So once again we reach that point in the roller-coaster ride that has been the Unitary Plan were we have no idea what will happen. Councillors will vote today on whether to withdraw the council’s submission on zoning and remove their ability to be involved in the hearings process over it – it’s frankly absurd we’re even in this position. Without going over everything again, I thought I would highlight a few good comments and articles recently about what’s happening.

Yesterday Simon Wilson from Metro Magazine wrote an open letter to councillors calling on them to show leadership. He notes that while the process has been messy, backing away now would undermine all of the work over many years.

We get it. It’s pretty tough, being a city councillor right now – at least, if you’re a councillor who has supported the Auckland Plan (AP) and its vision for a liveable city, and you’re standing for re-election. But you have to do better than we’ve seen from you – all of you – in the last three months.

….

However, as you go about fixing this, please, please, do not indulge in rhetoric – or take any material steps – to undermine the whole Unitary Plan. Remember, despite the noise of protest right now, we already know that most Aucklanders want the city to grow up as well as out, especially in town centres and along transport corridors.

There were a number of Op-eds over at the herald

This one by Jason Krupp from the NZ Institute talked about the impact of preventing young people from being involved in the housing market.

Research by the Grattan Institute clearly shows that locking young people out of the housing market saps productive capacity.

That is because it restricts their access to the inner city services nexus, which is vital to increasing human capital.

And he also raises the issue of the impact of density constraints on house prices.

Research shows lifting density constraints tends to decrease capital value but increase land value and residents are better off on a net basis.

Another study examined the housing market in the San Francisco metropolitan area in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which was characterised by artificially restricted supply and high house prices. As a result, demand for housing was weak and home ownership rates low – a situation strikingly similar to Auckland today.

When the US economy contracted in 1990 the most restrictive property markets were hit hardest. In California, San Francisco and Marin County saw prices fall by 3 per cent and 5.3 per cent in a year, while less supply-constrained areas further north saw only a 0.4 per cent dip.

Phil Eaton from the Property Council and who held no punches in a press release on the matter last week has continued in the same vein in this piece. Phil might represent commercial developments but it’s quite refreshing to see parts of our business community so unequivocal on issues like sprawl and the high costs it imposes.

We now have many decades of indecision and lack of master planning to make up for.

This unfortunate period has given us suburbs without appropriate infrastructure, the wrong housing typologies for what most people need (mostly too big), a shortfall of close to 50,000 dwellings and insane house price escalation.

We are only just getting the planning in place for a connected public transport system. We must start now, not next year or the year after. No more backward steps. There seems to be a lack of acknowledgment that in the next 15 years we need to fit a city the size of Wellington into Auckland.

Visualise a map of Auckland, then increase its geographical coverage by a third and you will see the sort of trouble we will be in if we do not create options for smart, intensive housing.

Imagine the motorways that will be required to get people from home to work because of sprawl. Efficient housing and public transport will not be feasible with massive urban sprawl. We will all pay for that inefficiency.

….

The councillors who have come out against density proposals are aiding the Nimby mentality of baby-boomers who will leave behind an intergenerational legacy of social injustice and inequality.

There will never be Auckland suburbs covered in ghetto apartments. Fewer than 6 per cent of suburbs will have apartments with more than three storeys.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse was a bit more subdued in saying:

And we already know current plans cannot supply the 400,000 extra houses needed to accommodate one million more people over 30 years. Issues about natural justice and property rights have been raised but I am equally concerned about social justice and the rights of tens of thousands of people who don’t own property.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub coined the term “Generation Rent” and the Property Council of New Zealand, community housing providers and this publication have all called for solutions that increase housing supply, choice and affordability. It’s an issue too important to play politics; this must be a cross-party and an all-of-Auckland approach.

She also noted that the government are calling for much more intensification than the council is.

The Ministry for the Environment’s submission, endorsed by the Cabinet, calls for zoning of higher densities in areas that are market-attractive – areas, frankly, where zoning is most controversial.

This is interesting when you consider what the outcomes could be should the councillors vote to withdraw the evidence. She made this comment on twitter last night.

