Connal Townsend

It’s the Auckland Council that is the problem

Finally the Herald is waking up to the fact that Auckland Council is a useless organisation who are still the reason why housing is an issue.

Yesterday property developers were fingered the blame for supposedly sitting on their hands and land banking. And yesterday I said it wasn’t developers but Auckland Council.

Property developers say the failure to quickly resolve Auckland’s housing crisis is not their fault – lack of infrastructure is one of the biggest impediments to more building.

Connal Townsend, chief executive of the Property Council, said one of the biggest blocks to creating new subdivisions was lack of adequate sewerage, stormwater and fresh water connections.

Those often needed to be upgraded from existing residential areas to vast new tracts of land to enable developers to put up the homes, he said. Until that happened, developers might have consents to build but they could not go ahead.

Lack of Resource Management Act reform, no mezzanine or second-tier finance, a labour shortage and the high cost of building materials were other factors stopping the rush to put up new homes, he said. ?? Read more »

El Presidente Patrick Lee-lo goes rogue

Yesterday a post highlighted how the BSC was quietly about to tuck its busy members for potentially thousands of dollars more in membership fees.

Nasty tactic, but one used by the SFWU to fleece members more than once.

Some?members of the fish-gang?were aghast at the thought of other members who are busy running their businesses and struggling to pay their cleaners Paddy?s much vaunted 10c extra above the minimum wage, suddenly finding their membership fees to the BSC skyrocket upwards.

But Paddy?s been on his own personal crusade. Insiders say he was so incensed by the?comments arch nemeses Crest Clean made before the Transport & Industrial Relations Select Committee, his moustache started twitching.

It?s not often you hear the call for evidence before a Select Committee to be ?expunged in total from their verbal submission?. It?s a big call, and worthy of a closer look.

However there?s a slight problem for Paddy, and now for his bosses that sit on the Board of the BSC. ? Read more »

Property Council slams Auckland’s unitary plan

NBR reports that the Property Council has slammed Len Brown’s development plans. Connal Townsend labels it as “absolutely brainless”:

Auckland Council?s plan to force developers to provide a certain amount of affordable housing in each development is ?brainless?, a property industry group says.

“Inclusionary zoning”, which would give the council the power to dictate how much of a development had to be affordable and at what price, is one option it is considering to try to address the city?s housing affordability issues.

The proposal, contained in an addendum to the draft Auckland unitary plan, would affect developments with 10 or more houses.

The report suggests making the scheme compulsory for land being rezoned from rural to urban, but only voluntary and based on a ?bonus scheme? for infill development in existing residential areas.? Read more »

BSC El Presidente Patrick Lee-lo Thick as Thieves With Union

The BSC cartel that El Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo runs can only be described as a union.

Rodney Hide had a crack at them?exposing the dodgy rort that the BSC entered into with Labour strategist Trevor Mallard, the Property Council and the SFWU.

Here?s the front people for this union rort.

There?s nasty National Secretary of the?SFWU John Ryall, BSC?s?El Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo, Former Labour Minister Trevor Mallard and surprisingly the strange bed-fellow of Connal Townsend from the Property Council of NZ.


It seems the Department of Labour is involved in this little cartel as well.? Read more »

Christchurch City Council can’t get its planning right

Hot on the heels of all the other gaffes, the looney Christchurch City Council is doing its best to drive developers out of the CBD based on dumb greenie policies that mean it is not economically viable to build in the city.

Christchurch’s redrafted central-city plan would put the city’s rebuild and economy at risk, the Property Council says.

The council, which represents commercial landlords and developers, says some property owners will leave town and others will have to raise rents if the plan is not loosened up and tax laws changed.

In a submission to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, the council said the scheme’s “ideological” restrictions on buildings favoured a green city over an economically viable one.

The plan is awaiting approval from Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Council president Connal Townsend said building owners should have been consulted on the how much the plan’s “nice ideas” would cost them.

“When building owners get their insurance cheques, the risk is they will take their cash elsewhere, and that is a worrying and dangerous thing,” he said.

“There’s a break-even point. There were so many nice ideas thrown into the plan that it’s an incentive for owners to walk, rather than to reinvest.”

Townsend said that despite being revised, the plan’s restrictions on buildings infringed “common law rights” for owners to replace what they had lost and would make reinvesting in the city too costly.

There is not much point in having a plan if it means that all those who were investing in the CBD end up taking their capital elsewhere. Those councillors with a background in property must be tearing their hair out having to watch clowns destroy the prospect of a decent rebuild.

Next the council will be wanting a light rail system that everyone else has to pay for and will never be commercially viable.