Removing the urban limit is a good start, now axe the FULSS

Abolishing Auckland’s stupid city limits is not going to work unless the Government also climbs into Local Government reforms.

There is no question that the city limits have to go. For a city as small as Auckland (530sq km vs Sydney -1800 sq km or New York at 8,000 sq km) the idea that it needs to be compacted is bat-shit crazy.

Only a handful of utopian idealists think it’s a good idea.

So getting rid of the Urban Limit through RMA reforms is ‘A’ for Awesome!

But the Council has a back door opportunity to stop the city expanding. And that is through supply of infrastructure.

No pipes or roads – no new subdivisions. Easy.  

The Council introduced this backstop a while back by introducing the ‘Future Urban Land Supply Strategy’ or FULSS. You can read it on their website. It’s filled with overlooked numbers to make greenfield growth look impossible (hint – your kid’s books and computer games are less fanciful).

This strategy plans out infrastructure supply to new greenfield areas over a 30 odd year horizon. Although there is virtually no budget to go with it. Council implements that strategy through the Local Government Act.

So if National, Labour and Act are to burn the city limits they can’t forget to also amend the LGA to ensure Council plans, budgets and provides for infrastructure in a timely manner. You can’t trust the scumbags at Council not to seek revenge either.

Of course Council will cry poor – and they are broke – but they can afford the infrastructure if they stop blowing money on fancy offices and loads of useless staff. And the staff are useless.

So closing off the loopholes that let Auckland Council root good plans can’t be missed. Starting with that pile of poo – the FULSS.

 


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  • andrewo

    In principle:
    1. Get rid of the unnecessary and obstructive rules
    2. Get rid of the unnecessary and obstructive people that enforce them
    However….
    The problem is we’re now several years behind schedule in starting this, so we have to be careful not to slash & burn willy-nilly and finish up with a completely unregulated nightmare. This exercise needs careful consideration.

    • The Fat Man

      Yes but nobody has the balls to deal with the push back from the vested interests.

  • rua kenana

    Just for information, from http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/graph/15879/city-populations

    “In terms of world cities, Auckland is small and sparsely populated. In 2006 the metropolitan area covered 1,000 square kilometres: less than Los Angeles (4,320), Sydney (1,657) and London (1,572). Auckland’s population density was also lower, at 1,210 people per square kilometre: London had 4,760, Los Angeles 2,846 and Sydney 2,548.

    However, why let facts get in the way of a good story?
    Wasn’t it William Wilkie Collins who wrote (in “The Moonstone”)
    “Facts! he repeated. Take a drop more grog Mr Franklin, and you’ll soon get over the weakness of believing in facts. Foul play, Sir.”

    • contractor

      Good point, however who wants to live like sardines in apartments or tenement housing without a reasonable garden and lawns like those other cities? Not me for sure.

      • TM

        The funny thing is – there is demand for all types of housing – just the same as cars. I mean – who wants to drive a prius – I would rather walk – but they sell.

    • TM

      This just highlights the issue in another way. If the planning rules are not allowing more intensification then change them as well as going out. There is a demand for everything – large inner city properties with $2m land value, small apartments, multi dwelling sites for single people/couples with no kids who just want a suburban life but dont want land etc – and there are others who want large section but cant afford inner-city and are happy if just the bread winner has a commute. Auckland can have all of this – just cut through the rules, remove the developer premium, speed up consents and remove the boundary.

    • David Moore

      It’s hard to believe that number given this data:

      http://www.statschat.org.nz/2013/12/29/auckland-population-density/

      Central Auckland is 10,000 pskm
      And suburbs average 4000-5000

      The only way you can get 1200 is by including a huge area of empty space that is not Auckland.

      And again;

      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/Maps_and_geography/Geographic-areas/mapping-trends-in-the-auckland-region/population-density.aspx

  • PhantomsDoc

    Using our friend Google, Sydney is 4.293 million living in 1800 sq km and Auckland is 1.377 million living in 530 sq km. To have the same density as Sydney Auckland needs to be 577 sq km which is another 47 sq km than is currently is.

    Now, say the space required for an average section is 1000 sq m (including roads and footpaths), then, that’s 1000 houses per sq km, which, if ACC released the land, would equal 47,000 new houses. How much accommodation does Auckland currently need???

    • shykiwibloke

      Agree. Had an experienced planner from Boston stay a few months ago. They thought it was nuts to state Auckland was sparse and needed to be denser. High rise might work for an office, but does nothing for industry, and it is industry that ultimately drives a cities growth.

  • shykiwibloke

    Easy way of guaranteeing lefty councils actively engaged in infrastructure is to take their monopoly away: something worded like – “if the closest local council declines to build infrastructure for proposed development – developer has discretion to approach any other local body in NZ or can optionally build the infrastructure themselves, and retain all profits from its provision for 25 years when it reverts to local body ownership”
    Or something along the lines of the body corporate agreements multi-tenant buildings use quite efficiently.
    Then watch the lefties falling over themselves to stay involved.

    • PersonOfColor:WHITE

      Agreed. Removing market forces from local government provides the lefties with power and they can find infinite ways to wield it. But maybe jaffas have had enough now to pay careful attention to the candidates and the votes they cast (assuming they get off their butts and vote)?

  • one for the road

    And the council would have more money to spend on infrastructure for new subdivisions if they kill the train set project, sell off some assets and trim costs – in other stick to the basics! Who will be traveliing on a train from Mt eden anyways when most people are living a long way from a train station… The govt can build/upgrade the motorways (which they are doing anyways)

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