When the councillors voted to withdraw the councils Unitary Plan evidence three weeks ago, one of the arguments against doing so was that other parties – and Housing NZ in particular – were pushing for much greater density than what the council were proposing. It was said that the council should be involved and at the table to provide a more balanced viewpoint and councillor Alf Filipaina even highlighted the extent of intensification Housing NZ were calling for. While councillors had obviously seen or been briefed on the HNZ Submission, it wasn’t public, but that changed late last week and the level of changes they want in some areas is substantial. HNZ are important as they are the biggest land owner in Auckland with around 6.5% of all residential property.

Firstly, at a high level the images below show the level of change possible under the notified unitary plan, what was expected in the Auckland Plan and what is in the HNZ submission. What you can see is that under the notified plan there is almost no change to large swathes of Auckland and even where there is change, it is mostly in the some to moderate category. By comparison the HNZ submission is like the Notified version of has been put on steroids. They have also indicated that they’ll be calling the council’s expert witnesses for cross-examination to support their submission where needed.

PAUP - Notified vs HNZ submission PAUP - Notified vs HNZ submission - legend

There is also this version which shows how much the HNZ position has changed since their original submission.

Another way of showing the extend of change is the percentages of housing in each residential zone – this is based on housing stock identified in submissions. This is included in a presentation (55MB) to the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) and is also broken down at a local board level – Rodney, Waiheke and Great Barrier boards are missing. As you can see in the areas where they’ve made submissions there is significantly less single house zoning and greater emphasis on the mixed housing zonings which allow for sections less than 500m². It’s interesting that even in this submission the Waitemata Local Board area remains as one of the areas with the highest levels of single house zoning.

PAUP - HNZ submission - zone changes - all

These figures are also backed up with map examples of some areas showing what was originally proposed in the notified plan, what was proposed in December in the now withdrawn changes, what it would be based on HNZ principles and what HNZ have actually submitted. Below are a few of the more dramatic examples, white is single house, cream is mixed house suburban, tan is mixed house urban and the strong yellow/gold is Terraced House and Apartment Buildings.

Grey Lynn/Westmere

You can see the HNZ plan would remove the single house zoning from the entire area.

PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - Grey Lynn Notified
Grey Lynn/Westmere Notified Plan
PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - Grey Lynn Jan Proposal
Grey Lynn/Westmere January Proposal
PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - Grey Lynn HNZ
Grey Lynn/Westmere HNZ Submission

Pt Chevalier

Similar to Westmere you can see significant extension of the mixed housing Urban zoning and in addition also much greater use of the THAB zone around the town centre

PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - PT Chev Notified
Pt Chev Notified Plan
PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - PT Chev Jan Proposal
Pt Chev January Proposal
PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - PT Chev HNZ
Pt Chev HNZ Submission

Mt Albert

In the notified Mt Albert map you can also see one reasons why the council proposed changes to the zonings. The notified version has many anomalies such as a single section with different zoning to all of its neighbours. This was tidied up in the now withdrawn proposal.

PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - Mt Albert Notified
Mt Albert Notified Plan
PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - Mt Albert Jan Proposal
Mt Albert January Proposal
PAUP - HNZ submission - Zones - Mt Albert HNZ
Mt Albert HNZ Submission

They don’t cover the entire city but there are many other examples shown in HNZs presentation who say the changes are enough to enable double the increase in capacity of the notified plan. It’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of the hearings and what the panel recommend. With the council out of the picture HNZ will have a much stronger chance of getting their desired changes though. In many ways what HNZ have suggested is much more in line with what the Unitary Plan should have been all along, perhaps creating a silver lining to decision of late February.

If a final plan more in line with what HNZ suggest ends up being recommended by the IHP it will be fascinating (probably quite frustrating) to see how groups like 2040 and the councillors who oppose the plan react.

While on the Unitary Plan there was also this piece on the recent debate by TV3s The Nation on Saturday. One of the most bizarre parts is where Auckland 2040 head Richard Burton claims the issue is all about young people trying to buy their first home as a villa in Ponsonby – I doubt many are trying that – and that instead suggests they’ll have to buy somewhere smaller or further out. Yet his organisation has been the one leading the fight to prevent smaller dwellings being built and further out in 2016 is quite different from what further out was when he was young.

