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  1. Who is the idiot from the Kohi Residents Association saying the new Bus Network is a bad thing over there? Has he even read the docs and been to the open days??

    1. Thinks that a lesser *number* of routes means less bus service. An obvious conclusion if you don’t ever use buses and don’t read the consultation brochure…

  2. We need to get the four Community Board chairs onto the Council. They got it and are actually representing people and standing up to the staff and few Councillors captured by staff.

  3. Vic Crone’s tweet is laughable. It absolutely is age related as the boomer generation has overseen the biggest transfer of wealth in a century in this country.

      1. The problem we have in this country is that politicians only listen to the boomers. They only pay lip service to the needs of younger generations. I remember a comment from an economist wondering why there were no young people protesting in the streets. It’s because we know that politicians will listen, mutter that they’ll take our views into account, and then do exactly what they were going to do in the first place.

  4. Well reading the timelines of Bernard Hickey and others it’s clear that the greedy grey grizzlers didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory with their behaviour…..

    So emotional, so aggressive, so confused.

    So sad.

    1. it’s a tough choice between “out of her depth Crone” and “deep in the shit Goff”. why isn’t there a real choice for Mayor? We’ll end up wanting Len back

  5. Thanks for the link, Matt. Christine Fletcher – ‘why do we have to push this through with urgency, why can’t we wait twenty years?’ Have you seen what’s happening with immigration and the Auckland property market, Christine? We can’t wait twenty years until your constituents pass on to take some action on this. You say it’s not a young/old thing. So what are you doing to help younger generations into home ownership? All seems like protecting property values to me. Selfish.
    But you’re happy to have intensified retirement complexes.

    1. The ‘why can’t we wait 20 years’ line is telling. ALL those in the room screaming and all those on the Council opposing, including Fletcher, will of course, not be all concerned in 20 years, either gone from the scene, or from the earth entirely. Wow. Just change nothing, we have how we like it and are determined to keep it that way AT ANY COST (to others).

    1. The trouble with Brewer is that we’ve seen it all before. That song and dance routine is so 2000’s. Recall “Perk Buster”Rodney Hide who would go purple in the face with outrage about anything? Honest to God the man is a waste of oxygen! He should just resign his whatever the hell it/he is on AC and save the ratepayers some money!

  6. Len’s doing a great job of chairing this, including ‘handling’ Brewer. Some of the rude gallery haranguing the officials should be ejected.

  7. So they have followed the policy agreed with the governing body. They have labelled things out of scope using a very conservative approach just to be safe and will leave it to the IHP to decide on whether they are or not. What is the issue here? What are the monkeys in the gallery actually arguing about?

    1. That is how they are spinning it. The evidence is their advice to the Panel. The Panel could disagree, but they are advising the Panel these issues are out of scope.

      1. What’s the alternative explanation? They clearly state that general calls for up zoning render said upzoning in scope. Why would anyone say -hey we may have buggered this up because things things are in scope, if they don’t believe that? That would be deception in order to engage in self flagellation. I am sure you don’t even believe they would be so bizarre as to do that.

  8. There seem to be many councillors that think if you wont get cheap houses in a particular area, there is no value in building in that area to improve affordability. Good lord, why dont they think for a moment. These are our elected representatives.

      1. Jeepers.

        After watching that I have a lot more respect for Len Brown, and less for most of the other councillors. Why is Mike Lee so angry? Sharon Stewart is an inarticulate moron. I didn’t write it down but I’m retry sure she asked why would we want to wreck Auckland?

        1. A lot of them really disappoint when you see them in action, has long been this way. Len has his flaws but is generally much better than most. As for Lee, he seems eternally angry these days which is odd as on the transport front he’s getting everything he ever wanted, CRL and Light Rail. Can only think that when you’ve spent your life fighting the establishment that when it does what you want you don’t know how to deal with it so keep fighting it.

