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Doing Shearer’s job for him

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, November 27th, 2012 - 54 comments
Categories: housing, labour, spin - Tags:

I’m tired of watching Labour flounder over how it will build $300K homes in Auckland. The answer’s simple: they’ll mostly be apartments, units, and townhouses. Not much land cost. Reduced build cost per dwelling. Check out Trade Me, houses for sale in Auckland, 2 bedrooms+, priced $250-$300K. There’s hundreds (but not enough). Clearly, it can be done.

Now, how hard was that?

lprent: Not hard. I did the exercise for my apartment and the town houses next door this morning. Took only a few minutes to pull up the relevant data.

54 comments on “Doing Shearer’s job for him”

  1. felix 1

    Pity Shearer doesn’t take any notice of The Standard, otherwise he’d be up and running with these lines by this afternoon…

    • Yeah, but then he’d be running with lines from the same people that resort to cheap insults and ad homs to denigrate those that don’t agree with the party line.

    • David H 1.2

      Why all the kerfuffel over the bloody land / house price in Auckland ? Surely it’s irrelevant. All you have to say is the house prices are 300,000 on AVERAGE. Because it don’t cost 300k to build in Dunedin or Invergiggle etc etc Yes I know they want the lions share in Ak, but with apartments and smaller 1 & 2 bedroom houses, then you can get houses closer, and therefore you can have an average price.

  2. lprent 2

    Snap.
    Looks like Zet woke up with the same irritation that I had.

  3. BM 3

    Families in apartments, hows that going to fit with the Kiwi psyche.
    Where are the kids going to play, ride their bikes?

    Are we thinking some sort of council estate set up with a shared green area.

    To be honest, for a policy that’s going to cost over 2 billion dollars of money I’m appalled at the back of an envelope planning that has gone into this
    .
    Shows a total disregard of tax payers money and what a pack of chimps the policy developers in Labour are.

    • felix 3.1

      You mean like a park? Sounds awfully socialist eh wot?

      Seriously though, how do you think people live in large cities now?

      • BM 3.1.1

        Are kiwis at that point though, I don’t think they are.
        Another 10- 20 years, maybe.

        Also rather blows out the cost projections if you need to include a large park in every development.

        • Lightly 3.1.1.1

          10-20 years is when this housing project will be complete (remember, 2 years to the next election, a year plus to get the legislation etc going)

        • Shane Gallagher 3.1.1.2

          Ah – but the people coming to live in Auckland are mostly immigrants – who will happily live in a nice townhouse or apartment with communal parks and green spaces. It is the experience of life and the quality that is important. Most people funnily enough don’t want to spend significant amounts of their lives commuting.

          And why are we not putting the gardens on the roofs?
          http://www.minimalisti.com/architecture/exterior-design-architecture/12/urban-gardens-a-selection-of-fabulous-roof-top-gardens.html
          – okay definitely for wealthy people on that blog, but you get the idea – you know with a bit of kiwi-know-how and number 8 wire ingenuity we could do something a lot cheaper… :-)

          • lprent 3.1.1.2.1

            I’m actually that rarity – a native Aucklander. I grew up on quarter acre half gallon pavlova paradise in Mt Albert. Would never go back to a house

            I live in and love being in an apartment. I’m distinctly not interested in a housing being anything more than where I relax or work when we’re at home. So it is as Spartan as I can get Lyn to agree to.

            • Hami Shearlie 3.1.1.2.1.1

              I think that for singles, couples and younger retired folk, apartments are great! But for people with children and/or pets, and older people who are at home most of the time, they could get very claustraphobic! All depends on what you’re used to I guess! Even a unit with a small fenced yard is preferable if you have children – nothing like watching from the kitchen as they jump on the trampoline and have fun. Having to go out to a park and sit there waiting for them every time just wouldn’t suit a busy working mother, when she needs to be preparing dinner etc!

              • Draco T Bastard

                Having to go out to a park and sit there waiting for them every time just wouldn’t suit a busy working mother, when she needs to be preparing dinner etc!

                So, your argument against apartments is that they would require the adults to socialise with their children?

                • karol

                  Actually, it’s likely that families living in the same relatively small area could share child-caring.  They then could give each other a bit of a break by alternating between adults taking a small group of children to the park.

        • lprent 3.1.1.3

          If you build through most existing built up Auckland then the parks are already there. For that matter so are the roads, water, storm water, and the sewage. They’ll need upgrades, but that is likely to be a awful lot cheaper than putting in a whole new subdivisions.

          Just up the road from me, there is Western Park. A few blocks over there is Grey Lynn park.

          Where I grew up in Mt Albert there were several parks within a few blocks. Not to mention Mt Albert Grammer grounds down the road and Mt Albert volcano….