The government through the the likes of the Minister for the Envrionment, Housing New Zealand and other ministries have called for significantly more intensification to be allowed in the Unitary Plan and in the areas where there is currently the most opposition. The council withdrawing their evidence and position leaves the hearings panel much more open to views of other submitters. That likely gives more weight to the likes of the government submissions. There would be quite some irony – and perhaps not such a bad outcome – if by withdrawing their evidence the councillors opposing the plan ended up enabling even greater intensification than they’re opposing now. As Penny says, this would be a bit of an own goal. It also goes to the heart of this debate, do the councillors want the council being involved in the process or having the process happen to them.

There’s another even scarier scenario. Given the importance addressing housing supply in Auckland is to the national economy, if councillors start to block the Unitary Plan could the government start to think about replacing the council with commissioners as they’ve done to Environment Canterbury? I suspect it would be too politically fraught but it wouldn’t surprise me if the thought was starting to cross their mind.

Puketāpapa Local Board Chair Julie Fairey put together this good and simple illustration of one area in her area showing what is allowed currently under the existing Operative Distract Plan, under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and under the changes in the December submission. As you can see in many cases the zoning is still lower than what is currently allowed.

Julie Fairey - UP Changes

I wonder what the outcome would have been if the council had been more clear and the Herald more responsible in its reporting about how what was proposed compared to what actually existed. Instead the Herald has been more interested in manufacturing controversy by showing pictures of apartment towers next to single houses when talking about changes that allow for more two and three storey dwellings.

On the other side of the debate the was this absurd piece from ACT MP David Seymour containing many of the fallacies we’ve come to see from those pushing for unfettered sprawl. Included in there is Demographias use of average density to portray Auckland as denser than New York

Auckland is already denser than New York, and most American and Australian cities.  The 1.6 million people in Manhattan may live cheek-by-jowl, but not the other 20 million inhabiting the wider urban area.

This was addressed to a degree by Thomas Lumley at Statschat and another good post on the issue is from Nick here a few years ago. In short it is explained by this image. Each dot represents a set number of dwellings and each box has the same number of dots in it. That means that overall they have the same level of density but they would both feel like very different cities to live in.

patterns-of-density

In the end it seems Seymour didn’t like living in an apartment so no one else should. It’s always funny when politicians claim to be about letting people make their own decisions and letting the market decide then then turn around and advocate for restricting options and dictating what can be done.

I hope sanity prevails today and the councillors don’t put the future of Auckland at risk. I guess only time will tell now.

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86 comments

  1. I think there’s an opportunity for even better outcomes

    What if we INTENSIFIED at the same time as we restricted demand?

    We could turn Auckland from a city of sails into a city of parks… interspersed with top-quality 25 storey apartment buildings
    95% of our city could be greenspace, while still fitting 1.5m people

    1. Agreed. We should implement a one child policy immediately to stop Aucklanders having babies, since it’s the biggest driver of population growth.

      1. or we could stop importing more people which is something that is easy to control and doesn’t infringe on our citizens rights to have children.

        1. Most of the people we are importing at the moment are actually New Zealanders returning home from living abroad. Are you suggesting we need to ban Kiwis from leaving in the first place, just in case they come back later?

          1. Yep. Why should we take back with open arms the people who have decided that yeah nah they don’t really love NZ that much and would rather try to get rich in Aus/London?

    2. That wouldn’t be intensification. That would be less density: less people in the same area, greater distances between people, and between people and the things they do.

      We already have an urban form with pockets of density dotted through green space, it’s called most of the area of New Zealand. Yet 80% of New Zealanders choose to live in cities. Maybe that just shows people value proximity more than they value being spread apart in the countryside.

      1. Well, no. We’d fit more people into the housing-zoned areas (intensification) = agglomeration benefits, while maintaining distance to work. Instead of living in a 3-bed in New Lynn, I might live in a 25-storey apartment tower in New Lynn (with everyone else) while my street gets turned into a reclamation native forest or the like

        1. Err, no. Its not agglomeration if you have the same amount of people in the same space. The fact you cluster a neighbourhood into one building surrounded by park instead of spread over the same area doesn’t change a thing. It doesn’t change the density, or the agglomeration, or the travel distances.

  2. A little bit of late balance from the Herald. But still it gives far too much credence to the anti-housing supply group 2040; a creature almost entirely of Oarsman’s and the Herald’s creation.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11594361

    Thes are fringe extremists who make frankly impossible claims; ‘we are not against intensification’ and ‘3 stories is high density high rise’.

    It is beyond absurd that Council might remove itself from the judicial planning process because of a frenzy whipped up by deceiving and manipulative enemies of the gentle changes proposed in the plan. It is anyway a problem of the Councillors’ own making when they down-zoned so much of the plan previously.

    A further absurdity is that whatever Council do today, and wherever the UP lands in the short term it will have to be revisited very soon as it’s still just too restrictive. The transport planning process alone shows that; another million people all out beyond 20-30km is an unaffordable disaster for infrastructure cost as well as for the environment and for economic efficiency.

  3. I’m young, I have transferable skills and dual citizenship, and I don’t own a home in Auckland.

    I like Auckland a lot, both for what it is and what it could be. But unless local government is willing to make a credible commitment to housing choice and affordability, it’s going to drive me out. A lot of other young people are in the same position. Auckland’s housing market is a generational rort; it’s weighted against us.

    1. The political system is also structurally biased against young and future residents. Too easy for current older homeowners to make their interests the loudest ones at the table.

      Councillors are playing along in an election year, but it shows how pointless they are if they can’t show leadership and take the citizens with them.

      Hope the nimbys like visiting their grandchildren overseas and ending their days in a resthome with no visitors.

      1. So so true. I think we would be better served if rates were paid by residents, not property owners. Then Auckland Council would be accountable to all Aucklanders rather than just the minority who own property.

        1. Rates are paid by residents who rent via the rent paid to landlords, are they not? (I don’t think a poll tax is a fair tax.)
          (Also, residents who aren’t property owners, but who are on the electoral roll, do get to vote in local bobby elections – do they not? (I realise there may be difficulties, e.g., changes of address, etc., but these should be able to be overcome by people who are eligible to vote and really want to vote).)

        1. And, no, you owe loyalty to your country regardless.

          Otherwise leave… in which case you have no say in what that country does

          1. “Otherwise leave… in which case you have no say in what that country does”

            What a strange attitude.
            You’ve never wanted to travel and live overseas then?

          2. Sounds like he’d like to travel to North Korea perhaps, that’s one place you owe loyalty to your country regardless.

          3. Patriotism. The last refuge of a scoundrel. Nobody gets to choose the country of their birth so the concept that you “owe” loyalty to it is just bizarre. In my own immediate family of 5 we have 3 different contries of birth and 4 different contries of citizenship. My loyalty is to that family.

      1. I’m sure you hold yourself to the same standards of loyalty. How are you finding Tokoroa these days? Very public-minded of you to take a continued interest in Auckland’s transport issues.

      2. I love it when “loyalty to New Zealand” comes up in arguments about the cost of living and young people fleeing overseas. Funnily enough this line is always used to suggest that the *less* advantaged should suck it up for everyone’s sake – that it’s their patriotic duty to exist as literal tenants in their own country for the rest of their lives.

        You never see this argument extended in the other direction. Yes, it would definitely (marginally) hurt the income and living standards of the wealthy and propertied, if we fixed the housing market and make it affordable for young people to remain here – but shouldn’t these people accept this as a service to New Zealand, for the greater good? Shouldn’t that be enough to satisfy anybody? But somehow the prospect is never raised.

        1. Well said Sam. I fully agree.

          For what it’s worth, I think that many of the people who oppose more housing supply in their neighbourhood are guilty of errors of analysis, not hardheartedness. It’s difficult to believe that something so seemingly minor as preventing new buildings being constructed on your street could have such broad (and negative) impacts on the housing market. But when people are making the same argument on every street in the city…

        2. > “Yes, it would definitely (marginally) hurt the income and living standards of the wealthy and propertied, if we fixed the housing market and make it affordable for young people to remain here”

          I’m not sure about that; as the snippet from the article by the NZ Institute guy that Matt cites above says, dwelling prices may go down a bit (less so if new, and so un-depreciated), but land values go up to more than compensate for this, so the NIMBYs seem to be shooting themselves in the foot and acting against their own financial interest (which is what Don Brash and ACT-types would call irrational).

          On top of this, who is going to buy these over-inflated house prices when the NIMBYs die? A demographic bubble will burst soon and there will be nobody to take over demand for the housing stock at that price, so prices will plummet, which won’t be good for the NIMBYs kids and grandkids, so again the the NIMBYs seem to be shooting themselves in the other foot and acting against their own financial interest (which is what Don Brash and ACT-types would call double-irrational?).

          Am I missing something (apart from the irrationality of NIMBYs)?