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  1. As others have predicted, while Auckland2040 won the recent battle (with councillors), in doing so they may have increased the odds that they lose the war (with the Independent Hearing Panel). That is, HousingNZ’s submission will now have relatively more weight because Council’s evidence has been formally withdrawn.

    I hope the IHP gives considerable thought to adopting the HousingNZ’s specific proposals for increased development capacity in Auckland. Indeed, I’d hope the IHP recommends changes to allow for 400,000 additional homes over the next few decades, rather than the 80,000 or so which are enabled in the current incarnation of the Unitary Plan.

    The shortfall between the number of homes that is needed and how many homes have been enabled is too large to be credible.

    1. I agree that more capacity needs to be zoned than is forecast to be required. I’ve heard Burton say that zoned supply under the council’s recent reduced proposal is more than sufficient, but this ignores that fact that not all zoned capacity can ever be realised. I mean, how could it. Property owners are under no obligation to do anything with their properties due to a zoning change, it just allows them to do more if they so choose. Therefore to get what’s required (200,000 to 250,000 new homes by 2050 – not sure of the exact numbers) then you need to zone for considerably more than that. Ergo, HNZ style treatment is better because it gives flexibility.

      1. Yed I’ve often pondered that too. Richard Burton at akl2040 is out of his mind if he thinks zoning for 80K now is sufficient given 1) demand exists for closer to 400k and 2) not all properties that are zones for development will be developed.

        Its bizarre how Nimbys have been able to fudge and obfuscate numbers to suggest that Council is somehow “overzoning” for growth when reality is quite the opposite.

        1. What exactly is supposed to be the problem with “overzoning”, anyway? If we zone for more homes than we need, no-one’s likely to build the extra. And if they do, the problem belongs to the developer, not the public.

          1. According to Richard Burton zoning for more homes destroys character. He’s very clear on the fact that 3 level $2 million detached dwellings, such as what he owns, are part of Auckland’s character, whereas 3 storey apartment buildings that sell for $500k are not.

            But i agree with you: if we need 400k homes then id expect that we zone for at least that.

          2. Oh, I know what their actual problems are with “overzoning” – the potential for enough supply to pop the housing bubble, and potentially letting the Wrong Sort of people into certain neighbourhoods.

            What I don’t know is what the thinly-veiled excuse is.

          3. Overzoning is exactly what we need to enable competition and bring down house prices (or at least stop them from rising). It is only once land owners have genuine uncertainty as to whether the development capacity of their land will be needed in the future that they will have a disincentive to land banking. If there are 100 houses required in the next 10 years and zoning for 100, then there is no really risk in land banking but plenty of potential upside. If there are 100 houses required in the next 10 years and zoning for 1000, then if you can profitably develop your land today you have a big incentive to do so as you don’t know if that demand will be there in the future. Outcome – more supply.

        2. From listening to Burton recently I’ve noticed when he claims there is enough development he only claims it’s out to 2026 i.e. he’s pushing a decades worth of capacity as being enough for 3 decades.

          1. Yes that’s typical of 2040; their entire advocacy is based on unrealities, starting with the idea that they have any interest at all about AKL in the year 2040; they know they’ll be gone by then.

        3. Maybe Richard Burton is calling for mandatory redevelopment of the limited properties that get upzoned in order to get the 80k properties that are getting upzoned. If you property gets upzoned, then you must redevelop within 10 years, or sell to someone who can.

          1. Mandatory redevelopment of the limited properties that get upzoned?

            On the other hand Ponsonby and Grey Lynn are being downzoned, so should we clear those areas to redevelop them with nice spacious 600m² sections then?

  2. Still unsure what happens if the Councillors vote against adopting the panels final recommendation – lawsuits and… what? Also worried this will lead to a strong turnout for the anti-intensification crowd at the coming elections…

    1. If Council rejects Panel’s recommendations, in part or in whole, it must provide an alternative and it is not allowed to call further submissions to come up with the alternative. The alternative must be based on in scope submissions.

      Furthermore, if the Panel makes recommendations that it deems to be out of scope, there is a right of appeal to the Environment Court if one is “unduly prejudiced” (more prejudiced than the average person).

      Of course there is always the option of judicial review to the High Court if one thinks that the Panel or the Council erred in their interpretation of the law or the correct process.

      1. So what is the point of an independent panel if the council can just ignore the outcome? Shouldn’t the council have to have good reason (such as believing the panel were biassed?)

        1. The council can ignore any of the recommendations of the IHP, but then they have to:

          * Come up with an alternative to the recommendation, from within the scope of submissions
          * Justify that alternative in a way that can survive a court challenge
          * Then spend years and millions of dollars in court fighting about it.

          1. I hope the millions of dollars come from a targeted rate from those that want to fight it rather than from general rates

          2. Or that the council pursues costs if they are vexatious and/or the issues they are concerned about were already aired during the IHP process.

          3. There is no special rate. There probably will not be costs either- if there is an appeal it is because the Council doesn’t accept a Panel recommendation. Costs are more often awarded against two time losers ie lost at the hearing and again at the appeal. This process specifically excludes those who lost at the hearing from being able to appeal. You only get an appeal if the Council goes off the reservation. It is hard to see a court awarding costs against someone who managed to convince the Panel they are right.

        2. Except people are forgetting, what if the Central Government goes hey we don’t want to go into the next election without a housing plan for Auckland, if you reject it we will appoint commissioners or just pass the UP in law by Act of Parliament which they have full right to do so.

        1. What you talking about they have already indicated they may do so already. If you think John Key is going into the next election without this sorted you would have to be insane. He is having the RBNZ, the regions & economists saying this needs to be sorted now. He doesn’t have to give a sh*t about NIMBY’s what they going to do vote Labour.

    2. My prediction is that IHP will mean more towards HNZ than 2040 – who will then kick up a stink to get councillors to reject the recommendation. They and opposing councillors will complain that council staff weren’t at heading to present council’s evidence. They’ll say they only wanted the zoning changed not the evidence withdrawn despite the two being linked.

      Herald will then write an editorial that we just need to approve the plan but then let Orsman make stuff up to whip up fear and support 2040s campaign to reject the recommendations

      1. Yes, I wonder what Auckland 2040’s endgame is. They can’t have failed to notice that withdrawing the council submission leaves the panel free to make decisions based on other submissions. Do they really think the panel will produce a recommendation that doesn’t have room for the expected population growth? Or is the idea that the council will feel obliged to vote down the panel’s recommendations (because Process! and Democracy! and Council should have had a say!), and then in the ensuing chaos AK2040 spread enough misinformation that every ward returns Quaxalikes at the next elections?

  3. Good you linked The Nation piece:

    In which Burton said he will pretty much sue Government (not Council) over intensification and then looked equally taken back when told about the Housing New Zealand proposals now before the IHP.

    If I was a resident’s group represented by 2040 I be asking for a “refund” right now before Burton really goes and shoots his feet off with a cannon.

  4. The concept that the “we surrender!” Councillors might lose even worse fills me with the most delicious schadenfreude (sp)

  5. It’s worth remembering that these are still mild changes, and that in practice are positive for areas with one type of housing stock and site size. I live in the only street on the Grey Lynn/Westmere map above that is entirely Mixed House Urban and THAB equivalent now. We do have 4 [!] storey terraces houses and one 3 storey apartment block, but everything else are detached houses some very large on full sites and some smaller on subdivided ones. This is one of the most desirable streets in the area; is ‘Leafy’.

    Furthermore the addition of more people in the area has been great, has added to a greater sense of community with more people walking on the street at more times, and since there have been more households in the area, over the last 15 or so years, local amenity has improved significantly, especially in terms of new and varied retail within walking distance, like Farro, Mitre 10 [handy], cafés, and more. The diversity in age is noticeable since the multi-housing went in; more young families. This is not an affordable area, but there is still a greater range of property prices now than there was when it was all cheaper but more homogenous, ie there is a greater degree of relative affordability now.

    It is hard to see how these changes have been anything other than beneficial to existing residents, and of course to the city as a whole. Naturally there was opposition to every change, but I know of not a single one of neighbours that would turn the clock back now [and some were the hand wringers in chief]. Sadly in Peel St some locals are fighting plans for a cafe on a site that was an old diary in a house conversion that was run as a cafe but went bust because the building is so inefficient and unsuitable.

