web analytics

The Battle of Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 pm, May 29th, 2013 - 8 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Gerry Brownlee, infrastructure, labour, phil twyford, politicans, public transport, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags:

“The Auckland that never was” in my view is the most interesting chapter in Chris Trotter’s “NO LEFT TURN”. It details the Ministry of Works’ post-war plan  outlined in a document The Shape of Things to Come

…in which the government promised to electrify Auckland’s railways and extend the eastern semi-circle into a complete circle accessing western suburbs like Grey Lynn and Mount Roskill, in addition to Orakei and Panmure. The rising industrial area of Penrose and the Auckland CBD would both be served by the circle. The existing southern and Western lines would cross the circle, and a harbour bridge would extend the railway service to the North Shore. The plan said that special legislation had been enacted so that land could be acquired ‘without dander of paying an inflated price’ for great new settlements being built by the State, chiefly around Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

As Trotter says, counterfactual history is a bitter-sweet exercise. We’ll never know if the if the planner’s dream of the Auckland that might have been might have contributed to a better city now. However,

…just as the frazzled Aucklanders who every day clog the arteries of their dysfunctional city will never know how much less stressful their lives could have been if the first Labour government’s comprehensive plan for a more geographically compact and intensively settled Auckland, bound together by a cheap and efficient public transport network, have not bee deliberately scrapped by the National Party. What we know for certain, however, is that the Holland government’s rejection of Labour’s plan – a decision taken in the interests of expanding its own power base, and hugely enriching its financial backers – made the anarchic, automobile-inspired, socially dislocated sprawl of present-day Auckland inevitable.

Now we see history repeating itself. In what Labour accurately describes as a “War on Auckland” Key, Joyce and Brownlie are following in the footsteps of the much unloved Sid Holland.

As Phil Twyford spelt out in a speech to Auckland’s regional conference, Labour by contrast has an integrated plan that brings together affordable housing and integrated  transport. Twyford says:

You need hands-on government to do good urban development. The revitalisation of New Lynn took a Labour Government to invest in transport infrastructure, and a progressive Council to initiate the land development and urban design to create a new city centre. National’s mix of free market economics and crony capitalism will never deliver the affordable housing and the modern public transport system Aucklanders want.

On the other hand…

We will build 100,000 affordable starter homes.We will set minimum standards for warm dry homes.
We will modernise and rebuild Housing NZ.
We will build the City Rail Link, as the next step in giving Auckland a world class transport system.
We will drive urban renewal projects to revitalise depressed parts of our city, and build modern liveable communities.

Like the First Labour Government the Sixth Labour Government will use the power of the state to build this nation and improve the lives of our people.

Amen to that.

 

8 comments on “The Battle of Auckland”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    The destruction of local government was essential to creating an autocratic parliamentary dictatorship.

    It does not have to be so. With veto referendums we veto acts of parliament we don’t like.

    With local government bodies (states, provinces) having constitutionally defined powers, Wellington cannot dictate to them on matters such as city planning.

  2. Ennui 2

    Battle one was predicated around the concept of “development” made possible by urban sprawl and private motoring VERSUS high density and public transport. The developers and cars won.

    Battle two is a result, too many cars and more sprawl versus the public option….except this time the end result is going to be what Kunstler describes as the greatest miss allocation of resources ever……more car dependent suburbia.

    It is very unsurprising that at the very juncture in history when this folly is plain to see the deliberate blindness and self interest is likely to win out. Sadly Labour espouse no future vision here either, which in essence is the real political problem.

  3. Ad 3

    +1 Mike.

    Auckland, with 40% of everything except the land inside two electoral terms (including MPs), will either make or break New Zealand, including the idea of national policy itself. A Labour government that can wrest power from National and deal with Auckland has a chance of saving New Zealand.

    The current course to dealing with Auckland will break us.

    • Ennui 3.1

      Ad, I suspect that your concept of Auckland being the dominant factor (the major sucker city : a well known geographic phenomenon) will come true to the detriment of both Auckland s residents and to the rest of the country. In the medium term (15 years plus) we are likely to be faced with a migration from Auckland to the provinces where the labour will be required to replace “petrol power”. Which begs the question: why invest in Auckland now, would we not be better encouraging regional development?

    • Tom Gould 3.2

      Never mind, the new Labour-led government next year can now sign up enduring contracts to build the multi-modal transport solution the city needs, with massive penalty causes to stop any future Tory government canning it. Thanks, John, great idea.

  4. karol 4

    Yes. The roadings and everyone-have-a-home -on-a-quarter-acre-urban-section lobbies have already created more problems than they’ve solved, in Auckland and beyond.

    And of course, many of the better-off home owners, who’ve contributed to the ever-increasing housing bubble are squealing. They don’t want to face the fact that sooner or later the bottom will drop out of the housing bubble and the worth of their properties will deflate. They’D rather transform their areas into no-change gated communities than face future realities.

