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Andrew Little: A better future for Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, October 1st, 2015 - 43 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, auckland supercity, Economy, public transport, transport - Tags:

Andrew Little

Tena Koutou Katoa.

Thank you so much for the invitation to speak to you this afternoon.

When I was living in Auckland in the 1990’s, the most common phrase I heard when talking about the city and its issues at the time was “if only they had done this 30 years ago, or forty years ago, or fifty years ago.”

Auckland is a city with a history of putting things off and playing constant catch up.

That suggests a city not confident about its place or its future.

But that’s not Auckland now.

Auckland is a city of confidence, of drive and determination; as our international grade city Auckland is vital to the interests of all New Zealand.

With its super-city status, there is no longer the problem of five councils needing to squabble before anything can get done.

That means there are no excuses anymore.

We need to stop playing catch up. We need a plan that keeps us ahead.

Today, I want to talk about the opportunity we have to transform Auckland; to fully realise its potential as a truly great Pacific city.

We can create a city that is booming, vibrant and sustainable.

A city that has tackled the problems of clogged roads, housing problems and rising inequality.

The best place in the Pacific to live, work and play.

If we make the right decisions now, the next generation of Aucklanders will grow up in a city that is the envy of the world.

I don’t think there’s anywhere else that has the combination of opportunities we have.

We have talented people, ambitious businesses, a growing population, a beautiful environment, and abundant natural resources.

And we’ve got an arts and culture scene booming with award winning destinations like the Auckland Art Gallery, and premier events like the Auckland Arts Festival.

We should be able to deliver a better quality of life than practically any other city on Earth.

We just need the political will.

I am confident we can see that kind of city within our lifetimes.

Why?

Because in just the last few years, we’ve seen some parts of Auckland achieve exactly this kind of transformation.

In places like Britomart, the Wynyard Quarter and Imperial Lane we’ve seen radical, positive change in neighbourhoods that were run down and under-used.

The demand is there.

Aucklanders want a city that works better for the people who live in it.

Nat Cheshire, the architect behind much of Britomart, described what it was like watching the surge in customers coming through the area after the changes they made.

He said:

“We huddled around computer screens in a back-room coat cupboard, watching in awe as a thousand dollars scrolled by every minute.

We reeled at the potential of what this might signal for our once-tired city.

All of a sudden Auckland looked really, really hungry.”

Aucklanders are hungry. They’re hungry for something better.

They want good jobs. They want to live close to their work, in a home they can afford, in a community that’s vibrant.

They want Auckland to rank with cities like Melbourne, Shanghai and Tokyo.

It’s up to us as leaders to deliver that kind of future here.

Why we need to do this

We need to grapple with how we build better cities in the 21st century.

In our national imagination, New Zealand is still a largely rural country.

But the reality is that nearly half of New Zealanders live in an urban area.

That number is only going to increase as our population grows.

We have two majors drivers of this.

An expectation of a good quality of life and living environment and continual pressure on Auckland to accommodate more and more people.

Building better cities is going to be one of the great artforms of the 21st century.

They are the engine rooms of successful modern economies.

We have to make our cities work better for the people who in live in them.

We can’t afford to consign our urban-dwellers to a life of poor quality and poorly designed housing, long commutes, and pockets of entrenched hardship.

Our challenge is to find ways to deliver on the promise of a good life for everyone in a time of greater urbanisation.

Today, I want to talk about how Labour will deliver on that promise for people in Auckland in the future.

How we do it

Housing

It starts with fixing the housing crisis once and for all.

We cannot ignore the present housing crisis.

More importantly, we can’t ignore the urgency with which the Government must respond.

Home ownership is at the heart of the Kiwi dream.

That’s how it was for my parents.

My dad was a school teacher and my mum worked as a secretary for an optician.

And on those mid-level incomes they were able to save together and buy a modest 3-bedroom house in Marfell in New Plymouth, and later a slightly larger one in Vogeltown.

That house was their little corner of the world. There they were able to raise me and my four brothers and sisters in safety and security.