    I’m really pissed off because it’s right at my bus stop, and the longer they NIMBY this positive change [traffic!] the longer us bus users have to wait without the option of a coffee or snack… Particularly ironic that the ‘there will be more traffic’ argument is holding up an amenity that clearly makes bus use more desirable, and anyway is a neighbourhood walk-up cafe not a drive-to location… The main benefit is for us locals. But fear of change is pervasive; the main opposer [lovely woman] says to me that she just wants the old cafe back, which is simply not possible [she is not offering to buy it and run it at a loss], but that is her excuse for energetically opposing the new proposal with energy, zeal, and charm, while claiming she’s ‘not a NIMBY’. She’s retired and this battle does seem to have given her something to do. Is unbending to any evidence or reason.

    1. I have a very similar experience with where I live (Birkenhead/Highbury) – it is quite dense already now with townhouses and some apartments and as a result can support a large town centre with many cafes restaurants bars etc. However there is potential for even more retail given the legacy capacity of the town centre. More apartments are being built and this will only improve things. And having lots of people walking up and down your street is great – it makes you feel normal walking up and down the street yourself and creates a sense that humans have some priority, not just cars.

    2. The argument NIMBYs raise about too much traffic, is really about too much car traffic.

      After all, if all the new gazillions of new (and existing) residents in upzoned neighbourhoods had LRT or really frequent bus services running past their houses and they used it in droves instead of driving, then no one would complain about the “traffic” – and after all its what those leafy green suburbs used to be like – full of people walking to/from trams and buses, not people driving cars everywhere.

    3. “She’s retired and this battle does seem to have given her something to do”

      I’m finding the same locally. Otherwise reasonable people that find themselves with nothing to do suddenly find issues.

    1. PAUP (noun) Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan),
      PAUPER (noun) A member of the generation aged 30 or below who will not get to own a house in Auckland.
      To PAUP (verb) to tell the public one thing but try and sneak something else through while they are not watching.

      1. Superficially clever, but ultimately disingenuous.

        Withdrawing Councils evidence means the “public” has less input input into process, at least if you define public as NIMBYS.

        What is more likely to happen now is the professional submitters with deep pockets who want more intensification, such as HNZ, have even greater influence.

        Meanwhile the likes of Burton will have to argue without any moderating support from Council quarters as to why restrictions on intensification to preserve character are beneficial.

        I am hoping and anticipating that AKL2040s objections get squashed like a bug once expert evidence is called for.

        1. You do understand that the evidence is still there don’t you? They have said ‘withdrawn’ to satisfy the Council resolution but the statements are still on the website, anyone can read them, (the Panel might have read them before they were withdrawn), you can ask for leave to cross examine the witness, and if the Council side doesn’t call a witness you can have them summoned. The Council witnesses that were called were each there about 4 minutes so its not like anyone is missing much if some dont show. I dont understand your last point. Expert evidence is all in now and you would need leave to get anymore in.

          1. Of course the IHP can read the Councils evidence. However my understanding is the Council staff can’t present in support of the position that was proposed, therefore council’s overall position seems likely to be given less weight as they’re not present to take questions. The exception is of Council experts are called to be cross-examined by another party. Akl2040 is one such party, of course, but there are many other submitters (and many with deep pockets) who will be able to call only those Council experts whose evidence supports their arguments for more intensification. I honestly can’t see this working out to Akl2040s benefit and I think they made a massive strategic blunder.

  6. > It’s interesting that even in this submission the Waitemata Local Board area remains as one of the areas with the highest levels of single house zoning.

    Those numbers from the original plan are just ridiculous. Three-fifths of Waitemata is zoned single house, compared to just one-fifth for the city as a whole.

    The problem is, of course, the “Special Character” areas. A ridiculous cop-out: it doesn’t have any heritage value, or it would be protected as “historic heritage”. But just make it a vaguely-defined “special” area (when it’s really the same as most of Auckland’s detached suburbs), to avoid having to apply UP principles there.

    The question is – what’s so special about the character of those areas, and why does that special character mean that you can’t build anything other than a detached house on 500sqm? Nowhere in the UP is this stance explained, let alone justified.

    Let’s take a look at the Isthmus A Special Character statement (Appendix 10):

    Most residential areas are concentrated within walking distance of the early 20th century commercial centres that provided everyday services, supplies and entertainment needed by residents. Since establishment of these areas, some development has occurred, primarily relating to modification, subdivision and some infill.

    Two distinctive types of character predominate in the area. The first is characterised by rectilinear street patterns, consistency of lot size and building set back, and repeated period styles. The second is characterised by varying lot sizes and a variety of period styles.

    So the most distinctive features of the area are development that supports services within walking distance of people’s houses, and in some of those areas, buildings from many periods, on lots of various sizes. Yet these are the exact two features that are now prohibited.

    1. They had no choice in the Notified Plan to zone those areas as single dwelling because at that point the blanket Pre-1944 protection was still in place. Once the full survey was undertaken and the Pre-1944 protection lifted, combined with HNZ by then having made their intentions clear resulted in the “secret” January proposal from the Council.

      1. They did have a choice. They were the authors of the Plan and shouldn’t have tried the pre-1944 nonsense. The constraints were of their own making.

        1. yeah kind of agree with mtwic here: May have been strategically better to not have the pre-1944 blanket protection in first instance. All water under the bridge now though …

          1. I agree, was just pointing out they really had no choice in the Notified version of the plan. They would of course argue the timeframe imposed by the government made it impossible to do the full heritage review in a timely fashion.

            All these things have combined to make the process a shambles.

            Penny Hulse didn’t do herself any favours in that The Nation piece either, she should know those numbers off the top of her head

      2. I don’t agree that the pre-1944 control required single-house zoning. The pre-1944 control was designed to protect particular historic buildings from demolition that may not have yet been identified as important. That issue has nothing to do with what building types and density are appropriate in the area. The pre-1944 control could be – and was – applied to MH, THAB and commercial zones as well.

        1. At a guess I would say that in these ‘special character’ areas, a high proportion of the houses would have had additions made to them that, sympathetic or not, probably mean the house no longer is really what it was (ie. originally workers housing that now have a massive glass box hanging off the back to bring floor size up to modern expectations).
          I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s all just about people protecting their biggest investment.
          (nb: I really like a lot of those streets and how they look and feel, but it’s definitely a FU to the coming generations who may want to live near the CBD).

          1. Well, they’ve completely changed since they were first built. They’ve got indoor plumbing and driveways, and no longer rely on open fires for heat and cooking. They don’t house three generations and twelve people in one house. No-one wants the true original character back.

            I like the feel of these streets too – I live on one (renting, of course). But trying to preserve that level of density within a k or two or the CBD, in a rapidly growing city of more than a million people, is absurd. If you want a detached suburban lifestyle, fine, but go farther out where that sort of thing makes sense.

            It’s possible to fit new housing in without “destroying” anything, as well, for those people with more money than sense who want things to stay as they are. Three stories can work just fine alongside one storey buildings.

            I don’t think it’s about “protecting their investment” in a financial sense. That’s a big motivation for homeowners in general, but in this specific case the uplift from allowing more development more than outweighs any loss from having the neighbours allowed to build higher.

            But for many people it’s about just keeping their “investment” the same – they bought a house which was in a certain context, and they want it to stay the same. Having your house worth more is only beneficial if you want to sell it – if you’re happy where you are, you just don’t want anything to change. You get the downside of development (the neighbours do it), without getting the same upside yourself.

          2. That is exactly it. There is nothing left to preserve in many streets due to a bunch of changes made to most of the houses over the years. Given the dire shortage of housing surely we should be looking to ’round up’ rather than ’round down’ when looking for the best designation for an area. The single house zoning of most of Grey Lynn and Ponsonby doesn’t represent what is there now, let alone what could and should be in time.

          3. Stephen above: “But for many people it’s about just keeping their “investment” the same – they bought a house which was in a certain context, and they want it to stay the same. Having your house worth more is only beneficial if you want to sell it – if you’re happy where you are, you just don’t want anything to change. You get the downside of development (the neighbours do it), without getting the same upside yourself.”

            You can get ‘the same’ if you think every so slightly out of the square. People in the area are spending small fortunes on basically redeveloping their villas into modernist boxes as far as this is possible. An alternative course of action would be to demo the villa, build two townhouses in its place and potentially save the small fortune along the way. If you were allowed to site the new houses on the boundary you’d end up with a similar sized backyard to what the villa would have now.

            But of course the council knows best and this would never be permitted.

