe’ in say Karaka. These are high end homes but the sections are miserable size.

  • I had the pleasure last week of visiting Melbourne – where sprawl is encouraged and they are not governed by dopey clowns who want to retrospectively go compact.
    I visited a new area where a 6 acre factory is being built in the middle of a large business park in Dandenong with a large number of new subdivisions nearby for housing – people can if they chose live closer to where they work and avoid traffic.

    Its not just housing council have choked supply of – but also no land for commercial development. If the council used their heads they could develop commercial with residential suburbs – people can live near where they work and not add further pressure to getting to the cbd

    • Raibert

      It’s all all about the Train Set and justification for that, the council don’t seem to care that most Aucklanders don’t work in the CBD.
      If they put on a proper train to service to Helensville and allowed development in the Kumeu area then we would see if people really want to live in little boxes in the centre as Len and Penny keep telling us they do. This is also true of the southern rail corridor suburbs. Build new houses alongside new commercial and industrial developments and take the load off existing roads. If they don’t do this, people will begin living in places like Huntly and Meremere, from which it is probably easier to work in Hamilton. Long term this means Auckland will struggle to get to the projected growth. And an even greater burden will be put on ratepayers.
      But the council plead no money, even when developers have to front up for infrastructure before they begin building.

      • biscuit barrel

        Builders only pay for water and power infrastructure around $12k each when they are ready to connect, when house is built.
        The other stuff is paid when a title is given on section.
        The section buyers can pay up as we cant expect the existing ratepayers pay for full services to your new house.
        Its called user pays.

        • Raibert

          What I dont understand is how it was possible to build all our cities but now we can’t build new subdivisions. What changed?

    • biscuit barrel

      Dandenong is an inner suburb now, it was the outskirts back in the 60s.
      Its 30k from the CBD as the crow flies Thats same distance as Papakura over here.
      You were probably at Pakenham another 25km past Dandenong, which has a train line down the middle