    • rosy 3.2

      BM you need to get out of your NZ psyche more. If you can’t go and visit any of the cities that are built with medium density housing, at least go and look some up. The ‘most livable cities’ lists will do. It’s not too hard to then go and find examples of housing and green space options e.g. Vienna.

    • Shane Gallagher 3.3

      Actually there are some really amazing communal shared green areas with townhouses around the outside – like a miniature town park – in Europe. The houses are kept private with some clever sight line arrangements and the children get to play in a well-supervised safe space. It creates a little community. We don’t have to re-invent this – it has been done already in lots of places around the world. You just adapt the idea for your locality.

      You can also do this with apartments (or flats as they are called in Scotland) I am thinking of a new build where I lived – where you had a big flat complex overlooking a inner square with a children’s playground, barbeque area (that was a bit aspirational in Edinburgh…) and garden. It was really nice. There was an indoor communal area for parties etc. as well – kind of like a community hall but in the complex which opened up onto the inner square.

      Anyhow – this is easy stuff – anyone who, say, has lived in lots of foreign countries may well have seen such kind of things, for example, when they were working with the UN… :-)

      • BM 3.3.1

        I can see some good points, have to be gated communities though.

        • rosy 3.3.1.1

          “have to be gated communities though”
          No. They don’t.

          • BM 3.3.1.1.1

            Yes they do, otherwise you’ll end up with all sorts of scum hanging out in your “backyard”.

            • rosy 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Believe me, they don’t. Unless you think Aucklanders are less civil than people in other parts of the world.

            • locus 3.3.1.1.1.2

              if everyone’s ‘backyard’ had a decent park and playground, people wouldn’t have to leave their own neighbourhoods to find one.

              furthermore if there are beggars or drunks hanging out in parks… ‘scum’ as you call them…. the likely reason is that you have created a society where the rich live in gated communities

            • McFlock 3.3.1.1.1.3

              careful.
              Your elitist loathing of those less fortunate than you is showing. 

        • lprent 3.3.1.2

          …have to be gated communities though..

          Bullshit. I guess you have never lived in them?

          Most townhouses around Auckland are just in normal housing with access to the street.

          Most apartment blocks use a card for the front door and for the parking. It is usually hard to get in the parking without a card because it is a real pain having someone parking in your space. Getting in through the front door is usually pretty easy – just ask on the speaker.

          But I’ve never seen an apartment that has a guard sitting at the door in the US style. I suppose that some paranoids might have them in town although god knows why.

          • BM 3.3.1.2.1

            I see this sort of development as similar to a retirement village, most of those are locked or fenced.
            If you don’t live there, what are you doing there?

            Also what’s wrong with having a gate, I have one on my property, I don’t see the issue.

            • lprent 3.3.1.2.1.1

              …to a retirement village, most of those are locked or fenced

              The characteristic of “gated communities” in places like the US is the ridiculous levels of manned security and outright paranoia that they have.

              We have a front door with a card to open it. So you have a gate. Do you have a armed guard to go with it?

            • rosy 3.3.1.2.1.2

              What are you doing there? Taking the shortest route to schools, parks, shop, restaurant…..

              You might see retirement-style complexes, and there is no reason why some shouldn’t be so. I look out my window and see public roads and public spaces, and the more people around the less mischief there is.

      • locus 3.3.2

        you’re so right….i’ve lived in quite a few cities around the world and the best by far are those that have had the foresight to build communal playgrounds and parks to equally high standards in both poor and rich neigbourhoods

    • Fortran 3.4

      Who will own the apartments ?
      Generally due to ground sharing they are leashold, with lease adjustments (up) regularly and incur common corporate maintenance costs born by the owners and passed on to the lessees.
      Carparking (often 2 cars now) is an expensive accommodation in apartments and takes up huge space, and are underground parks really safe ?

      • lprent 3.4.1

        Don’t know where you’re writing your diversions from. But in Auckland leasehold really only exists in the CBD and a few wee plots in the inner city. Unlikely to be an issue where these properties are likely to be built.

        There is a nice little act called the (from memory) strata titles act. Read that and quell your fears.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.4.2

        Carparking (often 2 cars now) is an expensive accommodation in apartments and takes up huge space,

        That’s easy – don’t supply parking (yeah, it’s a search but there’s so much good info there on how bad parking really is) and make sure that they have access to excellent public transport.

        • TheContrarian 3.4.2.1

          Sure but you should make allowance for the fact someone might want to own a car.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.4.2.1.1

            Why?

            If you go through that search that I linked you will find that removing requirements for car parks has resulted in developers building a lot of places without car parks and that people like them. If people actually want a car park they can always specify it on the plans or buy an existing house with a car park. I didn’t say to make them illegal – just not to include them.

  4. Ant 4

    They’ll probably be prefabricated to cut down on labour costs and build time. But that won’t stop Key using the time and labour of bespoke McMansion builds.

