Auckland Council tries charm offensive

Auckland Council had been slapped down by Bill English with a threat to release more land or face consequences.

Which include sacking Council and replacing them with commissioners.

So what do they do?

Go on the PR offensive.

I can smell a Council orchestrated PR offensive on apartments from 600 paces. It looks and smells like a dead cat and always involves their favourite developer Marky Mark.

It’s not his fault he gets quoted – he’s just the only developer the Council PR flunkies know and like.

Home buyers are turning their backs on traditional suburban villas, sparking a boom in apartment living.

Building consents for apartments have increased tenfold in five years and figures show one in five people buying apartments are switching from a house.   

Developers say they are battling to keep up with demand for large, luxury flats. One block of 59 is still under construction but all but three apartments have been sold.

And industry experts say Auckland is witnessing a sea-change in mindset, placing us more in line with European cities, where apartment living is the norm.

Mark Todd of Ockham Residential, which is building the Hypatia on Khyber Pass Rd, said the growth in the high-end apartment market was partly driven by baby boomers looking for somewhere to live rather than to invest in.

“It’s a market that is growing at about 100 per cent a year but it is not a market catering to the first-home buyer,” Mr Todd said.

“These apartments are expensive because it costs a lot to build them.”

There are literally hundreds of property developers in Auckland. And most are into building apartments in some way shape or form.

The largest apartment developer is Conrad Properties who dwarf the competition in volume. No comment from them.

And no real data from a reliable source to prove what is occurring is even factual.

Looks like a Council PR offensive. Smells like one too.




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  • shykiwibloke

    They need to stop just for a momement and think:- even if the public buy this spin completely – how will this lower house prices and defer land release. Answer is – it can’t. Therefore won’t work, save the ratepayer cash….

  • People are buying apartments because there is nowhere else to live. Due to the village idiots choking off the supply of land we have a shortfall of 40,000 houses in Auckland. Those people have to go somewhere. They are not buying apartments by choice, but because it is preferable to sleeping in the car

    • sheppy

      and that is the crux of Auckland’s planning, “they won’t give up their cars and move into shoebox apartments voluntarily, so we’ll choke the traffic and stop the supply of houses to force them”
      When Len’s white elephant trainset is built and empty they’ll up the road chaos even more, no matter that it doesn’t go where people need to…

  • XCIA

    The motorway south from Albany is already choked and the sewage system is not far behind yet 1000’s of apartments are under construction in Albany without any improvement to an already overloaded infrastructure. One of the complexes, Albany Rose Gardens’ apartments, the largest residential development in the country has been planned by the China Nanjing Dadi Construction Group.

  • YoungA

    I’m surprised this article doesn’t mention fundamental changes to the population. Hello ageing population??? Of course they are going to want low maintenance properties. What a surprise.

    • biscuit barrel

      The largest households by number are two person, and with single person household they make up around 50%
      Why cant we have apartments and townhouses to cater for this very large group.

      • Raibert

        No reason why not. Just don’t need to cover whole isthmus with them!

    • Sailor Sam

      But an agaeing population is not going to wanna live 15 stories up in a concrete box, no matter how luxurious.
      And these same apartment are still at the top end of the price brackets so who can afford them out of the ageing population? Not the average joe and jill ratepayer, only the rich ones out in the Eastern Suburbs and Ponsonby/Herne Bay will be moving to their beach houses on Waiheke and elsewhere.
      The elevators are not big enough for the weekly grocery shop from the basement carpark to their flats either.
      And when cars are completely driven out of the city centre, they will not be able to walk to the 2 downtown supermarkets.

  • Vutekno

    I think it is about time Bill English stopped with the threats and took firm action! Kick out the “Village Idiots” and replace them with Commisioners with a clear mandate to release land for development and bring Auckland councils expenditure under proper control.

    • biscuit barrel

      Bill is busy with his own problems, having borrowed more money than all other finance ministers put together, hes had nighmares about not being able to pay it back.

      • Raibert

        At least the governments debt to income ratio is manageable, the same can not be said for Len’s council.

      • Aucky

        We’ve had two major earthquakes and a GFC, and English is reducing debt and running budget surpluses. I shudder to think where we would have been right now having had a Labour government since 2008.

      • MrHippo

        Net government debt to GDP is around 25% perhaps you should look at that calculation within a wider selection of european peers for some context. Really quite an achiement that it remains so low given the mentioned gfc and earthquake(s)

  • Greg M

    Completely misleading story by the Herald again. There has been an increase in demand for top end apartments in boutique buildings, mainly aimed at baby boomers cashing up and downsizing. But we are talking way less than 200 apartments across a dozen or so small buildings.
    The demand for concrete shoe boxes in 200+ unit developments has pretty much flatlined. A building my company did some work for is still 1/3 empty after being “open” for more than a year.
    Council flunkies telling their mates in the media what to write, again.

  • Annie218

    And in about 12 months time the Herald will be running an article about how Auckland apartments are owned by ‘foreign’ investors.
    The Herald doesn’t know if these apartments are owner/occupier, any more than I do.

  • rexabus

    I hope when council elections come around Whaleoil will provide the public service of listing the names of the councillors who were party to rolling through this sort of rubbish during Lusty Lens term. I’d really appreciate a reminder near the time so I know exactly who to vote against

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Nothing to be had in the bread & butter properties so let them eat cake.