They taught us to work hard, respect others and, most of all, to think for ourselves. Given that they were both committed National Party voters, they probably did a better job of that than they would have liked.

But the point is they got to live the Kiwi dream. Today that dream is slipping away for too many people.

We all know this.

Home ownership is at its lowest level in 64 years.

The average house in Auckland made more than double what the average worker did in the last year.

House prices in the last year have gone up by 20% or around $148,000 on the average Auckland home.

Old state houses in areas like Phil Goff’s electorate of Mt Roskill are now selling for over a million dollars.

And now that bubble is threatening our financial and economic stability.

Just a few weeks ago Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit ratings of our major banks, citing exposure to the Auckland housing market and the potential damage if the bubble bursts.

We’ve got to fix this.

Declining home ownership.

Substandard rentals.

People having to spend hours in the car because they can’t afford a house near their job.

Teachers, nurses and firefighters who can’t afford to live in our biggest city.

Grandparents who have to move to the regions, away from their kids and grandkids, to afford a decent retirement.

All of that has got to end if we are going to be able to deliver the kind of quality of life Aucklanders are demanding.

That’s why Labour would embark on a major home building project.

We would build thousands of new, affordable homes to be onsold to first home buyers.

We’d pursue brownfield developments, and work with the private sector on projects of urban renewal.

We’ve seen how this can work in places like New Lynn and Tamaki.

Our approach will mean more medium density housing.

It means more mixed use developments and building up as well as out.

It means more green space and setting high urban design standards.

I also think there’s real merit in the idea raised by the productivity commission of an urban development authority empowered to cut through the red tape and get these kind of developments going at pace.

That will mean our families live in neighbourhoods where everything they need is in walking distance.

Where there is space for the children to play safely.

Where the homes are warm, safe, dry and affordable.

And to help make this happen we’d crack down on the property speculators and land bankers who are driving up the prices and locking Kiwi families out of the market.

The increase in buyers who live offshore affects every Auckland familiy, of every stage of life and every ethnicity.

Homeownership is a near-universal part of the Kiwi dream. New migrants share that dream. Buyers who live offshore outbid new migrants just as much as they do families who’ve been here for generations.

And it isn’t just first home buyers who are hurt by offshore speculation. Any family looking to move finds it harder as they bid against offshore buyers flush with cash and enjoying very low interest rates overseas.

Labour will put a stop to that, because neither Auckland nor New Zealand’s interests are served by a runaway Auckland property market.

That’s housing.

Transport

We are also going to deal to Auckland’s transport problems.

We all know that Auckland has underinvested in public transport.

That’s led to roads choking on too much traffic.

It’s a hand brake on the development of the city.

According to the OECD, Auckland’s congestion problems cost the city 1 and a quarter billion dollars a year, every year.

Our gridlock drags down labour productivity and stifles growth.

We have to change what we’re doing.

That’s why Labour will invest in transforming Auckland’s transport infrastructure.

We won’t just spend more money on roads as governments have done for decades.

We won’t take a short term approach as has happened before.

For example, within a few years of building the Harbour Bridge it turned out to not be large enough. We had to double the size of the bridge with the Nippon clip on.

That’s the kind of short sighted thinking that ends up costing us all more in the long run.

Instead, we’ll take a forward looking approach to transport infrastructure.

More rail. More buses. More cycling.

We’ll back the City Rail Link and get started on building it right away.

We don’t have time to waste. Already, Auckland Transport warns that the Britomart station will be congested by 2018 and may be forced to turn away travellers for peak hours in the afternoon.

In the longer term we’ll look to invest in rapid transit busways in the North West and South East.

There’s also merit in ideas like electrifying the rail to Pukekohe, adding rail to the North Shore to the next Harbour crossing, and we will back Skypath which will be a breakthrough in making Auckland a city for cycling.

All this has to be paid for of course.

That’s why my Government will sit down with Auckland Council and agree on a 30 year transport plan, and then back it with funding both from central government, and local sources that Aucklanders can choose.