    2. Yes it is in deed ridiculous. Area that are close to city should be higher density zone. However we are getting the opposite.

  7. Maybe a reason why people in central suburbs are so keen to preserve the character of their suburb is the rest of Auckland.

    Let’s face it, when was the last time you saw a recent subdivision and thought “oh this is nice”? For me, that was “never”.

    North Shore: lots of infill housing. Maybe one of the most dysfunctional urban forms ever. Relatively large lot, lots of grass strips to mow, but nothing you could use as a backyard. The house is just awkwardly somewhere in the middle of your lot.

    Newer subdivisions are replicating that pattern on purpose. Look at a satellite image of Flat Bush.

    Add single use zoning to that. The big mall in the middle, isolated by a sea of parking (eg. Mangere or Botany). Built for cars, not for humans. So if you walk, you’re walking in a ghost town. You just see high fences and metal boxes around you. Besides, when was the last time you went out for dinner in a mall and thought “what a nice dinner”? For me, again, “never”.

    I have a feeling that this is not going to be a substitute for those inner suburbs.

    So another million dollar question: why is it impossible to build a new suburb with similar charm as those central suburbs?

    1. roeland: You answered your own question: because we build for the car not humans. And even worse we have planning regulations that privilege the car over people and places. Sooooo daft.

    2. I like what is going on at Hobsonville Point and Beaumont Quarter has always been a favourite. I agree Flat Bush is a disaster.

    3. “So another million dollar question: why is it impossible to build a new suburb with similar charm as those central suburbs?”

      I think a big reason for this is the road standards that require extra wide roads in new subdivisions and subsequently incentivise developers to create big blocks with fewer roads in order to save money.

      Many of the things that make the older suburbs nice are in the public street network – (narrow walkable tree lined streets, a dense grid). People over estimate the extent to which developments on private property characterise these areas when it is often the underlying street structure that defines them.

      1. Also we fail to deliver high quality Transit services to the heart of new areas form the start so they never get the chance to shape themselves around the pattern that works with them. Last Bush is precisely the worst of both worlds: auto-dependant place-less dense sprawl. Nowhere wishing walking distance, no great activated routes to walk anyway, and disconnection from the Rapid Transit system. There is no frequent bus to Southern Line Stations even. At least the latter is probably fixable, but it is a disaster to wait until the motorway totally fails to bother. The other things are structural and as Frank says so much comes down to the street network; which is now fixed and hopeless.

      2. I’d agree that’s a factor, but a lot of it *is* the regulation of the built form on private property too. It’s the setbacks and height planes that mean we end up with houses in the middle of the lot, surrounded by small, useless, exposed strips of grass.

        An older house (before the Town and Country Planning Act) would solve boundary issues by just making sure the windows don’t line up with your neighbour, having enough space for some light to get in, and maximizing the usable outdoor space.

        Whereas one good new design option is to have a shallow but wide house, so you don’t need the side walls to have windows at all. Then you can have party walls, and with no front setback, it means that 100% of your property is either building, or useful outside space.

        This is the essence of “terraced housing”, but it isn’t allowed anywhere, even in the “Terraced Housing” zone. Every residential zone has a 3m or more setback, and no residential zone allows party walls unless they’re built all at once by a single developer who owns all the sites. Which unless you happen to be Fletcher Building developing an entire quarry in one go, isn’t realistic.

        This is affected by the streets, as well, though. Wide streets mean you need narrow, deep lots in order to still have a decent amount of buildable land. Narrower streets allow wider, shallower lots with more street frontage. It all fits together, really.

        1. Another gem in the “terraced housing” zone is the 20 metres minimal width. I guess that rule is there to spite individuals who want to build a single house.

          A shallow house is good but not necessary. Suppose you can build 8 metres wide, and you build 12 metres deep, you will still have plenty of light inside. And that is enough for a large house — more than 200m² if you build 3 stories.

          Coarse street grids are a problem, everywhere. Even supposedly dense suburbs like Grey Lynn have a very coarse street grid (60 to 80 metres between streets). If you build townhouses then 40 or 50 metres would be more appropriate.

