Attention goes north! Airport chaos: Drive home ‘longer than Sydney flight’ 10:00 AM Saturday Dec 10, 2016 Passengers have vented their frustration at the traffic chaos at Auckland Airport, … Continue reading #Election2017 – Auckland and the Airport Line will Make or Break the English Government
McLennan Park development is a go If one was travel through Southern Auckland from Otahuhu to Pukekohe and thought the sub-region was one big construction zone right now you … Continue reading Housing in Southern Auckland racing ahead. UPDATED – More On the Way
Government increases threats on Unitary Plan with housing While Budget 2016 is certainly a flop to the point a national disgrace I have seen Finance Minister Bill English and … Continue reading English Gives Strongest Hints on Auckland Commissioners with the #UnitaryPlan
Consequences continue to the Unitary Plan vote on Wednesday Fallout continues to be measured from Wednesday’s anti-democratic vote that removed Council from the rezoning topic of the Unitary Plan … Continue reading English Signals More Intervention of Housing in Auckland #UnitaryPlan
Finance Minister Fires Warning Shot in Increasing Government Agitation Against Auckland 2040, and Wayward Councillors While I was heading into town yesterday for the Auckland Transport Alignment Program Bernard … Continue reading Bill English to Auckland: Stay the Course with the #UnitaryPlan. Consequences Otherwise
What should really happen There are few things happening that have come together to present the perfect opportunity for Auckland and its infrastructure investment. It was commented on Twitter … Continue reading Jan 27: Key and English (Should) Announce CRL and Airport Line via Otahuhu Funding Package
Will he follow through though? Minister of Finance Bill English in Question Time yesterday indicated that Auckland might very well needing greater housing density to achieve the aims of … Continue reading English Warm To More Liberal Unitary Plan Rules to Allow Intensification #AKLPols
7,500 new homes touted for Tamaki Note: Pressers placed in Talking Auckland are to be taken at the value you attach to them. I just pass the information on. … Continue reading Bill English Announces More Housing In Glen Innes
Yeah… But English also cheap shot-ting as well
I saw this presser from the New Zealand Planning Institute:
Urban planning not to blame for inequality
Regardless of whether the government accepts or rejects a growing gap in equality within New Zealand, it has agreed that there are a variety of national and international issues that cause inequality, including finance and tax policy, under and un-employment, the pressure of foreign investment etc.
NZPI is therefore surprised and disappointed at Minister Bill English’s recent comment that the single biggest contributor to the gap between the haves and have nots is ‘urban planning processes’. This view is unsupported in any publicly available government report on inequality within New Zealand. On the contrary, the evidence available suggests that urban planning processes play a negligible part in housing affordability which is now being inextricably linked with inequality.
The regions of New Zealand face quite different pressures.
Land availability and housing affordability are not typically problems that face provincial New Zealand and yet poverty is very evident in our provinces. Local planning policy is one contributor to housing affordability but certainly not the main one. The relative inability to build at scale, relative high cost of building materials, land banking, tax structure, interest rates, profiteering and sentiment towards residential property as an asset class in general have a huge role in housing affordability.
NZPI waits with interest to hear of the Government’s proposed changes to the RMA, the legislation that sets the context for all planning policies in NZ.
A fellow Tweeter did say the NZPI is in a bit of self denial and that Bill English did certainly fire a cheap shot after sitting on his hands for the last six years when he could have been a tad more productive then and now.
The inability to build at scale, and land banking are both direct consequences of actual planning policy and regulation. Thus I would also argue those two issues are two of the three biggest issues around the housing situation (the other being the NIMBY – Consenting (so development controls)).
Not rather pleased with NZPI in light of that presser…
Roughhan writes an opinion, Stephen Town Responds
Yesterday John Roughan wrote an opinion piece in the NZ Herald yesterday comparing Minister of Finance Bill English to Auckland Mayor Len Brown over finances.
You can read the opinion piece over at the Herald but below is an introductory excerpt:
John Roughan: Auckland should not lose services
Auckland is being softened up for a reduction in public services. Something has to go we are told — inorganic rubbish collections, maybe — if the mayor is to keep rates from rising beyond his election promise. Aucklanders should not listen to this.
The Super City was given a mayoral office with more powers than any elected position in New Zealand local government has previously enjoyed. It is our first “executive mayoralty”. The office has the power to draft the city’s budget and the staff to oversee the council’s operations. It has become obvious this week that Len Brown has not used it.
From the time he was first elected he has staffed the office predominantly with political advisers and publicists who churn out press statements and articles about visions and plans for some future “liveable city” in response to every problem that arises in the present.
Meanwhile, the monster bureaucracy created by the amalgamation of Auckland’s previous municipalities goes about its work in its own way at its own pace, not noticeably troubled by any scrutiny from the office of the executive mayor.
When a city is asked to accept reduced services for more cost, in the middle of an economic boom, something is seriously wrong. Staff are suggesting the council will need to find savings by means such as ending inorganic rubbish collections and reducing library hours or park maintenance, to keep rate rises within reason. The council’s limp majority will probably go along with this nonsense.
Now we know people have all sorts of opinions about the Council and its finances. That said a response from the Council – more to the point CEO Stephen Town came through earlier today. This is what he had to say:
Response to the Weekend Herald editorial
When John Roughan describes the unified Auckland Council as an ‘under-working morass of inefficiency’, what exactly is he referring to? Could it be the $1.7bn in cost and efficiency savings under the new Council, is it the vastly improved consenting times or a better relationship with central government? Perhaps it’s our AA credit rating, historic investment in public transport, or the most stable and low rates rises in decades?
We know we can do better, but we’re also proud of what our staff and Councillors have achieved in three and a half short years – to improve services, keep costs low for Aucklanders and invest for the future.
Over the next 12 months the Council will take the next big step – a 10 year budget aligned to Auckland’s priorities. There will be tough choices ahead for our city’s leaders. But as the Mayor has said, it’s also a historic opportunity to transform our city for the better. That’s something that’s worthy of a thoughtful and informed discussion with Aucklanders – and something we hope the Herald will want to be part of.
The debate continues