Defining the “average” Aucklander.

In this post, I want to talk (somewhat informally) about how we define the “average Aucklander”, before relating this discussion to the people who contribute material for the Blog. I finish with a plea for help. I’ve been pondering these issues for sometime, due to Peter’s excellent post about submissions on Auckland’s Unitary Plan as well as Emma’s compelling call for greater involvement from women in urbanism.…
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It’s time for some tweaks to MMP

Now that the outcome of the 2017 Election is known, it’s a good time to reflect on what could work better in our parliamentary democracy. A small share of National supporters, plus some nitwit political columnists, are grumpy about the fact that National won the most votes of any individual party but nonetheless finds itself out of government.…
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Phil Twyford Comes Out Swinging on Housing and Transport

Phil Twyford had not even been formally sworn in as Minister but that did not stop him from getting on with it and what were two seriously big announcements on Housing and Transport. Transport – Light Rail to both the Northwest and Airport Confirmed  Phil Twyford confirmed to the Herald that the new Government intends to build Light Rail from both the Wynyard Quarter to the Airport as well as the Northwest.…
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Where to now for the East West Link?

It’s often difficult to link elections with major transport decisions. City Rail Link is happening, even though the previous government took a long time to be talked around to supporting the project – maybe it would have happened faster if some elections played out differently, but we’ve got there.…
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Pre-emptively poking holes in the land tax bucket

Land taxes have – unexpectedly – become a hot policy topic in the run-up to the election. Land taxes were originally suggested by the economist and social reformer Henry George as a fairer alternative to income or business tax. The logic behind them is that land values are shaped by the activities of society as a whole, rather than the individual owner: they are boosted by public investments in transport and good schools, and by the productivity gains that arise from lots of workers and businesses interacting in cities.…
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Transport Priorities for a New Government

A change of government within the next week is a possibility. Transport has already been quite a high-profile part of the election campaign, and a change of government could mean fundamental change for the transport sector in areas well beyond just the headline large flashy projects where much of the attention gets directed.…
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General Election Debate on Transport – Campaign for Better Transport

The Campaign for Better Transport is holding an election debate with all the major parties this month in Auckland. The CBT is led by Cameron Pitches and over the years has led campaigns and advocated for many transport issues including: Airport Rail Reopen Onehunga Rail Rail Electrification Integrated ticketing Hamilton – Auckland Rail City Rail Link Operation Lifesaver – An Alternative to Puhoi-Warkworth Northwestern Busway North Shore Rail A more economic alternative to the East West Link The Campaign for Better Transport will be hosting a public meeting for political parties to present their transport policies, with a particular focus on Auckland’s needs.…
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Pouring gasoline on the housing fire

Yesterday, Prime Minister Bill English announced that he would encourage the Reserve Bank to remove the loan to value ratio (LVR) rules that it put in place to take the heat out of rising house prices. As reported in Newsroom: Prime Minister Bill English has rediscovered his jawbone and has sent a clear message to the Reserve Bank that he expects it to start thinking about scrapping its restrictions on loan to value ratios, now that house prices across the country are flat or falling.…
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