  9. A tragedy for Auckland. Back to the 1950s. In a week that the highly regarded Mercer international quality of life survey again put Auckland as third in the world, we now stop Auckland’s surge to being a forward-thinking global city so that narrow minded selfish baby boomers can enjoy their leafy suburbs (can we ban that expression) and not see the apparently monstrous three level buildings rise around them.

    A tragedy for the young and future generations who will never ever get their own apartment or be forced not to enjoy living life near their study and work place and with good PT access to the inner city. Those people will leave.

    A tragedy for the super city. It’s confirmation that narrow minded selfish councillors are once again in the majority as they were prior to the super city and shame on those councillors both left like Casey and right like the predictable Quax who care only about being re-elected knowing few people under 40 years vote. All we need now is for Crone to become mayor. Or Nick Smith to move his cronies in to run Auckland.

    A tragedy for the public on the receiving end of agenda journalists. Bernard Orsman has a lot to answer for.

  10. It’s a good decision. If you want intensification then you should go through a contestable process where people get a chance to put their views forward. You don’t highjack the process 21/2 years after the plan was notified and squeeze through 84 pages of maps with changes, then claim there is no choice. Cathy Casey said it- it’s not about intensification, it’s about democratic process.

    1. Like we did 2 1/2 years ago only for council to completely ignore all of the thousands of formal submissions they got in favour of broad zoning and instead listen to the dickheads trying to hijack the process now. You may find your trolling funny but I will never be able to buy a house in my home city because a few thousand selfish pricks want to make a few million more in capital gains that they won’t pay a dollar of tax on, and have me fund their retirement, while refusing to offer sny of the support they got through their degree while I go through mine.

      Yet somehow they still have the gal to call me the selfish generation.

    2. Bolocks. If they read the report they would realise the changes weren’t out of scope. The council acknowledged in the report people had made general submissions for up zoning and that this was in scope but thy decided to take a “conservative” view. They didn’t explain why it was conservative or what that even means in this context. I’m appalled at the lack of reason and logic by the councillors.

  11. “What a shame gen zero are turning this into an age issue. It’s not. People in the room have kids and grandkids and understand youth issues” so says Victoria Crone, one of Nationals pin up girl mayoral hopefuls and ex “I love my job a Xero” like so many other fly by night execs from that company have said. Yep I get real confident about that firm.

    Vic, darling, young people cannot buy a house in Auckland because “people in that room”, the “me gen”, in all likelihood have a investment property or 5 or 10. When Savage St Westmere, a street of poor people trying to stay in their state houses have a nothing ex state house in that road has a book value of $2,542,674, then there is something seriously bloody wrong with this picture. IT is an age issue, those by sheer luck who were born at a certain time who missed the foreign investor, local investor greed fest speculation frenzy and the ironic Brighter Future government and were able to buy a house to LIVE in. Gen Zero were and are not. I have got to laugh at the well to do’s shitting their fine tailored pants thinking Del Boys Nelson Mandela towers are going to be over looking their 1/4 acre paradises. Karma, it really is!

    1. I think it is going to be world economic events that will be causing the well-to-do to shit their pants over the next year or so rather than worrying about 3 storey ‘high-rises’. Good luck to them, they will need it.

    2. I agree with you but unfortunately, until there is real action to tackle New Zealand’s obsession with property investment, property owners will keep on buying – and they will buy apartments too. So I am personally not convinced that building apartments will lead to lower prices, unless we make property speculation a lot less attractive.

      1. You know, the funny thing is, all the folks worrying about their property prices because of zoning changes would find that their property is worth more if it were upzoned.

      2. Fab is absolutely right here! Building more of anything won’t bring prices down.

        The debate about compact vs sprawl, and density/zoning is rather superfluous whilst investing in property is so attractive…investing in stocks and shares or anything else is not even close. Anybody with any spare money, is investing in property, and property investment is our biggest economy, and its this that is mainly driving up property prices, not lack of zoned land.

        The latest measures to reduce property investment has helped slightly, and the effect is immediate on property prices, but there is still a long way to go to wean the country off this.

    3. +1 to that Waspman. Even if we had all the intensification we want, young people will still be locked out by speculators living off tax-free windfalls and massive tax deductions to help them buy more. That’s the real issue here.

  12. I was there for the first 4 hrs and have to say the whole thing was a badly managed shambles. Most of the councillors used it as an opportunity to politically grandstand rather than really come to grips with the real issue which for me was all about the democratic process. What was particularly worrying was a comment about what Housing NZ wants to do re intensification in Otara and Mangere. Basically it means cramming more low cost housing into those suburbs. What a future time bomb that will be for Auckland.

  13. Well, now that the Council has withdrawn from the process, I kind of hope the IHP upzones away with gleeful abandon. High prices in leafy suburbs clearly mean people want to live there – let’s open up that opportunity to more people!

  14. I really don’t like all the ageism going on here. I’m definitely of that generation known as the baby boom. I do NOT own a house in a leafy suburb and I do NOT oppose intensification; in fact I desire it. I love cities like Barcelona and Buenos Aires and would love for Auckland to be more like them.
    I read somebody in the paper today who wrote that Londoners would not be bowling over their houses in Chelsea or Kensington as they were full of character. He forgets that most of those houses are terraces AND they are 5 storeys high! If only Auckland had those.
    Anyway I am tired of being lumped in with all the blue rinse set from Remmers and I would like you guys to desist from denigrating everyone of a certain age. It is no different from any other -ism and is intellectually lazy.
    Personally I pay 60% of my income in rent and will soon be forced to look outside of Auckland for somewhere affordable. My family are all here, siblings, my son, nephews etc., I don’t want to leave but………
    I am fully supportive of the aims of this blog and of Generation Zero, but I am fed up of being castigated by people on here for no other reason than my age. It is hypocritical to complain about Brewer, Quax etc. discriminating against the young and you then doing the same in reverse.
    Thank you.

    1. Harry if you read the book Generation Rent by the Eaqubs you will see a graph that shows quite clearly that for every age group in the last census homeownership is at a lower percentage compared with 2001 (from memory).

      So you are correct that people mis-interpret GenRent to mean the young versus the old. In reality it is property owners -the landed gentry versus the renting class.

    2. If you don’t realise that this is primarily old, primarily white, people keeping primarily young and largely non-white people from housing for their own profit then you aren’t paying attention. No one is saying that this is all boomers or only boomers but it is largely boomers.

  15. Pretty dissappointing. A few thoughts:
    — the reason for the extent of change could’ve been better. It was because the council worked to assess each house in the isthmus, and shrunk the pre-1944 heritage overlay by something like 90%. Then the zones that were ‘single house zone’ didn’t need to be, and the logic implied it should’ve been ‘urban’
    — now the IHP will need to repeat the exercise. I imagine they’ll do the same thing, but won’t “double jump” from single house to urban
    — on process: well, the NIMBYs have trumped the council here. Getting the notified AUP to be single house zone across the isthmus pretty much guaranteed this outcome. I trust the IHP won’t be too literal on interpreting ‘natural justice’ for ‘out of scope’ given the context and issues at stake
    — nobody has pointed out that the land, if it were ‘upzoned’, would have increased in value considerably, and that the NIMBYs have actually just reduced their wealth for the foreseeable future. Oh well, at least nobody should accuse them of seeking simply to profiteer
    — on the bright side, the local road network on the isthmus probably couldn’t have coped with the increased load on the system anyway
    — the council will probably need to reverse the “70:40” split of “intensification: greenfields growth”, probably with the new elected councillors. Intensifying to that extent is evidently not viable. The “compact city” vision was too ambitious, as unrealistic as the 5% GDP and 2% p.a. productivity growth rate targets
    — we (as a society) need to shift our focus towards how to grow outwards more sustainably.

      1. Melbourne, Brisbane, Toronto and Vancouver seem to be doing it pretty well. Adding 1 house to 1 apartment and creating affordable modern cities.

