Queensland Gets It Right, Auckland Continues to Dither and Get it Wrong

Bob Dey not even impressed


QLD Planning Ministry

Recently I have conveyed my thoughts both around Council’s recent performance, and on how the Australian States have Ministers and Ministry’s of Planning (or Departments to the equivalent of). You can see my critique of Council in the following two posts:

Why I am Unhappy, and How to Annoy The City in One Go


Targeted Rate for the City Rail Link?

Also by extension this one as well when I critiqued the Greens: Not In the Best Position.

For a look at the New South Wales Planning Department you can check here: Minister and Ministry of Planning

I picked up from Bob Dey’s Property Report blog that the State of Queensland’s Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning is continuing on its massive City Building exercises that make ours look like developing a village in comparison.

From Bob Dey:

One obvious difference between Auckland & Queensland is size. One less obvious difference is the development programme of the state government, just in the south-eastern corner of the state.

One similarity is that both have a desire for economic growth. One distinction is that this desire is being played out in south-eastern Queensland in ways not seen in Auckland – carefully considered and years in the making, the same as here, but now coming to fruition.

An ad this week seeking expressions of interest for an 81ha residential development estate out in the dust – 3km south of the Beaudesert town centre – may indicate what I thought at first: Why would anyone want to live in a suburban-style subdivision, on 480-640m² lots, 70km south-west of Brisbane, 65km west of Surfers Paradise, seemingly in the middle of nowhere?


A key factor in the Queensland development schemes is that jobs & nearby homes are both part of the equation. In New Zealand, skyrocketing house prices in some areas (notably, central Auckland suburbs) have brought calls for starter home development on the fringes, but these calls haven’t been matched by serious progress toward developing new business in the same areas.

Waitakere in west Auckland has long been a dormitory area, providing few local jobs for residents. The former Rodney District Council began a concerted effort to establish new businesses a few years before it was gathered up in the super-city, and in the first 4 years of the new council covering the whole region there has been less emphasis on those out-of-centre schemes.

That is partly the result of the absurd governance system imposed on the region, under which local boards have to beg the governing body for money – get some, then have it taken away again, as they’ve found this month – and those boards still play only a minor role in local economic development.

In addition, that local economic development is small fry, nothing like the serious ventures Rodney was trying to be the catalyst for establishing.

The special housing areas under the government-council housing accord signed a year ago have some requirement for infrastructure – underground services before development, with less emphasis on nearby jobs & efficient transport.

To achieve best results, the funding structure needs an overhaul, and before that happens it needs to be discussed by the participants, the people of Auckland. Targeted rates for economic development in specific locations have been included in the Auckland Plan as one possibility, a betterment tax lingers as a possibility for development around new public infrastructure such as railway stations, there was a government hint 2 years ago at provision being made for infrastructure funding ahead of demand.

But there has been no discussion with the community, no firm proposals have been put or even suggestions floated, the government hasn’t returned to amplify how it would organise advance infrastructure funding – and how do you set a location-based targeted rate for a railway line?


Full article and source: http://www.propbd.co.nz/property-council-says-complications-will-add-year-unitary-plan-process/


I have just asked Auckland Council, and Auckland Design Champion Ludo Campbell-Reid on Twitter if Auckland is meant to be competing against the international arena of other cities. Well looking at what Bob Dey has posted about Queensland’s Planning Ministry (Department) coordinating with the Local Government Authorities in South East Queensland rather large City Building projects, Auckland is simply left in the dust. To make matters worse as Bob and I have both pointed out both Council and Government are that disjointed in Auckland City Building we risk dropping out of Beta World City Status real fast leaving some awful consequences with us (think Brain Drain Mk2).

Quoting: But there has been no discussion with the community, no firm proposals have been put or even suggestions floated, the government hasn’t returned to amplify how it would organise advance infrastructure funding – and how do you set a location-based targeted rate for a railway line?

The “kicker” on that disjointedness that should make every Auckland citizen and business scream!

I see Bob has picked up how Council (and Government) are good on Special Housing Areas but lousy on establishing business land areas for employment centres THAT ARE NOT in South Auckland (so Kumeu and Silverdale). I have picked up on it before in my Jobs or Houses [UPDATED] and A Question About City Building posts and I told Councillor Dick Quax that maybe we need Special Business Areas or Special Industry Areas to help them establish in the north and north-west of Auckland (South Auckland is fine and well ahead to the rest of Auckland). So again more disjointedness by Council and Government while New South Wales, and Queensland surge ahead thanks to their Planning Ministries.


I think it is time for a big overhaul with Auckland Council and Central Government. Time to dissolve the Ministries of  Local Government, and for the Environment and merge them (as well as Infrastructure and Housing) into this new super Ministry of Planning and Environment just like Australia. As I said earlier on:

So how does this work in Auckland?
The Minister of Planning would be the Minister who coordinates between the Ministers of Transport, Finance, MBIE (Joyce), Infrastructure (which would be assumed by the planning Minister anyhow), Education, Health, Environment (RMA), Local Government Minister (both Local Government, Environment would be merged into the Planning Ministry), Housing, Social Development, and the Council(s) when we embark on City Building exercises such as Auckland is now and will be with the Unitary Plan.

The MoP would be the final authority on the above and if required can over ride a Council and other Minister bar the Minister of Finance or the PM on “planning” issues.

Source: Minister and Ministry of Planning

And from there Council can be restructured to bring Auckland Transport back in-house, Waterfront Auckland dissolved, and the Local Boards more power, funding, and autonomy as well. Then maybe Auckland can compete against the world without community project budget cuts, and disorganisation in our planning apparatus.