    Good luck to them. If they resist change at the expense of the whole community many of us will leave the city, which will become an anachronistic ghetto.

  5. Sosoo 5

    I think this post somewhat skates past the point. It’s not just hands on government or better urban planning, but a return to the basic principles of modernist urban planning. A great deal of effort has been expended by the right into discrediting the idea that knowledge can be used to improve urban life, and on undermining attempts to make it work by underfunding.

    No-one is saying that Auckland ought to be rebuilt as a clone of Brasilia (which has its own problems) or Pruitt Igoe, but thinking big is definitely necessary.

  6. muzza 6

    How many decades have TPTB been failing AKL, and what chance of there being a turn around, anytime soon? The same people still control AKL, the same interests, and the same outcomes will continue!

    Single city or not, AKL will continue its slide , while remaining, *the city that was never finished*

    One could argue, it was never properly started.

    The interesting question, is who wanted it that way, and why!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Saudi sheep deal still stinks
    Documents released today confirm Treasury were not aware of any threat of legal action from a Saudi businessman to justify the Government handing over millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money, Labour MP David Parker says. “Almost $12 million has been ...
    2 days ago
  • Assaults up over the past year
    The Government needs to take a good look at the latest statistics  out today from the Statistics Department that shows there were 3,000 more assaults in 2015-16 than the previous year, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “That  is a ...
    2 days ago
  • More last minute policy from a Government with no housing plan
    Paula Bennett’s policy to fund $9 million worth of support services is much-needed help for the homeless but smacks of yet another last minute, short-sighted and piecemeal decision, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Funding services for two years ...
    2 days ago
  • SFO given more info on ex Ministry staffer
    More information on the background and past activities of a former senior Ministry of Transport manager, being investigated for alleged fraud, is coming to light, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Today, I have ensured that information on Joanne Harrison’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Petition for free vote on Shop Trading Hours Bill
    “Labour is petitioning the Government to allow National Party MPs to have a free vote over Easter shop trading legislation, says Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The Bill which allows shop trading on Easter Sundays has just had ...
    3 days ago
  • Council must build on heritage, not destroy it
    Auckland Council must move to ensure there are heritage protections in place following recommendations that demolition restrictions be tossed out, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The panel considering the Unitary Plan has recommended removing partial protections ...
    3 days ago
  • Numbers of Māori waiting for homes grows
    With the number of Māori households waiting for homes increasing by more than 20 per cent in the past year, it’s time the Māori Party admits its support of the Government’s state house sell-off has made life worse for whānau, ...
    3 days ago
  • Children’s ministry, but only for some
    The Government is stigmatising a whole cohort of young New Zealanders while leaving others behind with its creation of a Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Confirmation of the move by Hekia Parata, an acting Minister, ...
    3 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER – Thursday 28TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    3 days ago
  • Fee fi fo fum…tax swindle comes undone
    At the same time the Government is looking to pump more cash into private schools the IRD is investigating several over a tax swindle which allows parents to falsely claim private school fees as donations and claim a rebate, Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Government scuppers affordability requirements
    The Government must explain why the panel considering Auckland’s unitary plan removed affordability requirements at the behest of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Housing NZ, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Labour welcomes the Independent Hearing ...
    4 days ago
  • National pushes on with failed state house sell-off
    Merchant bankers, overseas companies and property developers will be lining up to buy 364 state houses in Horowhenua during two days of “market sounding” meetings starting tomorrow, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Despite a housing crisis and families ...
    4 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- WEDNESDAY 27TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    4 days ago
  • Andrew Little’s International Affairs Speech
    Tena Koutou Katoa Can I begin by acknowledging: Sir Doug Kidd, President, NZ Institute of International Affairs Maty Nikkhou-O’Brien, Executive Director, who did all the organising for today’s event. Labour’s foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer. Victoria University of Wellington law ...
    4 days ago
  • Inquiry into surgical mesh needed now
    The Government must urgently launch a Ministerial inquiry into surgical mesh after more than 500 patients have lodged claims of complications with the ACC, say Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is the most widespread crisis involving surgical devices in ...
    4 days ago
  • Crime on the increase yet again
    Police Minister Judith Collins’ contention that crime is falling has proven to be wrong yet again, with latest Police statistics showing an increase in most crimes, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “Figures for June 2016 show an increase in ...
    5 days ago
  • Major reform of careers and apprenticeships to meet Future of Work
    The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Today I am announcing the next Labour Government will commit to a major ...
    5 days ago
  • DOC struggles on the pest front undermine Nats’ predator-free promise
    The Government’s planned predator-free initiative comes at the same time as the Department of Conservation is facing major challenges to keep pest numbers down, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “DOC’s annual report shows it failed on 5 out of ...
    5 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- TUESDAY 26TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    5 days ago
  • Unfunded CYF a ticking time bomb
    The Ministry of Social Development is sitting on a ticking time bomb with Child, Youth and Family out of pocket by $56 million despite increased demand for its services, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The new entity that’s replacing ...
    5 days ago
  • Lack of any real funding in predator free proposal