          1. The saddest thing is that you think a duplex on an infill section, fragmenting land and obstructing future agglomeration, is intensification equivalent to a multi-storey apartment block. But even if you add in every granny flat and lean-to you want, still not even close.

          2. Angus, please try to use facts rather than just catastrophise randomly; it’s almost all apartment blocks in the city and inner suburbs, terrace houses in fringe areas, and multi-level retirement facilities. The ‘garden gobbling’ infill is pretty much done. There are very few gardens left to gobble.

        1. The frustrating thing about Auckland is that its goal is easily achievable just by letting it happen. If we let all the boundaries of Auckland out by 40% today, it is almost certain we would have 70% intensification occur long before sprawl covered those areas.

          Today’s nimbys would be clamouring for the right to sell for development, because that would offer the highest prices. Apartments would be built at a rate of 1:1 per house, instead of 1:4 like they are today.

          The problem with Auckland is that it never takes the chance, so intensification never becomes affordable.

          1. Letting the boundary out by 40%… you mean like exactly like the RUB does with its 12,000+ hectares of future urban land??? Not all urban boundaries are created equal…

    1. — nobody has pointed out that the land, if it were ‘upzoned’, would have increased in value considerably, and that the NIMBYs have actually just reduced their wealth for the foreseeable future. Oh well, at least nobody should accuse them of seeking simply to profiteer

      Because it doesn’t, in a city like Auckland where there is a tightly restrictive MUL the price of land is already too high to profitably be developed on a large scale. The chances of the nimby’s land attracting an offer from a developer is very low, but if one of the neighbours were to sell for development that would depress the nimby’s house price.

      In a city like Auckland, with a crushingly restrictive MUL, nimbyism is highly profitable.

  16. Just remember, council are going to have the same argument all over again when they have to decide whetehr to officially adopt the panels recommendation ca. august/ September 2016. In making their recommendation the Panel and then Council will both have to make that decision in the context of s5 of the RMA which includes a requirement to sustain the “potential of natural and physical resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations”. If im not mistaken, Council has already presented evidence as part of the RPS demonstrating the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations in terms of the required housing stock to accomodate population growth. To then not seek to provide through the rules and methods of the UP is not a position it can not validly hold in terms of the legislation governing their decision making requirements.

    Having watched this play out from a far, the majority of the public attending the Council meeting reminded me of the sort of anti-intellectualist stance against council planners and private sector experts we see from the anti-vaccination/ anti-flouride brigade. Sure everyone is entitled to their opinion and for this to be heard, but they shouldn’t be confusing their opinion with facts or evidence. The RMA requires decision-makers to make a decision to be based on the evidence put before it, if Auckland Council is unable to to do this I am all for central government kicking the lot out and taking over the process themselves.

    1. ” The RMA requires decision-makers to make a decision to be based on the evidence put before it”

      ” if Auckland Council is unable to to do this I am all for central government kicking the lot out and taking over the process themselves.”
      Could not disagree more.

  17. So how many can Gen Zero, Transport blog, UDF, NZIA, HNZ and pro intensification submitters marshal? A march for affordability.. for a city, support for the draft plan and our original submissions. Does Fletcher know what sprawl is in the pipeline for the next 20 years that she wants to wait?

  18. “23. While the council has taken a conservative view of scope, and sought to rely on specific submissions for scope, we note that scope is determined as being anywhere between the position in the PAUP as notified and the relief that is sought in any original submissions on the PAUP – whether that original submission is specific to a property address or street, or whether that original submission is more broad and general in nature.

    24. It is Housing New Zealand Corporation’s position that their original submission on the PAUP and the Government’s submission provide the scope for the re-zoning that is proposed by the council in evidence, and that the council’s proposed changes to residential zonings are not in fact out-of-scope. This will be a matter for the Panel to determine, as the Panel in making its recommendations is required to clearly identify any recommendations that are out-of-scope of submissions.”

    Here is the council admitting they buggered it up and caused this whole kerfuffle for no reason other than that they wanted to be “conservative”. Flipping heck. I’ not blaming them for what’s happened, but you’d think with all their Comms people they might have avoided this.