That’s how we will put the transport problems behind us and help get Auckland moving again.

Our Economy and Society

The next part of Auckland’s transformation lies with the creative potential of its young, dynamic, super-diverse population.

It is not a prediction. It is a reality.

In 1991, for example, 5% of Auckland’s population was of Asian descent. Now it’s over 20%. And Auckland’s Asian population is younger, on average, than the rest of the country.

The Pacific population is similarly young, and growing strongly, too.

A Labour Government would embrace that demographic change. It’s an opportunity, not a challenge.

I want us to harness the talents of a new generation of New Zealanders.

And to give them the tools they need to build a thriving economy we can’t even imagine today.

That means making sure our city is more inclusive – not just socially but economically as well.

We need to be giving every young person in our city more opportunities through better jobs and higher wages in new industries.

We should be investing more in making Auckland an IT hub, a centre of high-value modern manufacturing, and a major export producer.

We need to give young migrant families the chance to own their own home and put down roots in their new community.

We need to be giving our ethnic communities more of a say in the power structure of our city, by encouraging young Asian, Pacific and Maori New Zealanders to aspire to political office.

Those communities are vital to our national fabric, and we’re all better off when they’re helping call the shots.

We should be doing more to support small business in a world where more young people are embracing entrepreneurship.

That means policies like our Flexible Tax for Business scheme, to make it easier than ever to start your own business and make it succeed, but we should also be teaching things like financial literacy in our schools so our young people are better prepared to escape cycles of debt and poverty.

This, coupled with plans like our youth transition policy, which touches on some of the issues that the Committee for Auckland have raised before, will help young Aucklanders to get ahead and make their mark on the world.

They’ll help us do better in years to come by giving all our people the opportunities they need today to fulfil their potential.

Conclusion – Seizing the Opportunity

We have the kind of opportunity to build a great city that people just don’t get overseas.

I want to end today by returning to what Nat Cheshire said about Auckland. He said:

There are few places on Earth that one might change so radically, so fast.

Almost none of them are in the West.

We are politically and economically stable, geographically isolated, socially sophisticated, unencumbered by deep history and, as a consequence, nimble enough to turn on a dime.

I agree. We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us.

Labour will grab it with both hands.

The next Labour Government will help transform Auckland and unleash its potential.

We’ll work with everyone from the Council to business to community networks like the Committee for Auckland. We’ll unleash the great ideas of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, community activists, and property developers. We’ll bring the city together to build a legacy we will be proud to leave to future generations.

Under Labour, Auckland will have a Government committed to making it the best city in the world.

I know we can do this.

Much of the work has already begun.

Aucklanders want this future for themselves.

If we have a Government committed to backing them and embracing this new future, there is nothing we can’t do.

We can put the bad old days of inequality, gridlock and housing problems behind us once and for all.

We can build an Auckland where everyone has the opportunity for a great life, a good job, a home they can own and a neighbourhood where they can raise their family in peace and security.

We can do this. We will do this. We’ll do it together.

Thank you.

43 comments on “Andrew Little: A better future for Auckland”

  1. Bill 1

    This isn’t about the substance of the speech.

    Anyway, is it just me or does anyone else get a recurring sense of ‘distance’ due to…I dunno… the actual language used? It’s like all the ‘you’ and ‘we’ and ‘it’ stuff is strangely misplaced and kind of alienating…or something.

    I suspect it would interesting if some linguist or such like, placed speeches like that one beside some from the likes of a Corbyn or a Sturgeon who seem to effortlessly engage and then pinpointed or mapped out any subtle but important differences.

    Or maybe not. Just my throwaway thought for the day

  2. Dot 2

    As an Auckland resident I look forward to a future Government who will work with Auckland.

    • Tracey 2.1

      Ditto

      1. Today I traveled back from Albany on the motorway. I arrived at about nelson street heading to the gillies ave turnoff. It took me over 20 minutes… This was between 315pm and 335 pm. Usually during the school holidays we get luls, not these holidays.

