Nearly There

Nearly there folks, by the end of Friday we would have moved into our new house
That also means I get blogging again here at VOAKL – and boy is there a lot to blog on 🙂
Thanks for your patience during this down time folks while we complete the move to our new place


Settlement Complete

We now officially own our first house


Around 4pm I got the phone call from the lawyer saying Settlement for our very first house was complete



After some trials, tribulations, stress and a few mishaps Rebekka and I are now very proud home owners of a nice three bedroom place in Papakura.

The “Army” (this is when family is handy) will be around tomorrow to begin the slog of cleaning and setting up our first place.

Joy, relief and a sense of mission accomplished is the feelings at the moment – with a celebratory drink tonight at the new place before getting up at the crack of dawn to start the moving process.

Also now the fact we are ratepayers – yes ratepayers not renters. When I gave my presentation to the Auckland Council Draft Auckland Plan Hearing Panel – I did tell the councillors on the panel that I will now be watching where my ratepayers dollars go very very carefully. Needless to say it drew smiles and a round nods and laughter from the Councillors which included; George Wood, Chris Fletcher and Cameron Brewer of the centre right.

Well VOAKL is my voice on keeping an eye on my ratepayer‘s dollars, especially on all things urban and transport planning.

As mentioned in the sticky post – I will be back soon covering a range of topics that do affect you.

Sunday-Monday the conclusion to the three options for Port of Auckland – staying where it is – the consequences of doing so.

Coming Up in VOAKL

Coming over the next week at VOAKL


  • The final in the Port of Auckland Mini Series – Is the port staying at the waterfront a good or bad idea?
  • Post Five in The Draft Auckland Plan – VOAKL takes a look at the Tamaki Central Master (Community) Plan
  • The Scoop – That Independent Report to Auckland Council and me declaring The Draft Auckland Plan a Lemon – A new mini series providing commentary, debate and ideas into Auckland’s growth dilemma
  • My Line in the Sand #2 – where I stand on The Draft Auckland Plan


All coming up at VOAK


Do not forget – comments, discussion and debate are welcome here at VOAKL – I run a pretty free board so long as you follow the rules

All first comments here at VOAKL are moderated – if I approve you are free to comment without moderation from there on – just do not provoke me in removing that privilege .

Rudman comments on Port of Auckland

Brian Rudman Comments on Port of Auckland Staying in Auckland


In today’s New Zealand Herald column, Brian Rudman comments:

The dilemma for Auckland could well be, if the revolution in work practices the port bosses are demanding does attract more container traffic into the CBD, the extra profits shareholder Mayor Len Brown is demanding could quickly be gobbled up ameliorating the deleterious effects of the additional freight passing through the city.

In other words, is the battle for port supremacy with Tauranga one Aucklanders want to win? Is fighting for the right to ship the milk powder and butter from the Waikato dairy belt out through the bottom of Queen St, really going to help achieve the mayor’s goal of becoming the world’s most liveable city


They are fair points and points that I am covering in my Port of Auckland Mini Series which can be found by going to the Port of Auckland Index (button at the top of the page). I have not yet covered the final in this particular mini-series the consequences of keeping POAL where it is – but will be doing soon.

Auckland does need to think long and hard about the Port of Auckland and its future – as it has series implications on all of us and The Draft Auckland Plan.



English: Ports of Auckland container facilitie...
Port of Auckland


Fresh Winds Blowing on California High Speed Rail

Fresh Winds Blowing on California High Speed Rail.


Came across my inbox today.

An interesting read into California’s High Speed Rail Project.

Similar concerns in some respects from the article could also be said about the Auckland City Rail Link – especially around the business case.


I wonder if Auckland Councillor’s should read this article to learn anything from California when advocating for the CRL to our central government.

Local Boards have their “Moment”

Muppets and Moments

And it seems some people representing their local communities on Auckland’s Local Boards have decided to enter into the POAL dispute and issue a nice press release backing MUNZ and the port workers.

Talk about a muppets’ Moment in spades.

Look Local Boards might want to express opinion of their community about POAL as it is a city issue – but please do it right.

Please consult your community first and make sure you have absolute support from all Local Board members on your board.

All you muppets have done is made a partisan issue even more partisan by coming out as individuals rather than the collective.

Then again looking at the list of names – a sandwich short of a picnic or a beer short of a 6 pack sounds more apt for these muppets – having their moment…

Herald Picking up on Draft Auckland Plan Ctd

Councillor Quax quoted in today’s Herald

Earlier today I noted how NZ Herald picked up the fact that the intensification program in The Draft Auckland Plan is a dud.

Today the NZ Herald picked up on Cllr. Dick Quax also commenting on the intensification program not working and the Chief Planner of Auckland stating his reply.

His reply was:

But the council’s planning chief, Dr Roger Blakeley, said the Birkenhead image should not be misinterpreted.

“These are scenarios that have been developed,” he said. “That’s not saying that’s what will happen. It’s like asking what-if questions.

“It’s saying that if the 75:25 split is in the final document, that’s the sort of intensification that will be needed to deliver that.

“You’re putting too much emphasis on what the future of Auckland will look like. That’s one input about the future ratio of intensification versus greenfields development of Auckland.

“You should not take anything in those documents as fixed in stone.”


Forgive me if I am wrong Dr Blakeley but that sounds either like a retraction or pile of spin-doctoring. Unless the mayor and centre-left councillors have rolled over recently, one could assume the following:

  1. The 75:25 ratio for intensification:sprawl was set in stone – regardless if the majority of submissions to The Draft Auckland Plan call for other wise
  2. The Draft Auckland Plan is actually the Final Auckland Plan with maybe a few tweaks around the edge
  3. The consultation period was a joke – which it was considering the very short time frame for concerned people to comment on – especially that the combined Draft Auckland Plan was 800 pages long
  4. The time of the consultation was during the Rugby World Cup, great place and time to distract the public
  5. Is Council really listening? Although we find out next month – I have also noticed apart from Cllr Quax and Wood, the rest of the Council and Mayor are quiet into this very damning report.

Yes the report I say is quite damning – damning in the fact Auckland Council could only achieve 90% of its intensification plans and that is with also maximum political resilience and capital required.

Also the fact the Port of Auckland saga throws a major spanner in the Draft Auckland Plan’s intentions especially if it is recommended to relocate the port.

Ladies and gentlemen – the Draft Auckland Plan is a lemon – and an extremely bitter lemon at that.

I hope Auckland Council gets this sorted before the Draft Auckland Plan becomes the Final Auckland Plan

Herald Picking up on Draft Auckland Plan

Opinion Writers in NZ Herald slowly getting the drift with The Draft Auckland Plan


The NZ Herald is slowly but surely picking up that the intensification of Auckland by building 300,000 houses in existing areas (Brownfield development) can not be done. The independent report provided to Auckland Council and provided here at VOAKL clearly states that.

A shame Main Stream Media are a tad slow and Blogs like VOAKL have to take up the slack.

In any case you can read commentary into The Draft Auckland Plan being a lemon through reading a the blog posts below into The Draft Auckland Plan

Is the Draft Auckland Plan a Lemon?

Is Chapters Seven and Eight of The Draft Auckland Plan a Lemon?




What could intensification look like in your neighbourhood if Auckland Council continued as is with The Draft Auckland Plan?


Lets have a look and see if Lemon is the operative word



Yesterday I posted the Independent Report into actual intensification potential in Auckland and how at absolute best, still falls 10% short of the desires set out in the visions in The Draft Auckland Plan.


Recapping briefly:

The Draft Auckland (Spatial) Plan stated a 75:25 ratio of intensification (Brownfield) to sprawl (Greenfield) development for a projected 400,000 new residential dwellings in Auckland (to house 2 million people) by 2040. The Draft Auckland Plan also sets out a very clear Rural Urban Boundary system on where development can or can not occur. In effect, the RUB is an arbitrary line on a map, all urban development will occur behind the RUB curtain, no urban development will occur on the rural side of the boundary. The RUB is the containment method behind the compact city model pushed by some in Auckland Council including the current mayor, Len Brown. So effectively 300,000 of the 400,000 the new dwellings needed will occur behind the RUB line. The city can not expand “naturally” which then causes major imbalances in the demand and supply of residential (and commercial/industrial) market(s). So can the intensification be done?


  • Whilst the Plan’s target cannot be achieved, substantial intensification is possible, but needs to be much more widespread than the current Auckland Plan’s town centres and corridors.
  • Without major re-zoning only 45-60,000 extra dwellings are able to be provided in intensified form in the next 30 years.
  • With major re-zoning and sticking to town centres and corridors (as current draft Auckland Plan) could provide 90-120,000 extra dwellings .
  • With major re-zoning in most current urban areas (requiring huge political resilience) could provide 200-270,000 extra dwellings.

So as you see The Draft Auckland Plan, to be blunt and honest the Plan is a lemon when it comes to intensification.

Any how lets take a look at the report more in-depth, by starting at looking at if the last bullet point did occur this is what your local neighbour would look like.


So lets take a look at the graphics that were provided in the report.









New Lynn

New Lynn





With my views of Tamaki, refer to my Tamaki Assignment

You can right-click each of the above graphics and open them in a new tab, but heads up they are 1879×1033   so a 27″ screen does pay dividends


Those are the levels of intensification as an example of what would occur, if the maximum amount of permissible intensification (which is still 10% short) occurred.

To get an idea of what the buildings will be like, check out Chapter Eight of the Draft Auckland Plan by clicking the respective hyper-link.

Some areas would suit and be able to handle it such as Tamaki, over areas such as Birkenhead could not.

Look, we need all to have a pause and serious think here about how we want OUR Auckland to evolve over the next 30-odd years – as The Draft Auckland Plan misses the point and boat entirely looking at the independent report.

I personally advocated for a 60:40 ratio (Draft Auckland Plan is 75:25) in Brownfield (Intensification) : Greenfield (Development). So out of the 400,000 new residential dwellings needed; rather than the 300,000 as set out in the Draft Auckland Plan for Brownfield development, it would be around 240,000 (out of 400,000) dwellings needed in the Brownfield zones. Now looking at the report, the maximum plausible was 270,000 and even my 240,000 is pushing the barrow up the hill – with the 50:50 (200,000) split being advocated by the centre-right in Auckland Council also pushing it.


So then what is the ratio if The Draft Auckland Plan stuck to its guns. Well according to the report:

With major re-zoning and sticking to town centres and corridors (as current draft Auckland Plan) could provide 90-120,000 extra dwellings .

So that would mean a ratio of 30:70 Brownfield:Greenfield development – rather bit off to the point the other way around. And if no major re-zoning was undertaken the ratio falls even less to Brownfield developments. 

So taking it from the report:

Whilst the Plan’s target cannot be achieved, substantial intensification is possible, but needs to be much more widespread than the current Auckland Plan’s town centres and corridors.

Effectively, Chapters Seven and Eight of the Draft Auckland Plan are basically duds with no real scope of achieving its vision target let alone being viable or plausible.

Even my 60:40 ratio and the centre-rights 50:50 ratio is pushing it politically (at the minimum) but could be more “acceptable” and viable then the 75:25 current ration.



So where to next folks – we have a lemon for a Draft Auckland Plan in its current form – some serious re-working is going to need to be done. And that is before we factor in Port of Auckland.