    1. Yes. Language is everything; the hysterics leapt on the phrase ‘out of scope’ like lions after slumber, whoever choose to self-identify the Council submission this way was, at the very least, naive, politically tone deaf.

  19. There were those fearful of apartments crowding out the sky on one side. Those fearful of sprawl crossing far horizons on the other. They fought, debating until a result was announced, and the sum of all fears was the winner.

    There shall be very little sprawl and very little up building. in a debate ruled by fear, could there have been any other result?

  20. “Manurewa Board Chair Angela Dalton says opposes Housing NZ’s intensification plans in Auckland suburbs away from the ‘welfare’ suburbs.”

    I think Angela needs to retune her dogwhistle, that one seemed fairly audible.

  21. I am not sure what annoys me more – Cathay Casey chickening out and proving to be just another big talking careerist, or her pathetic claim she did it for democracy.

    1. I remember her vote against the Mt Albert Road cycleway. I think of it every time she posts a picture of herself on her bicycle.

  22. Do I think the Council made the right decision? No.

    But there’s a lot of sanctimonious hypocrisy here, and from millenials in general.

    First, you want capitalism and disruption and Uber and AirBnB and Lyft
    Second, you want cheap housing
    Third, you want democracy

    You can’t have all of these things and be consistent. If you want nationalised/subsidised housing – KiwiHouse – good on you. I support that and always have. But then you can’t just take the good parts of the free market and ignore the rest. And you can’t get away with “get rid of distortions like zoning and housing prices will drop” because to do that consistently you’d also have to get rid of distortions like immigration limits and the increased demand would gobble up that supply. And you say you want a voice and we need democracy not dictatorship in the workplace and in the streets – well, democracy just won. Democracy does stupid things (and just did it again). Suck it up.

    If you REALLY want cheaper housing, then join a godamned left-wing party, work hard, grind and grind, get into Parliament, and bring back a proper state housing scheme for all NZers.

    You can’t have the good of capitalism and then reject the bad bits. Want the market? You got it.

    1. “And you can’t get away with “get rid of distortions like zoning and housing prices will drop” because to do that consistently you’d also have to get rid of distortions like immigration limits and the increased demand would gobble up that supply.”

      Well done, Early Commuter, you have managed to achieve an unprecedented level of nonsense with that sentence. I didn’t think you had it in you.

      1. If you want a free market (eliminate zoning regulations) you also have to want to eliminate restrictions on immigration as they – oddly enough – distort the market too!

        1. “If you want a free market (eliminate zoning regulations) you also have to want to eliminate restrictions on immigration as they – oddly enough – distort the market too!”

          That’s like arguing “if you want you want to allow Gay Marriage you also have to let people marry their pets”.

          That’s like arguing “if you legalise prostitution you also have to legalise incest”.

          No you don’t. Deciding to allow more medium/high density homes to be built in Auckland does not obligate us to allow anyone into New Zealand.

          1. Oddly enough, if you allow gay marriage it is difficult to then ban incest and polygamy because you have said that a relationship between consenting adults is by definition not harmful. Which I agree with (and it’s a shame no politicians accept that). So the whole “slippery slope” isn’t a fallacy if the underlying premise is changed; it would then be inconsistent to argue against all other acts previously banned by that premise.

            Bringing it back to the topic at hand: “legal regulations distort the natural flow of capital and inflate house prices.” Your solution is “get rid of legal regulations” and thus “ensure the natural flow of capital in a pure market.” I don’t see how you can argue against regulating the market then argue for regulating the market…

    2. Oh puh-lease,

      That wasn’t democracy, that was a pile of angry rentier retirees with money and time on their hands literally drowning out the voice of others. Let’s have a vote instead shall we rather than a torches and pitchforks meeting of the Orakei moaners club. That would be democracy.