      2. I wa stalking to a new lynn panelbeater yesterday . he said density 4 level apartment blocks have hit residential new lynn, and he said residents who object are making no headway. His comment, not mine, was

      “we’re not rich like the people in Central Auckland who squealed about high density, and it has never been spoken of again.”

      He is not anti high density just noting the disparity of where it can go ahead so quickly and where it cant.

    • Jenny Kirk 2.2

      That’s been the problem for decades, hasn’t it Dot ? Governments who have down-
      graded what Auckland has needed – especially in transportation – forever, as far back as I can remember and before that as well. So a Govt which will work with Auckland would be hugely inspirational.

  3. Nck 3

    Bernie Sanders does it really well. Bullet points over and over again. Like a Mantra. Just the basics please. Bernie just says No to TPPA, not this vague maybe from Labour.
    Let Key deliver the bullshit.

  4. BM 4

    Best speech he’s done.

    Bit waffly but the most important thing was that it was positive, which is what people want to hear.
    Unless I missed it not one mention was made of John Key or National.

    • Roflcopter 4.1

      Unless I missed it not one mention was made of John Key or National.

      Yes there was…. this bit…

      “Much of the work has already begun.”

      • b waghorn 4.1.1

        God I hope he doesn’t go down the track cunnillife went at the election praising key and co’s work all the time ,it was some of the stupidest electioneering I’ve seen.

        • greywarshark 4.1.1.1

          I agree that you don’t go around praising the opposition. It would be a very special case if there was a right time for that. Don’t confuse the message, stick to the points. Reiterate them, give examples of what will happen, where it has been done overseas, somewhere other than UK and USA if possible, and how it turned out for them. We know that on this site you can discuss an important matter and prepare a reasoned comment of paragraphs but the tiny bit with emotional pull will attract
          all the attention.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        Auckland council did that and they did it against the Will of Key or National.

      • Tracey 4.1.3

        Rofl

      • Jenny Kirk 4.1.4

        maybe he was referring to Helen Clark’s time in govt which helped get Auckland
        rail going again … ? ?

    • Tracey 4.2

      “Unless I missed it not one mention was made of John Key or National.”

      Yup so different from key and his ministers who can barely answer a question without invoking the ghost of Labour past or so-called angry andy

  5. Ad 5

    Like the Kermadec Islands announcement, Little has left himself open to Key quickly outflanking him.

    Key has already generated two entities to act like Urban Development Authorities. The first is the Tamaki Transformation entity, and the other is the recently announced one in Christchurch. Little “likes the idea”, but Key’s got them running in all but name already.

    Also, it was the Key government that set up the Auckland Waterfront Agency that transformed the Wynyard Quarter that Little quotes above.

    Key has also set up to fully fund the City Rail Link. A high likelihood that we will see central government come to the party by Budget 2016, and even higher that it will be in time for Election 2017.

    Twyford is clearly the policy engine for Little on transport and housing. He needs to get well ahead of Key’s curve or Labour will continue to be bested in Auckland by National.

    • Tracey 5.1

      “Key has also set up to fully fund the City Rail Link. A high likelihood that we will see central government come to the party by Budget 2016, and even higher that it will be in time for Election 2017. ”

      Really? That’s an election bribe I could live with.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    Auckland will be a nicer city to live in if it keeps its trees. Unfortunately the predictions of what will occur now the present government has made nearly all of them unprotected are starting to happen only weeks after the law came in to force.

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/north-shore-times/72551656/chainsaws-circling-on-now-unprotected-trees

    • maui 6.1

      Don’t worry National are experts in urban design and living, less trees the better apparently so you know you lose all awareness of the outside environment… Doesn’t matter if council protection was based on community consultation, they know what’s best.

    • Tracey 6.2

      yes, it is one of the things you appreciate from atop the volcanic cones, how green auckland streets are.

