25 comments

    1. There’s a very clear but harmless sneering from the Wellington based commentary, a sort of bewilderment at the scale and the climate. But we must never forget that the m’way/sprawl programme was always a central government one, and had a lot of opposition from within Auckland [and I’m sure the Wellington intelligentsia], and the lengthy car sequence is particularly telling.

      Still there is so much that is interesting in this nearly 50 year old film. First, you could then make the claim that AKL is a rural services town; that hasn’t been the case for many decades. Sadly that still remains the model for urbanised NZ in the minds of many.

      What will AKl be like in another 50 years? Very different again I’m sure. Just the last 5 have been huge, and the next 5 will be even more of a change. This place is at last a city.

        1. Yup. Longitudinal data shows population of auckland has grown faster than rest of the country. Good evidence that auckland’s
          relative socioeconomic performance has improved.

          1. You confuse two separate issue. Population growth in Auckland and not, say Dunedin, is simply evidence of exactly that; choice, a preference. This has no or little bearing on global population, merely its location.

            To follow your reasoning we should keep Auckland more shit to save the planet from overpopulation? Well, we’ve tried that, the 70s and 80s were so crap many people went overseas, especially to Australia, and Auckland’s population flatlined, but not the world’s. If you have evidence that this helped stop some extinctions that would be very interesting to see.

          2. If population growth were an indicator of improved quality, Mexico City and Calcutta must be the best places in the world to live.

            Perhaps ask someone who lived here in 1967 whether the city is better or worse than then; people who have moved in since cannot give an adequate answer as they don’t have a proper baseline.

          3. I have EC, I’ve spoken with my father, uncles and aunts. They all agree that Auckland was dreary back then and a much more lively, fun and interesting place to live now.

          4. Nick R
            I imagine that Windsor Castle is rather dreary compared to the markets of Bombay as well. That doesn’t make Bombay a nicer place to live.

          5. Well ok, fiddle with semantics however you like. But all the senior generation of my family agree that Auckland is a much better place now than it was when they were growing up.

          6. “Population growth in Auckland and not, say Dunedin, is simply evidence of exactly that; choice, a preference”

            It’s not a separate issue. The human population is increasing, and Auckland is one of the dumping grounds. You may have noticed while walking around the Auckland CBD that it feels like a foreign country. The high asian population of the CBD is because they are escaping the even larger cities elsewhere, where the natural progression of ever increasing density and population is reaching its inevitable conclusion, which is loss of quality of life. To them, moving to Auckland is a case of downsizing.

            Yes, it’s their choice and preference to leave Beijing, Tokoyo or Hong Kong, and move to little ‘ol Auckland. And it’s their choice and preference to live in tiny, expensive, stacked boxes, because that’s all they know.

            Perhaps better education of what is available in NZ, and improved immigration policy that requires settlement outside Auckland, will enable better utilisation of existing under-capacity infrastructure elsewhere in the country, and save us from having to constantly try to build our way out of induced demand for one tiny little area confined to an isthmus?

      1. The size of Auckland in 1967 is the size of Canterbury now. The same dynamic of Wellington centralised control and an inability to articulate an urban identity different from the nation’s strong rural identity is also at work. I wrote an article about this in January.
        http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2016/01/05/guest-post-is-christchurch-a-provincial-market-town-or-a-diversified-commercial-city/

        There has been an interesting article that Christchurch having a government department with a Cabinet Minister and bureaucrats in charge of the rebuild were the biggest contributors to the slow progress on building Christchurch’s CBD.
        http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/christchurch-our-national-disgrace-bc?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NBR%2520Heads%2520Up%2520-%2520Weekend%2520Review%2520Edition

  1. Ah, the Auckland of old. Pros and cons. Lot of cool things in Auckland today that we didn’t have before, also lots of crap things (housing costs, traffic).
    For me Auckland’s sweet spot was in the 1995 – 2002 period. It was getting reasonably urbane, great food culture starting to develop, great music scene etc but housing and traffic hadn’t got mental.
    Also had a really good, manageable population – around a million. But can’t turn the clock back.

  2. Just on population, I really do wonder if Auckland will grow as much as many are projecting. I know quite a few people who have either just left Auckland, are about to soon, or want to.
    The main destinations have been Tauranga, Hawkes Bay, and Wellington. I suspect some of these other places may start to get some economies of scale.
    Also, surely Auckland is becoming less appealing for migrants? Relatively speaking the housing isn’t affordable anymore, and as we all know the non-housing cost of living has always been high here.
    Speaking personally, I’d struggle to live anywhere else in NZ. I’m a city boy and Auckland is only just a real city, really.
    For my sins.

    1. Housing and transport costs [in time, money, and quality] should indeed act as a corrective. And anecdotally we know people are cashing in and moving out. But for everyone that does currently there are record numbers to take their place. Sure that may change, but the long term trend has been for the Te Kuiti, or wherever, to not not have the appeal to more people in NZ than AKL, so it would be very surprising if that suddenly reversed. Certainly outside of a Volcanic eruption or similar.

      In fact, if I remember correctly, AKL does supply more people to the rest of the country than it attracts, but that it gains more other people through natural increase [births-deaths], returning overseas kiwis, and new migrants.

      And that’s great, as over time this is self-sorting; all those tired of living in an actual city have the whole rest of NZ to go to, and it seems many are. Leaving a higher proportion of us that like living here to get on with it.

      By the way, recently AKL has been growing at a rate above the higher population projections. JP has recently written about here: http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2016/02/10/aucklands-migration-boom/

    2. Matt what’s happening is that Aucklanders are selling out to foreign ‘ investors’….even Keys finally has his head around d that one….and heading to sunnier and cheaper cities. Auckland will become an Asian city pretty much in the next 10 years.

  3. Coincidentally I moved to Auckland in 1967 as a callow youth and yes, it has vastly improved, although it wasn’t quite as primitive then as the doco implies. Still, there were only about three restaurants, the southern motorway stopped at Khyber Pass, the northwestern started at Pt Chev, and we were cursed with trolley buses. On the plus side you could board and disembark from a moving train, buy a house in an outer suburb for less than $20k (although that was still ~5x an average salary and required a lot of discipline), and usually find a carpark on Queen St. OK, I made up that last one. But I won’t be moving out anytime soon, I love it.

    1. I was living in Auckland in 1967. 1968 was my first year at university. There were lots of jobs – you could walk out of a job in the morning and start a new one at lunchtime if you had anything like basic skills. There were not lots of restaurants – couple of Chinese cafes in Greys Ave, and some fancy licensed places you took your fiancee to, or celebrated your anniversary. There were coffee bars – most run by Dutch people who did proper coffee and exotic things like schnitzel.
      The last bus to Glen Innes on a Friday night was at 11.30pm – most of my contemporaries did not have a car but some could borrow one for special occasions. You could get a room in a flat in Upper Queen St for the equivalent of 4 or 5 hours wage. Mine cost $5 per week when I was getting $1 per hour. I was paid the man’s rate because I was a good worker – the award rate for women for that job was 88 cents.

      1. I’d forgotten how low wages were – I earned $1/hr managing a service station (sole charge!) while financing my uni education. Later my wife earned $25/week in a government office full time (37.5 hrs/week), while my starting salary as a graduate was about $3500pa, so probably above average back then. And you’re right about availability of jobs, I had several options; a half hour interview, can you start tomorrow? No psychometric testing, references or drug tests in those days. My recollection of 5x salary for housing costs probably required dual incomes, so not too much difference from today bearing in mind that was for a 90sqm group house in a sea of mud 20km from the CBD. No driveway, no grass, no fences. Luxury! We were inordinately proud of ours. Now I could fit that house in my basement and still park the cars alongside, haha.

  4. I’ve heard from several sources that around this time (mid-late-1960s) there were as few as about 12 people registered as unemployed in the whole of NZ. Is that correct (is there any official proof?)?

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