      3. Frank suspect you already know the answer. You can build an area like the old ones if you want but you can make more money doing it the new way. I have done new streets that are much narrower than some of the old residential streets (although AT are trying to make that harder by requiring separate cycle lanes, parking, extra wide footpaths and lane widths suitable for a bus to zoom along, and grass berms for services). Developers try and build a cul-de-sac if they can because people pay extra to live in one and you can get a higher yield (more lots in the same land area). What is so narrow about Franklin Road or Hopetoun St?

  8. There is a lot here that I would like to comment on, if I had the time and had done some more background reading. I have only recently discovered this site and am hugely grateful to those who spend time and effort on providing some very well-thought out, detailed, material. So much better than the material from the Council, AT or mainstream media. Perhaps a reflection of my age (I shared tutorials with one of your regular contributors in 1981) and occupation, but I don’t think others should be quite so quick to rush to judgement about the inputs to this process from many of the vested interest groups. I think that we have much to thank Akld2040 for – in terms of testing the Council hard and flushing out information to fill the gaps. Nor do I think that the prospect of judicial review should be seen as a (sinister) threat. I find the responses of the heritage groups more alarming – the dialogue above about the pre-1994 controls being just one example. A healthy dose of study on the economic impacts would often not go amiss. I do think the behaviour at the crucial Council meeting on 24 February was appalling on a variety of levels – especially the treatment of the younger submitters. By luck I managed to see the TV3 piece yesterday and found a couple of the key points made by the deputy mayor difficult to follow and I found the apparent befuddlement about the impact of upzoning on housing nos alarming. I have read the Merediths legal advice to the Council and think we can be grateful for Housing NZ (now) dragging Council officials back into the frame. And finally, the impact of the rising tide of property values and the vagaries of the RMA is that everyone contests everything. The examples in just a handful of the surrounding streets of our leafy suburb are too many to even start listing here.

  9. There are so many ways that the exclusionist zoners are wrong-headed. Prime among them is the financial burden per property in lower zoning. Fewer dwellings per hectare means those owners are going to be paying individually higher rates to fund the same services.

    1. There’s a link to many more examples in the post, from a 55MB presentation but the actual detailed maps covering all of Auckland seen to coming out one area at a time. The information is in the IHP website, not council or HNZ

      1. Thank you sailor boy.

        They don’t make it easy to access do they?

        And I can see why- in one of the maps they’ve coloured my house “tall orange”, to make it look like their bit of land is far larger than it is.

        And all this in Res 1 too…

        I know it’s just “negotiation” but it sure as hell riles up the locals!

      2. That’s a really interesting presentation.
        Interesting to see where the HNZC principles maps differ from the HNZC 2016 maps. e.g. Mt Albert, the richer area on the northern slopes of the volcano doesn’t get rezoned as principles dictate.

  10. It still amazes me how many of you blame the Councillors for a debacle caused by the council staff. They wrote evidence and drew maps and submitted them to the Independent Panel without the support of a majority of Councillors. It is hardly the Councillors fault if the staff get too far in front of them.

      1. They did a hell of a lot more than simply summarise. Worst of all by not taking their masters along with them they have probably now queered the pitch for intensification.

        1. Surely the issue lies with the committee which approved the plans and what delegated authority they agreed with the GB.

          1. Yes that was the committee where two Councillors plus 1 statutory board member voted for and 3 Councillors voted against and the Chairperson used his casting vote in favour. The question asked at the Governing Body meeting was why did the staff took it to that committee and not to the Governing Body. The answer wasn’t given but likely to be that they thought they could get it past the committee. They even tried at one point to say the Governing Body couldn’t overturn the Committees’s decision but they accepted Assoc Prof Ken Palmer’s advice that they could and actually they should if they didn’t agree. The fact remains the staff got too far from the Council position and it is supposed to be the Council that is a party to the hearings.

          2. The committee was formed by the GB with councillors on it. It was up to the committee to refer it back to the GB if they thou5ggt it was appropriate surely. How could it be up to the staff to find out and interpret what delegated authority the committee had?

          3. Sounds like we are presuming… Is it a fact that a delegation manual would have indicated they should have gone the the GB with this? I haven’t heard anything about that, but that sounds like a disciplinary matter if that really is the case. Still I find it hard not to lay the blame at the committee – it is the committee that had the delegated authority (or not) after all. Did any one of the committee members say it needed to be referred to the GB? Even the ones that voted against the proposal?

        2. Summarise, on the basis if the weight of evidence of submissions to guide the IHP as o what the council would consider a fair outcome. ie their jobs, as instructed by their employers for which residents pay.

  11. Sorry Auckland2040, it’s not going away. By the way, it’s hard to agree with your comment on The Nation that that wasn’t heckling of speakers at the council meeting including the younger participants. Shame. Some courses for this problem may be in order.

  12. I’ve just watched the episode.
    It reaffirmed my view that the whole thing is a debacle!
    Neither the Council nor 2040 come out looking pretty.
    Burton used the tired old cliche about the young just having to suck it up and buy something humble – a small flat, or living way out. He ignored the reality that neither of those options is remotely affordable any more (like it used to be). And as I say above, that WAS heckling.
    He could make a good politician.
    And Hulse came over really poorly. Bumbling on the numbers.
    Which perhaps just shows what a moving feast it has been, without a good evidence base at the start.
    At least her heart is in the right place.
    In my view the only people that came out of that with dignity were the young man and woman. Most articulate and balanced. Good on them!

  13. Housing NZ proposals still look a little tame to me. Why can’t we allow much wider areas with 4 or 5 stories?
    The rules are the upper bound, and are intended to last for decades, so need to allow for changing preferences and needs over that time.
    The primary rule should be “no crap allowed” with a design panel that has sufficient power.

    1. “With a design panel that has taste”

      If I see one more tilt slab turd with rusty metal stuck to it or a pile of “pick up sticks” covered in pointless fins I may well vomit.

      There’s got to be a way to get the community involved so we can get some better outcomes…

  14. Before we get too carried away with intensifying the housing in central Auckland we will need to have a good look at the services in those areas. In many cases the sewerage and water systems haven’t been upgraded since they were installed in the 1800s, and the roading network is only a little better. A new sewerage system is planned from the Point Chev area to Mangere, but it is still on the drawing board; and the upgrade for the water reticulation, called Hunua 4, is only planned to go to the Khyber Pass tanks. However, those new systems are trunk systems only, and I have not seen of any planned upgrades to the street level systems. And then there is the question of who is to pay for those upgrades. Existing ratepayers pay enough in rates already, so why should they pay for something that is not necessary for them at present, and why should the rest of Auckland pay for the work with increased rates. An idea would be to take out loans for the work, with the costs of servicing those loans falling on the owners of the properties that are intensified.

    1. “Existing ratepayers pay enough in rates already”.

      Are you quite certain of that? Have you looked at the calculations of what is needed to pay for the maintenance on our existing roads and infrastructure? Is it really just someone else’s problem that we have a rates system that does not adequately fund the network?

      Ps – I am a ratepayer. I just think the race to the bottom when it comes to political promises is stupidly self-defeating. We just pay more in the long run if we slack off paying in on a sustainable model.

    2. Evan, exactly, our old infrastructure needs upgrading; new residents paying rates and development contributions are needed to cover that, or it will all fall to existing ratepayers. See; costs divided by more payers are lower.

  15. ” Who is to blame for the fact that it’s now nearly impossible for a young working family to rent or buy a home in most of Britain? The question is hardly ever asked, as if the UK’s property market were some sort of natural force, like a tidal movement or a cloud formation. But for one of the richest societies in the history of the world to be unable to house so many of its own people is not natural at all – it is an abomination, created, approved and preserved by our politicians. Chief among those politicians – easily on the top three of guilty men and women responsible for Britain’s housing crisis – is Tony Blair.”
    Some oblique lessons to learn from the UK when progressing down the housing policy path: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/15/blairs-property-empire-anger-housing-crisis?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H&utm_term=162046&subid=15008027&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

  16. Thought you all might like an update on this:
    http://voakl.net/2016/03/18/housing-new-zealand-summons-council-all-out-of-scope-unitaryplan-material-goes-virtual-in-scope/
    Housing New Zealand Summons Council. All Out of Scope #UnitaryPlan Material Goes Virtual In-Scope

    Housing New Zealand has summoned Council back to the Hearings. Meaning that all the withdrawn out of scope evidence and maps are back before the Panel. It also means that Housing NZ is free to use Council staff and evidence as required before the Panel to make their case.

    Long story short?
    The Council Unitary Plan vote got nullified.

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