      Move to the development sof the last 20 years, Danemora, Flat bush and so on, and you can count the trees. No trees for tomorrows NZers

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    In our national imagination, New Zealand is still a largely rural country.

    BS. That’s only in the imagination of the politicians. The rest of us want to move on to better, more challenging things. We recognise that we need agriculture to feed us but it really shouldn’t be anything more than that. And when we look at it like that we realise that we can free up ~100,000 people to do more for our country, to diversify our economy and make NZ more resilient.

    Home ownership is at the heart of the Kiwi dream.

    The Kiwi Dream, just like the American Dream, is unsustainable and produces poverty for the many making it truly a Nightmare. We need a better dream.

    The average house in Auckland made more than double what the average worker did in the last year.

    Actually, it didn’t make a damn thing and yet got paid infinitely more than the average worker who did.

    Declining home ownership.

    That’s not really the problem. In fact, I’d say that it’s the solution. The problem is the bludgers buying housing to rent. The rentiers get a house that they can rent out forever and thus have a permanent income and the renters get to live a subsistence level while supporting those rentiers.

    What we need is state owned and operated housing that’s rented out for just enough to cover maintenance and set as a percentage of household income. These houses will be built with money created by government – just as the First Labour Government did.

    We get everyone housed and we start on the road to stopping the capitalist accumulation that’s actually causing the problems of poverty, lack of housing and other social ills.

    We would build thousands of new, affordable homes to be onsold to first home buyers.

    Really, don’t do that – that will actually make things worse.

    And to help make this happen we’d crack down on the property speculators and land bankers who are driving up the prices and locking Kiwi families out of the market.

    While setting things up so that these destroyers of society thrive?

    People having to spend hours in the car because they can’t afford a house near their job.

    High density apartment buildings and mid density terraced housing surrounded by parks where the people can play. It’s the sprawl that this and previous governments have forced upon us that is costing us so much.

    Labour will put a stop to that, because neither Auckland nor New Zealand’s interests are served by a runaway Auckland property market.

    No countries interests are served by offshore ownership – in anything – and thus it needs to be banned. Not just restricted, banned. Put in place mere restrictions and you’ll find people getting around them through loopholes. Put in place an outright ban and nobody can get around it.

    There’s also merit in ideas like electrifying the rail to Pukekohe

    A good start but the plan should be to electrify the entirety of our rail network and put more in. A high speed, 200km/h plus, passenger line between Auckland and Wellington needs to be put in place. This would be an entirely new development as our present main trunk couldn’t do it.

    All this has to be paid for of course.

    Interestingly enough, that’s the easy part – just create the money to do it and then raise taxes enough to offset the increase in government spending. Just as the First Labour Government did.

    BTW, it’s time to drop the bollocks of high unemployment that the business sector have been demanding for the last 30+ years so that they can keep wages down. We need our people working to develop and produce this critical infrastructure and not sitting on the unemployment benefit.

    We need to be giving every young person in our city more opportunities through better jobs and higher wages in new industries.

    That’s going to need to be developed and that means education and research and development. And all of that means that education needs to become free as it was in your day and that government needs to fund the R&D. NZ, as a small country, should have at least 10% of our working age population in R&D. The private sector will never do that and so it’s up to the government.

    And don’t forget the older people who, after working for 20 years, find that the work that they do is now obsolete and so need to retrain. We need to support them into this new high tech NZ as well.

  8. greywarshark 8

    The image with the headline and summary shows Andrew with a seeming halo. Did anyone else notice that? I do have a visual defect at the moment though.

    • Anne 8.1

      It was shot by msm cameramen when he was first elected leader. Behind him is a bit of porch decor in the shape of a key hole. When Little posed on the front porch for the photographers that’s how it turned out. . It was originally unintentional.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        Now intentional? If he gets Labour in with good policies and gets half of them through. he can sit on the right hand of God as far as I’m concerned.

  9. mother-ridden 9

    Phwoah. I think Labour could win the next election by playing up Little’s obvious sex appeal over the cadaverous Key. Some slogan like “sure you can take Key to the pub but wouldn’t you rather take Little to bed?”