    2. My children have already been driven out – eldest daughter moved to Europe late last year and wont be returning to AKL at all. My son moves to Japan end of this year and will buy a house there he says – he has had enough of “Auckland old people hijacking his future”. My middle daughter will move to Singapore after she graduates university in 2017 and our youngest daughter at age 16 is already making plans to emigrate to Canada or the US “for a better life”. Thanks Auckland for driving out the next generation in favour of a bunch of selfish old fogies who have never really been overseas (Australia and the UK are not overseas as they are just a bigger NZ) and who dont want to learn anything about the modern world. Thanks a lot old codgers and crones.

  4. Todd Niall’s report mentioned that public input will be taken at the session. Is it open to anyone to speak on the issue? Is there still time to apply to speak?

  5. The Herald is doing the bidding of its political masters. They want a right wing Mayor and a right wing Council so that they can complete the Supercity plan of privatisation of the assets of Auckland.

  6. What worries me more is spelled out here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/297275/auckland-housing-density-meeting-on-agenda from Todd Niall

    Whichever the way the vote goes there will be bitter divisions and whatever internal relationships left gone. Given we have to come back to this in July-August with the Recommendations (which then become binding after a final Council vote) and given the situation now do I trust the Governing Body to make a rational choice in July.

    The answer right now is simply NO.

    So what options are left?

  7. Thanks for sharing my image, I’m glad you found it useful. Just to note I’ve now found out Res 5 is currently a density limit of 500m2, so Single House is significantly less dense than Res 5 as well as Res 6a.

    1. Looks like an upzoning to me. It looks like they notified the PAUP as single house on the top half of your oblong (600sqm) and are trying to change it to Mixed housing suburban (400sqm) without any submissions to support their case. Every blue line in the right hand figure shows an area where the Council is trying to get something past the Panel out of scope. The black lines show where they are in scope. No wonder people are cross.

        1. You saying there are doesn’t make it so. The statements of evidence swapped are all written by the Council’s own experts. If they have identified them as out of scope then I am prepared to accept they are. Those with an axe to grind might not. Besides which if this is truly what the Council wanted then why didn’t they say that in the plan they notified? Maybe the answer is they didn’t want it but a couple of Councillors have tried to slip it in at the end hoping no one would notice.

          1. I am not just saying so – it is a simple fact that people have submitted in favour of upzoning those properties.

          2. My submission requested that the entire isthmus be at least mhs.so it was supported by submissions. It is out of scope only because I specified a geographic area not a list of addresses

      1. It’s an upzoning _only_ if you look at PAUP and new proposal. The whole point of the image is that you need to look at the actual starting point, which is the Operative plan. It shows 6a (375m2) for much of that area. Going from 6a (375m2) to Single House (600m2) and now back to MHS (400m2) means those sites have gone down, and now have gone back up but not quite to as dense as they currently are.

        1. Ok and that is actually where you are dead wrong Julie. The start point for the hearings is the notified PAUP. What is in legacy documents doesn’t matter much. When people decided whether or not to submit all they had was the notified version. If they looked at the maps and liked it then they may not have submitted. The RMA doesn’t require any comparison with the old Isthmus Plan.

          1. Ha, so you are arguing against status quo bias. God I would love it if this process didnt suffer from staus quo bias.

          2. No John that is a nonsense legalistic argument that doesn’t reflect anything in the real world. The fact is that what is being proposed in the so-called ‘out of scope’ outrage is still a dis-intensification from what is currently allowable. And this is Oarsman’s (really Burton’s) headline grabbing catastrophic example area. FFS!

          3. When they write a new plan the whole status quo thing is kind of built in because they know they need political approval. But once we get to a hearing it is a debate of the merits of each submission versus the notified document. The law requires every submission to be considered. The key difference here is the Panel can go off the reservation if they choose with out of scope recommendations. But if they do it gets interesting as the natural justice issue means it can go to the High Court. But the High Court usually decides on the matters of law and passes the planning issues back for reconsideration. The problem here is the Panel will no longer exist so who would make that decision? Either the High Court has to or if it went via the Environment Court s/he could refer it back to them. Personally I am not fussed about intensification or not (as its not beside me) but I am really looking forward to see how this is resolved.