  5. indiana 5

    Wow apartments! What are the plans to protect these new home owners from the ever increasing body corporate costs…the costs people never get anything back for. I wonder if these buildings will be like the housing estates of the UK? Slum anyone?

    • karol 5.1

      Well designed, medium density housing, is not the same as many of those high-rise slum-like estates in the UK.  Try Melbourne as a comparison, or even terraced housing in the UK. 

      But, if you are looking at high-rise apartments, there are some pretty expensive, well-maintained ones in cities all over the world. 

    • lprent 5.2

      If you don’t buy a place with lifts, pools, or gyms and they’re medium rather than high density then the body corporate fees aren’t that expensive.

      Of course if you think that everyone should be able to have these things then I can see where your problem lies.

      The big problem back in the 90’s (apart from the National governments useless deregulation that caused leaky buildings), was that there wasn’t a high enough provision for future building maintenance. Consequently many buildings are having to pay catchup now at much higher rates than if they’d be paying the right amount all the way through.

  6. I felt the same frustration when Phil Goff blundered the numbers. THE NUMBERS WERE AVAILABLE BEFORE THE DEBATE, I saw them.

    • Lightly 6.1

      if you believe the old guard, it was all Cunliffe’s fault – but the truth is that Goff just fluffed it.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1

        Yep.

        And as it was revealed post election that English’s numbers were “not even a best guess , just a guess”; the whole play appears to have been the Rovian, ‘attack them on your weak point’ strategy.

  7. Tom Gould 7

    I can now see how come you are the spin man on housing for team ‘C’. Great advice. You could get maybe 10 shoe box apartments on a $400k section in Te Atatu. Simple maths means that’s only $40k per housing unit. Actually, the more you cram onto the site, the lower the average land cost component. Genius. Even a $10m site in the CBD becomes affordable if you build the tower block high enough.

    • lprent 7.1

      Read my post for some real numbers rather than the ones you haul out of your arse. You really are a bit of a dickhead aren’t you?

    • Lightly 7.2

      people do build apartments on million dollar plots. The apartments are can be nice if built right – what’s the problem?

      • lprent 7.2.1

        I figured out that the land where my apartment and 59 others is on a $5.1 million dollar plot of land. The land’s rateable value was $85k per apartment.

        Looks like some people can’t do maths.

  8. BeeDee 8

    Why should Labour spell out the details ahead of time? You can bet the present govt is putting people hard at work to find an alternative plan. They were trounced!

  9. KhandallaMan 9

    Annette is the Spokesperson for Housing. Like with economic matters, Shearer is fronting in order to improve his personal ratings.  
    Annette’s electorate has a very high median income and I suspect that many of the Auckland housing and social  issues are beyond her experience. 

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/Electorates/EPData/6/2/2/DBHOH_Lib_EP_Rongotai_Data_5-Rongotai-Households.htm

    • David H 9.1

      So Shearer is going to do a Key, to get his ratings up. And be there for All the good things and announcements. And let someone else take the fall.

  10. lefty 10

    It has always been important to have a good mix of housing.

    This means actually finding out what people want and need, not just acting on what we think they need.

    Many people will happily live in apartments, with or without access to green spaces.

    Others can’t, or don’t want to.

    It took many years for the Housing Corp to realise it needed to have bigger state houses for Pasifeka families because of the number of children many have and because they often like to live in an extended family situation. Remember this is a group with some of he biggest housing needs and an apartment or small townhouse is not what they need.

    Some Asian migrants are happy to live in an inner city apartment others are not.

    I live in a West Auckland suburb of fairly new houses mainly valued at $450,000 – 600,000. About two thirds of the people on my street are migrants living a dream where they have their own backyard to care for and garden in, and for their children to play in. So it doesn’t pay to assume migrants want to jam into the inner city.

    I have lived in a number of ways at different periods of my life ranging from squats in European cities to shearers quarters in isolated NZ, inner city Auckland suburbs with the typical Ponsonby lifestyle (before it got taken over by the rich pricks) and outer suburbs with a nice big section.

    Each of those was suitable for the particular period of my life.

    After our children left home my partner and I decided to buy an inner city apartment.

    We hated it.

    No space, not enough room when the kids came visiting, no garden, a rip off body corporate structure (common in NZ) and a feeling of having no control over how our surrondings were.

    We managed to sell again just before the apartment market crashed and gratefully retreated to the much maligned suburbs.

    I realise others love the apartment life and it is the right choice for many but I think it pays to think carefully before we (or our political parties) determines how people want to live and what sort of housing they need.

  11. QoT 11

    See, I’m still leery of any Labour “for the struggling Kiwis” policy which doesn’t rule out Stephie and Max Key getting into their first homes on the government’s dime.

    But even I can still appreciate the power of a quick&dirty key message and agree that it’s fucking ridiculous that Shearer’s team didn’t come up with this one ahead of time. Isn’t that how media management works?

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