  10. greywarshark 10

    I think that lacks a neat punchline. Better….wouldn’t you rather invite Little home?

    • Rodel 10.1

      Maybe.. a ‘Little’ goes a long way.
      Enough! Enough!.. Hey Isn’t that panda over there?

      But seriously it’s nice to see and hear an intelligent highly qualified, real adult human being like Little, rather than the CT celebrity schoolboy.
      Can you imagine Little sucking up to Cameron and Obama?
      I can’t.

  11. millsy 11

    I think we need to look past Auckland and boost *all* of our cities. We have Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, as well as Tauranga, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Napier, Nelson, and Invercargill, not to mention New Plymouth, Hastings, Whanganui, Rotorua, etc…

    The big problem I see with our cities at the moment is that they are pretty much run by developers for developers. Keep rates down and build build build. Nothing to do with building communities.

    • Tracey 11.1

      If you think Auckland isn’t a problem then ask yourself why in Whangarei and Hamilton the house prices are rising quite quickly? I was in Hamilton on Wednesday for a business meeting and the topic was very much property. And in particular, how the prices are rising quickly. One person there, who is an agent, said the number of Aucklanders amongst his Open Home visitors is climbing week on week. he referred to a 2-3 bedroom townhouse which was bought for $310,000 a year ago, last week sold for $350,000.

      I agree with you that we need to get industries and alternative job opps in the regions BUT ultimately younger folk gravitate toward the big city which gives them the excitement they seek… I wonder how many people currently living in Auckland were born there? And this is not a dig at foreign folks, but an attempt to work out how many non-Aucklanders occupy Auckland. If it is, say, 40% then that is a big number, it is is 10% mabe it doesn’t matter… Just pondering

      • BM 11.1.1

        According to the last census

        Almost a quarter (23.1%) of Auckland’s usually resident population identified with an Asian ethnicity, a considerably higher proportion than found in New Zealand as a whole (11.8%).

        The proportion of usual residents who were born overseas was 39.1 per cent, higher than the national proportion of 25.2 per cent.

        http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/reports/Documents/aucklandprofileinitialresults2013census201405.pdf

      • half crown 11.1.2

        “we need to get industries and alternative job opps in the regions”

        How true. Many year’s ago I had to pass through Ohura on my way to New Plymouth (shortest distance from Taumarunui) I thought it was a great little town it supported the prison there, but also supported the local farming community. There was a garage where I used to fill the car, a supermarket and shops, a small engineering company etc., Last year we went down the “forgotten” highway the Stratford. The railway is now abandoned with the bridge just outside Taumarunui removed for bigger and better trucks. Ohura along with other small settlements are now ghost towns. everything gone no shops, no support industry and certainly no garage as the oil companies now find it “uneconomical” to deliver to any small operator outside the main centres, and of course no postal service.

        • Tracey 11.1.2.1

          they have got the railway ss a tourist trip. my cousin owns the whangamomona hotel. attended an 80th birthday there.

          Have done the “train” trip but it looks like a good go at turning something good from the past. Anyone done it?

    • greywarshark 11.2

      Build build, not building communities though. Or houses! What is being built don’t match the lovely 3 bedroom single story house of summerhill stone built to the sun that I enjoyed in the mid 1960’s. It was affordable, it looked like a house not a suite of offices or professional rooms with a huge portico at the front, we had a first house loan, it was well-built to one of a number of plans that the developer offered for a set price. Those were the days of optimism and promise, we lived there for a while, sold up and went to explore the world before we really settled down.

      We didn’t realise it was temporary – that period would only last 20 years! And then, the unions and the government lacked the pragmatic bargaining skills to stop the annual round of wage/price rises,and the inflation that went alongside. The Cooks and Stewards went on one holiday period strike too many and everyone became fed up with those perverse little sh.ts. The game had to have new rules, and those opened the way to the draconian ones we have now.