          4. Patrick don’t forget this is the process the Council lobbied for. They pruned away most appeal rights and made it a one step process for every one else while keeping a full right to reject anything they didnt like. Given that background it would be absolutley wrong to further trample on the public’s right to know what is proposed and be involved. Has the Council now decided that even a one step process is too much? Process matters, especially when you are dealing with authority and even more so if you are the authority.

          5. The process is messy, particularly everytime the elected members stick their paddles in.

            But it is completely disingenuous for 2040, Brewer, Oarsman, etc to claim they are only upset about process. They have done everything possible to destabilise the process at every possible step. This actually is a job for serious grown ups, a great deal is at stake. The wreckers and vandals will be their little pyhric victory today but it won’t achieve a thing.

            Anyway want is it they want? Really? Their self-important cri de coeur to be heard, and given respect? What they may achieve is a disfunctional dwelling supply situation in AKL for longer, with the added possibility of heavy-handed intervention by Central Gov.

            Monkeys. Circus.

          6. I agree it will be a shame that we don’t get enough houses. Particularly given how Watercare and AT are strangling the SHA’s. But aim your anger at the people who put this sham together. There will always be conflict in planning, that is the nature of it. The stupid part is the Council didn’t front foot what they wanted by putting it in the PAUP. It was their choice not to. Squeezing it in at the end is what is causing the problems. Now they have probably missed their one chance.

  8. It really is extraordinary to witness, I have seen the hysterical letters that a going around every well heeled email address in Auckland, the fact that they are completely and utterly detached from reality – just flat wrong, made up nonsense – is clearly beside the point. A mass mania has been whipped up by some people with uncertain motivation and it is finding many ready minds. It is very hard to agree that they are even putting this effort in to protect their property value; the ability to develop property for more dwellings adds to its value not the reverse [one of many strange claims in these documents], no, what I think it is that a generation used to everything being organised around their values and desires feels [and I mean feels] this centrality to life in this city slipping away from their firm grasp. This is a great last stand against change. They are fuelled by a resentment at not being taken as seriously as they want to be. They’re so important; aren’t they?

    Now in some cases this is just age, that unstoppable force that brings us all down eventually, they are literally no longer in charge of everything, and it’s scary. However no matter what age they are many that clearly feel, and quite rightly, that a new order is taking over and they are very very, if incoherently, angry about this.

    But it is inevitable, some may know this, but they’re not going quietly, after all it does mean the end of a foundation to their identity. There is no other way I can make sense of both incoherence and the vehemence of all the little Oarsmans.

    Interestingly it is the same group with the same intensity that are anti-EU in the ‘Brexit’ debate in the UK currently. The Zeitgeist at work. The suburbanite little-Englander Boomers are hurting; hear them scream!

    1. Well said, Patrick. I think your identification of the rationale for the forces of darkness on this is spot on – I can think of no other reason for their contradictory approach. It’s a combination of this fear of no longer being “in charge”, coupled with the election year opportunity that brings out populist and knee-jerk attitudes which are driven by perceived political advantage, not by what’s best for Auckland. For me, John Walker summed it up nicely a few days ago: (paraphrasing) “I don’t want to live next door to a three-storey block so I’m not going to let anyone live like that”. How does that equate with representing the interests of his wider constituency?

    2. + 2

      I think you’re right (correct) Patrick.

      On top of (or underlying) this, as DavidByrne and Lindsey intimate above, the big boys (and some big girls, these days?) want to whip-up hysteria to get a majority of “right-wing” (“neo-liberal”) councillors elected to finish the job of privatising the most lucrative/monopolistic of Auckland’s public assets into their hands – same as in 1984 with the “currency crisis” and the devaluation of the NZ dollar, which gave those “in the know” an instant 10% tax-free windfall, to use to buy NZ’s public assets.

  9. Council is like a hearings panel, like the independent hearings panel they need to make some decisions. The one rule book with reduced regulation was pretty much the only reason ‘the business round table’ gave for creating a supercity.

  10. That is interesting. So the issue is actually not “we don’t want too much upzoning”, but rather, “No, that is not enough downzoning, we want more”.

    And what may we learn from the newspaper today?
    http://nzh.tw/11594424 Houses about to demolished for highway
    http://nzh.tw/11594410 Rich neighbours spend $100k on mooting a development

    Bah. What’s wrong with this city?

    1. Yes exactly. The downzoning that has occured in some areas is an absolute scandal.

      I hope the residents down south take the council to court as per the developer example. I find it hard to believe that an independent commissioner could have enough robust analysis at hand to conclude that the road is really needed from a congestion point of view. Particularly as I bet they didn’t consider the option of road pricing.

  11. I used the GenZero “automailer” programme to the Council on this issue, and I got a very nice letter back from Bill Cashmore (whom I’d never heard of before) who said “thanks for this, I’ve been snowed under by letters on the other side and it’s good to hear balance”. Surprisingly for a Franklin councillor he’s pro-intensification.

    1. I don’t have a vote in this, but I’ve only had emails from 2040 opposing the changes. I’ve also had a few people freaking out about it and seeking information who have appreciated some clear explanations (hence the image I made). The final response on those conversations has been basically thanks for the info, I’m reassured/calmer now – notably _not_ asking me to oppose. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on social media but that tends to be a bit of an echo chamber (which has pros and cons). I should say I’ve also been involved in a few discussions on Neighbourly initiated by someone from 2040 which I only dipped in to because they were claiming some stuff about Mt Roskill that was wrong. That ended up being a twisty turny discussion of I imagine mutual frustration. When someone lumps MHS, MHU and THAB together as if they are one high density zone (when even THAB is only medium in most cases) it isn’t going to be a conversation that progresses very well I guess.

    2. Not surprising. Both be and good predecessor (Des Morrison) have been very good on urban issues. They both rang places like Pukekohe to succeed and don’t want farm land gobbled up. Interestingly Des is on the independent hearings panel

    3. Thanks for pointing out the Gen Zero auto-mailer. Since it was too late to apply to speak in person, at least I felt I was contributing *something* to the debate. I know the Waitemata Local Board is generally pro-intensification-while-still-trying-to-preserve-heritage-character. It’s a fine line they’re trying to navigate.

    4. Cashmore’s stance shouldn’t be a surprise. If Auckland doesn’t allow enough intensification it will place considerable pressure on Franklin, which is barely coping with population growth as it is (Pukekohe’s wastewater system at capacity, motorway clogged, no electrification etc). If Auckland balks at relatively minor intensification Franklin will suffer.

  12. I wrote to my councillors (Crs Casey and Fletcher) to try and offer a bit of balance to the NIMBY wailing. From the replies, both of them seem to have been captured by the Auckland 2040 process-trolling. Well, I guess I know who not to vote for next time.

    Seriously, doesn’t it give them pause to find themselves on the same side as Cameron Brewer?

  13. Nobody has suggested the Council will withdraw their evidence. That is crap. The suggestion is that they withdraw support for out of scope changes. Most of the evidence swapped is about in scope issues. If they withdraw support for out of scope changes they will still be the main submitter before the independent panel. Penny Hulse knows this better than anyone.

    1. They’re not out of scope. They respond to the Minister’s submission. People should have submitted against the Minister’s submission if they didn’t like it.

      1. Yet the Council’s own expert advisors and lawyers have marked them as out of scope. Why do you think they might have done that? Maybe because they are out of scope?

          1. Remember Matthew the statements are written by individuals based on what they truly believe, not what their boss wants them to say and not what some minor politician thinks. This whole thing is probably pointless as the Panel is as likely to say they don’t wish to adopt something where they have only heard one side.

          2. Here is what I remember. People explaining that they only considered things to be “in scope” if a submission specifically named or otherwise circled/ identified a particular property or area. And yet when we read about what “out of scope” is on the IHP website, there is nothing indicating this definition.

            If this is the definition, it would be great if someone could provide a reference for it.

          3. The term “out of scope” has come from Auckland Council I think, not the IHP. The advice officers have given elected members is that they have been very liberal about labelling changes “out of scope” ie have included as “out” sites where it is arguable whether they are “in” or “out”. If someone submitted saying “I’d like more apartments in the [insert name] town centre” and they didn’t specify street numbers and the proposal is now to upzone there then that may well have been classed as an “out”.

            This is from Our Auckland back in December 2015:
            “These ‘out of scope’ changes are proposed based on the Independent Panel’s guidance and best practice planning to ensure the overall objectives of the PAUP are met and to avoid ‘spot zoning’, where submissions can lead to inconsistent zone changes within some areas resulting in haphazard development across Auckland.” http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2015/12/council-publishes-preliminary-zoning-maps/

            Hope that assists.

          4. It is interesting to note that the IHP, in determining that no waivers for late submissions be granted, had this to say:

            “I expect that existing submitters … will present submissions as to both the scope and the merits of a range of residential zonings all over the region, so that the effects of various residential zonings will be able to be adequately assessed.” (emphasis mine)

            This points toward their thinking as to whether these proposed changes are really being brought through the back door without any opportunity for debate. In short it doesn’t sound like they agree with Auckland 2040’s position on the justice of the process.

  14. As a recent graduate, the result of this process will pave my future.
    If intensification is not approved, which leads to the housing crisis worsening, I have no other choice but to leave the city, if not the country. Cities such as London would be more affordable for me than Auckland. Not to mention job prospect here is lower compared overseas, as well as lower wage. Auckland might the 3rd liveable city… but that would only be to those who can afford it.
    I don’t wanna leave Auckland, grew up in this beautiful city of ours, and wanna raise my kids here. But if push comes to shoves, there is not much incentive left to stay. Am I the only one in this dilemma?

    1. No, Alex, you’re not. My partner and I came back from a good few years overseas and gave Auckland a try for a couple of years. Eventually – after trying really hard – we realised that we couldn’t afford a house within reasonable commuting distance of the CBD. We had decided that its a waste of time sitting in traffic for an hour each way, so cycling ( up to 30 minutes) or train / bus were the only options.

      Now, we have a lovely place in Christchurch, and I get to work in 10 minutes if the lights are favourable. you could do worse than give it some thought.

  15. John Duguid is now saying the Out of Scope changes were made to address spot-zoning and pepper potting zone changes (presumably the massive Housing NZ submission), nothing to do with the IHP directing the council to upzone more which was Penny Hulse’s original line

    http://www.propbd.co.nz/plan-staff-put-5-options-on-rezoning-maps/

    And this tweet from Penny Hulse last night

    “Commissioners r not The issue. Govt submissions from HNZ v bullish and request huge up zoning. We will be cut out of discussion”

    1. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive though. Getting rid of spot zoning and providing more density are in this instance both being achieved with the proposed changes. I note that one of the issues a 2040 person raised with me is that the new proposal will mean pepper potting (and that this is a bad thing) of higher buildings – in the short term we will continue to get the pepper potting we have now, but with the new proposal over time we would get the more gradual height changes that the proposes actually enable imho.

      1. The pepper potting refers to re-zoning of individual properties not the pepper potting of buildings. Of course you will have pepper potting of buildings over time unless you demolish a whole built area and start afresh or have a Hobsonville Pt brownfields style development.

        The guidelines from the IHP to the council advised that spot re-zoning of individual properties was not planning best practise, there should be “logical” boundaries between groups of properties of similar zones. Hence they have upzoned the general areas around HNZ properties. If you overlapped the blue out of zone areas with the invidual property adddresses from the HNZ submission (there were hundreds of them) I suspect there is s strong correlation.

        The interesting thing for me is that Duguid makes no reference to the revised maps being created because more upzoning was required to address population increase (as Hulse has been saying), but yet specially says they were created to avoid spot re-zoning ( he doesn’t say HNZ but they were by far the largest submitter requesting spot re-zoning of their properties).

        Hulse also more or less confirmed the HNZ submission was the cause of the situation her tweet too.

  16. It would indeed be interesting to poll the 2040 supporters who are calling for public submission and justice to see if they applied the same logic when the Government did exactly the same thing with the TPPA.

  17. Does anyone know where on the AUPIHP website the out of scope maps are? The St Helliers dude said he found them there on p360 of a 500 page document. Anyone had any luck finding them?

        1. Those show some of the changes. But the original maps the Council had showed a clear blue border around everything that was out of scope. They took them down when it all hit the fan because they were quite shocking.

          1. That’s not why they were taken down. They were taken down because the IHP wasn’t happy about Council releasing their evidence publicly on their website and wanted the IHP to release it, something like that. It’s good they are still up at the Herald site as otherwise they wouldn’t be very accessible, but that’s not entirely Council’s fault I believe.

  18. Now that ACT seems to have come out against easing hight limits on potential development am I right in expecting that ACT will now be arguing for increases in income tax for the rich, government buy-back of shares of companies sold by the Crown and just general consistent socialist policies?
    If they don’t, there is no rational centre to this change in the ACT Party’s logic. Surely allowing a property owner the right to build more floors on their property is exactly the same as reducing taxes?

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