    Predator Free New Zealand is a laudable idea but the Government has not committed any real money into killing New Zealand’s pests, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “The $28 million earmarked for this project is just to set up ...
    6 days ago
  • Andrew Little Speech to LGNZ Conference
    Thank you for having me here today. Local Government New Zealand’s work of advocating for New Zealand’s 78 local councils is critical as we upgrade New Zealand’s economy, and make sure it’s delivering for all our people. Whether in Auckland, ...
    6 days ago
  • John Key must sack out-of-depth Trade Minister
    The Prime Minister must sack Todd McClay for failing to do his job as Trade Minister and be on top of a significant potential threat to some of our biggest exporters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Todd McClay is clearly ...
    6 days ago
  • 45,000 Kiwis sent back to their GPs
    Last year nearly 45,000 Kiwis were sent back to their GPs without getting to see specialists they were referred to, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “This is a shocking figure and underlines how far the cut of $1.7 billion ...
    6 days ago
  • Half a million smells like pure cronyism
    The National/ACT Government’s decision to pump hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into a new lobby group to advocate for charter schools shows just how much of a failure their ideological experiment has become, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Select committee changes Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill
    Photo by Tom Hitchon Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Committee has made many changes to the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill in response to public submissions, particularly submissions from iwi authorities and Te Ohu Kaimoana.   Read the amended Bill and the ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Housing map a hit as crisis spreads across NZ
    More than 55,000 New Zealanders have used Labour’s interactive housing map in its first week to see how the housing crisis is affecting their local community, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Our innovative map shows the housing crisis is ...
    1 week ago
  • Bridges must come clean about fraud within transport
    Hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money have gone missing and  the Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges must come clean after the Labour party revealed that a senior manager is being investigated for serious fraud, says Labour’s Transport Spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supports Spencer victory
    Labour congratulates Margaret Spencer for her tireless efforts in challenging the Government over family carer rights, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Warship visit welcomed by Labour
    Labour sees the United States warship visit as a red letter day for New Zealand’s non-nuclear status, which is core to our identity and has defined us a nation for 30 years, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest dairy sector conversation
    ...
    1 week ago
  • What next? Dog kennels?
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain why the Government thinks it is acceptable for it to refer families to live in garages and sheds, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is a new low, just when you ...
    1 week ago
  • Banks bust a move, Government possum in the headlights
    Three of the big four banks have acted responsibly by bringing the shutters down on property speculators earlier than required by the Reserve Bank, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s a shame the Government isn’t as motivated to act ...
    1 week ago
  • Latest OECD dairy forecast raises serious questions for economy
    The latest global dairy price forecast shows that New Zealand dairy farmers will not reach a break-even payout before 2019 at the earliest, and will not reach the dairy price factored into this year’s Budget until after 2025, Labour’s Finance spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s reckless, out of touch approach to economy exposed
    Today’s economic assessment from the Reserve Bank highlights the danger to the New Zealand economy from a National government that is recklessly complacent in the face of a housing crisis and a struggling export sector, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    1 week ago
  • GP’s visits get more expensive
      Visiting the GP is set to become more expensive after the Government ignored warnings that people were not receiving access to affordable  healthcare, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Over 400,000 New Zealanders who should be able to access ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farm prices bear brunt of dairy downturn
    The slump in dairy prices that has seen farm prices drop to their lowest level since 2012 and down a third from their peak in 2014 will be of concern to farmers, banks and our overall financial stability, Labour’s Finance ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank “gets on with it”, National carries on in denial
    The proposal by the Reserve Bank to tighten loan to value ratios for investors shows they are prepared to do their bit to crack down on speculators, while National is still stuck in denial mode, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Papers describe litany of incredulity
    Treasury documents which slate the Government’s plans for a national bowel screening programme confirm the proposal was nothing more than a political stunt to cover up underfunding of the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette Kings says.  The papers were ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Effect of rampant house prices widens
    The latest house price figures from REINZ show the housing crisis expanding throughout the country, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “We are seeing steep increases in median house prices in Central Otago Lakes – up 42.4% in the last ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public invited to have say on homelessness
    People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. This inquiry was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sorry seems to be the hardest word
    An apology from Hekia Parata to the people of Christchurch is long overdue, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "As if the earthquakes weren't traumatic enough, Hekia Parata and the Ministry of Education then attacked the one thing that had ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis affecting more than 98 per cent of NZ
    Labour’s new housing map shows the housing crisis is now affecting more than 98 per cent of New Zealand, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Housing pressures have seen house prices rise faster than wages in all but four ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Uber might not be a taxi firm but it must pay tax
    Uber needs to explain how it paid only $9000 in tax when it earned $1m in revenue and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Uber New Zealand appears to be ...
    3 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere