This is a guest post by Konrad Kurta. This was originally published by Konrad on the Mangere Bridge community facebook page, when he and his family were preparing to move into their new home, in a development of new townhouses on Taylor Road. Konrad is a regular commenter on Greater Auckland, and has contributed guest posts in the past.
WARNING: this is a long post about housing on Taylor Road and the community in general. If you want updates on which helicopter is chasing which unregistered dirt bike, I’d strongly recommend you skip this post! Anyway…
I’m sure you’ve read a lot recently about housing developments in the area. And I’m sure you’ve read a lot from concerned residents worried about the impact it’s going to have.
I thought it was only fair you heard from someone who plans to live in one of those houses…
My wife, my little boy, and me, to be exact. That’s us in the picture.
We’re moving in because we love the neighbourhood – we rent here already. Most of our extended family lives here, too. A two bedroom townhouse is what we can afford after 15 years of saving.
If you’re worried about the impact it will have on the street and the neighbourhood, I understand. Auckland hasn’t built enough houses for decades, and we need to build literally tens of thousands now to make up for it.
That means change for neighbourhoods like ours. And I think we all agree that change brings uncertainty.
But I don’t think those changes are as drastic as some people are making out. I know medium density buildings look different to what’s here now, but the impacts won’t be huge.
All the developments will pay to have their rubbish removed onsite. There will actually be fewer bins on the road than there are now.
The ‘lots more traffic’ idea also doesn’t quite stack up, either. Taylor Road is mostly deserted even during peak times. A few dozen vehicles leaving for work between 8 and 9am won’t change that.
And there’s more to it than that.
More houses means more kids to join the soccer and tennis clubs. More parents like me to be coaches. More families like us to look after your kids, to share a BBQ with, or to force our kids to mow your lawns for pocket money.
And I’m sure you know what the local businesses would say if you told them they’d get more customers…
I’ll admit I find the tone of the conversation a bit frustrating…almost every complaint comes from people who bought a large house before prices skyrocketed.
For families like us, medium-density housing is all we can afford. It means we can live less than an hour’s drive from work and still have a little bit of time to spend with our kids.
When you’re worried about new houses, I’d like for you to ask yourself…what’s the worst that could happen?
In developments all over Auckland, people don’t notice much change once the houses are built and people live there. Rimu Rd is a classic case in point. When building is finished, there’ll be a few more cars, a few more friendly faces, and a few more junior members at the local sports clubs.
These aren’t empty houses maliciously trying to block your 8pm sunshine. They’re homes for people like you.
People like us.
Images in slideshow sourced from the Kainga Ora website.
We just want somewhere where we can live with security, get to work in less than an hour, and raise our kids.
My little boy in the picture? I hope he’ll get to spend his childhood in the Bridge. The people are great, the area is lovely, and it’s not too far from most things.
Sensible medium density buildings work all over the world, including Auckland. It encourages people who want to make a life here, and breathes new life into the community.
In that case, you might find some townhouses change our neighbourhood for the better. So grease up your lawnmower. I’ve got a kid who’ll need some pocket money.