      Community is not a nice to have now, it’s a necessity. So look up from your Skys, cellphones and apps and work out co-operative ways with your Council and neighbours, and offer your skills to help similar reciprocal friendly others.

  12. The Chairman 12

    For a speech that seems to say a lot, it says so little.

    Failing to give details merely allows to opposition to fill in the blanks. And we can be sure that won’t be in a positive way.

    Building up will encroach on a number of residents views, sun and privacy. That will create a few unhappy campers.

    Cutting red tape sounds very right wing. When we cut red tape it generally doesn’t take long to see why the tape was initially put in place.

    Cracking down on property speculators and land bankers sounds like a land tax is going to be proposed. Those on fixed incomes will struggle coming up with the cash to pay the annual paper gains their property will incur. That will turn a number of our an aging population off voting Labour.

    Labour will put a stop to offshore buyers? Really? It was only a few weeks ago Labour were saying offshore buyers will be permitted to buy new homes.

    More opportunities through better jobs and higher wages in new industries. Sounds great

    We should be investing more in making Auckland an IT hub, a centre of high-value modern manufacturing, and a major export producer. Who is the we he is talking about? Taxpayers?

    Will this investing ensure we own (through Government) or have a stake in such investment, thus the potential to secure a direct fiscal return? Will we (through Government) have some input in wage structures, ensuring a living wage is a minimum?

    Or is this just talk for taxpayer handouts, allowing the private sector to potentially profit and keep all the return?

    How much will Government stump up for this 30 year transport plan? Thus, what is the expected extra fiscal burden that will be place on ratepayers? Of whom, a number are already struggling to cope.

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    Quoted from above:
    “We should be able to deliver a better quality of life than practically any other city on Earth. We just need the political will. I am confident we can see that kind of city within our lifetimes. Why?

    Because in just the last few years, we’ve seen some parts of Auckland achieve exactly this kind of transformation. In places like Britomart, the Wynyard Quarter and Imperial Lane we’ve seen radical, positive change in neighbourhoods that were run down and under-used.”

    Sorry, Andrew Little, you deeply disappoint me. Those are largely upmarket property developments, expensive and satisfying developer greed.

    It appears from reading that speech, that Andrew Little and Labour support the present massive redevelopment agenda by Council, which is extremely heavily influenced by the private developer lobby. As I have followed the Unitary Plan hearings on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, presently still before the Independent Hearing Panel, and read much of evidence on their website, I know what is really going on.

    And when talking about Tamaki, I know about tenants being forced out of state houses, to make room for land to be redeveloped by the Redevelopment Company, that works with private investors and developers, as only part of redeveloped land and housing will remain “social housing”.

    What Mr Little talks about is not the inclusive change Auckland really needs, he appears to be ready to follow the hopeless agenda headed by Len Brown, to turn the city into one 2.5 million or larger “metro” that will be unsustainable given the present environmental, geographical and resource constraints.

    And many Aucklanders do not share this vision, most are rather silent, misinformed and feel shut out, as they cannot understand what goes on, yes most have little clue. It is the developer lobby, with building companies, in cooperation with a weak Council, with complicit, National government friendly Housing NZ and MoBIE and so, who run the PAUP hearing process, and who will have the last word, there are damned few ordinary Aucklanders who have any say in all this.

    If the future is a build up by private investors and developers, to cater for the middle and upper middle class of professionals and workers at median or above income, and all others have to rely on living in Housing NZ shoe-box units, that is not what Labour’s tradition stands for.

    So where is the plan, where are the details, what are “affordable homes” going to look like? Where and how will they be built? How will developers and comparatively well off be held to account to pay their share for those that simply cannot afford any rental or owned homes on low to average income? The “homes” Andrew talks about surely cannot be “houses” under the present conditions.

    More intervention and regulation will be needed, to stop land speculation, housing speculation and all other stuff that goes on. I read little that gives me confidence for major change for that to happen, sorry.

    I will watch this space, with much concern.

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