      And spare us the weak attempt at blaming all our ills on a lack of hardline socialism. We have a market that demands more housing, we have a market that wants to build more housing, we have a market that has capital and wants to fund development of more housing…. And we have rules that prevent more housing and a government that has just capitulated on slightly reducing some of the regulation that intentionally prevents the market delivering that housing.

      The only thing socialist here is how the council uses law to enforce the will of the likes of 2040 over the private property rights of others. Capitalism is exactly what we want, there is no need for a left wing grind grind state housing plan, not when the market is screaming out to build homes and people are screaming out to buy them.

      1. The Councillors voted.
        You voted for the Councillors

        It’s called representative democracy. We haven’t had the Athenian model for 2400 years for a reason

      2. At the core of capitalism is the property right – this extends to the right of individuals not to be harmed.

        Now, in your Randian fantasy world, of course we wouldn’t have zoning. But we would also have the right to sue our neighbours for any harm to (a) our property or (b) our selves, however widely defined. So if someone shades your house with an apartment tower, you could easily calculate the harm to your property for overshading (I bet you could calculate it to the nearest dollars), as well as the harm from reduction in sunlight (P(rickets)) and then you’d sue them.

        So, we’d all spend all our time suining and countersuing. So free capitalism wouldn’t actually lead to more freedom in building.

        1. Cool story bro. You’ve convinced me unequivocally that the only options for Auckland are nationalised government housing or an Ayn Rand fantasy world that I didn’t even know I believed in.

        2. Surely we can come to some compromise between your property right and your neighbour’s. For example, there is no real reason to outlaw renovating a home to a duplex. The only exterior change will be an extra letterbox. And I struggle to see how a few extra letterboxes will ruin the neighbourhood character.

          (pre-emptive comment: the cars are already there, as people are already working around this limitation by flatting).

    3. It is hardly a left v right thing. It is a pretty consistent libertarian (traditionally ACT [far right] in NZ) view that we should be reducing constraints be them over zoning or taxi legislation.
      The NIMBYs that were trying to prevent this aren’t demonstrating free market right wing ideals, they’re trying to increase regulation and stop people building housing.

      It reminds me of a debate last election:
      David Seymour: “…..they do not want a capital gains tax and they do not want to have their neighborhoods intensified with eight story towers next to their homes. And the kind of rates corruption that they get from Len Brown –
      Julie Anne Genter: “And this is interesting because this is supposedly the free market party arguing for regulation. Arguing for regulation, higher prices where land values are high, where people want to live.”
      David Seymour: “No, what I’m arguing for is if the people of Epsom have bought into certain property rights and the character of their community…..”
      Source –

    1. Uber is what I would call a Randian fantasy technology – ignores all regulations (laws are for the weak) and focuses solely on some objectivist idea of individual freedom

      Cheap housing, on the other hand, cannot exist when Randian capitalism runs free. Look at New York or Sydney – far less regulated than us.

      1. Early, are you sure you are ranting on the right blog? We’re not really interested in the exegesis of ideology here, it’s hard not to think that there are plenty of politics focussed blogs that might suit your obsessions more than this one…?

        1. And I think I missed there but where anyone was advocating for Rand style “market is God” claptrap. You’ve set your own terms and now you’re arguing with yourself Commuter!

        2. I’ve been catching a bus, to and from uni, and to and from work, for 20+ years in Auckland. I think I have sufficient “skin in the game” to comment on this issue. I’ve put in more miles on my Hop card than most millennials have had hot dinners.

          And for you to say that this blog doesn’t discuss politics is ridiculous when this entire topic is about politics!!! Housing, zoning, etc. are all ideological positions.

          Maybe Transportblog should focus more on real transport-related issues like the lack of public transport in the early morning. After all, there are plenty of politics-focused blogs to discuss housing.

  23. Back on topic … was good coverage of last night’s debate on RNZ website from Todd Naill. Strangely couldn’t find anything useful on NZ Herald site last night.

  24. Cr Quax: “We should not subscribe to the latest planning fads”

    And right there, Quax outs himself as New Zealand’s leading Luddite.

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