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Auckland land shambles

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, June 3rd, 2015 - 90 comments
Categories: housing, Maori Issues, treaty settlements - Tags: , , , ,

National rushed through some panicked policy for freeing up Auckland land for housing in time for the budget. As with most rushed policy, they have made a bit of a mess of it. The rough edges are showing:

Housing Minister defends plan to free up Auckland Crown land amid ‘unsuitable’ claims

Labour MP Phil Twyford said only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land earmarked for development was suitable for building on to increase Auckland’s housing supply, but the Government denies that is the case.

Twyford said “the only way you can get to that kind of land holding is by including land currently used for a range of public purposes – far more than the reserves and DOC land current cited by the Government.”

The land included a power substation in Glendene, a “massive piece of electricity infrastructure”, that left power knocked out to nearly 50,000 homes in 2013 after an an explosion.

Other land the Government planned to build on included a cemetery, a fire station, and school playing fields, Twyford said.

Smith would not release the full list of sites, as there was still a large amount of work to be done to check which sites were viable.

Also:

“Houses on cemeteries ‘nonsense’, says Nick Smith”

Housing Minister Nick Smith has defended his plans to free up crown land in Auckland to build new homes despite claims people could end up living on top of cemeteries, school playing fields and on pylons.

Mr Smith said the Labour’s claim people would essentially be living on top of cemeteries were “nonsense”.

Mr Smith said announcing the list now would only create uncertainly.

Listing the land to be used does not “create uncertainty”, it does the exact opposite!

And now today, this:

Iwi calls urgent meeting over Crown land sell-off

The Government and Auckland Maori are headed for a legal clash over plans to sell public land to developers to help ease the housing crisis.

Ngati Whatua has called in lawyers because it thought it would be given first rights to buy the land under its treaty settlement, but the Government is using a workaround, meaning it can sell the land straight to developers.

Ngati Whatua wasn’t consulted about the decision; it only discovered it wouldn’t be getting first option on the land after 3 News called. The iwi has now asked for an urgent meeting with the Government for them to explain the situation.

The technicality that the Nats are planning to use to dodge their treaty obligations is that the land will be for “public housing use”, but nothing in the proposed description of the land use, which is all about private developers and market rates, meets any reasonable interpretation of “public housing”. The government has another big can of worms on its plate.

90 comments on “Auckland land shambles ”

  1. Ad 1

    Central government should use its Christchurch rebuild experience (including its difficult relationship with the Council) to form a comprehensive and agreed plan for Auckland. It really is 1/3 of New Zealand’s people, over 40% of its economy, on less than 4% of its land.

    Its growth in the next thirty years will equal the combined growth of the rest of New Zealand put together.

    The Prime Minister and most of the tight five will be meeting with Council in the beginning of July.

    Can someone suggest to the Prime Minister that there is now a national interest to a single and agreed long term investment and development plan for Auckland?

    • Sacha 1.1

      Auckland’s population growth will be *two-thirds* of NZ’s total. That’s why investment in infrastruture now needs to be more than just the current share of population.

      And there is already a plan for the next 30 years, developed in consultation with Aucklanders by the elected Council. This particualr government just refuses to follow it.

  2. David Bachman 2

    Housing is the gaping wound in National’s side. Labour should be shovelling salt into it.

    It’s a matter that touches every one of us, intimately. If not us, we all know someone we love staring at the climb of Everest proportions that home ownership has become.

    Availability/Supply in the main centres is trotted out as a primary cause of the problem. I don’t buy into this. If 1000 houses a week are built in Auckland will the problems cease? No, there are 1000’s of houses for sale in and around Auckland. The primary hurdle is affordability.

    The people that stopped voting Labour and went to National aren’t saving for a house, that’s farcical, like saving up to buy Disneyland. They’re saving up to replace the cambelts in their cars and to send their kid to Aussie with their school netball team.

    The expensive part of buying a house is not the building, it’s the dirt. In 100 years the house may well be dust, all of the value in the land. Crown land currently returns zip to the Government coffers. Lets sell sections to first home buyers on government funded, low interest (covering admin costs only) 100 year loans. If the house is sold, the land mortgage is paid out at that time. If they wish, several generations can work their way towards freehold title.

    Home ownership induces so many quality attitudes within a community. The man with a white picket fence of his own is far less likely to tag somebody else’s.

    A ‘Drag em back to vote Red’ idea with potential I reckon.

    • Brendon Harre 2.1

      Completely agree David. Little, Robertson and Twyford need to get really stuck into Key, English and Smith over National’s failure to provide affordable housing.

      What National have done to Christchurch is no model for Auckland either.

      Canterbury’s housing recovery neglects the poor
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/68976927/canterburys-housing-recovery-neglects-the-poor

      Christchurch quake mums sleeping in chairs, dining rooms
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/68295946/Christchurch-quake-mums-sleeping-in-chairs-dining-rooms

      Landlord charges Filipino workers per bed rent
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/68236300/Landlord-charges-Filipino-workers-per-bed-rent

      Squatting in Christchurch’s quake abandoned buildings
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/67931129/squatting-in-christchurchs-quake-abandoned-buildings.html

      Pensioner living in car
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/68264000/Pensioner-living-in-his-car-Mervyn-Cross-overwhelmed-by-help

    • Colville. 2.2

      Great idea to sell off state assets cheap to first home buyers.
      I will free up as much cash as I can and my kids nieces and nephews will all buy one. Oh and The Missus too, coz she has never owned a house.
      What could possibly be wrong with that idea?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        +1

      • David Bachman 2.2.2

        Hi Colville. If I could see deal-breaker problems associated with my suggestion, I wouldn’t of suggested it. I’m afraid you’re going to have to hold my hand and point them out, please?

        Of course it’s still going to take a deposit. The subdivisions will require infrastructure. The deposit need cover no more land wise. The land mortgage only advanced when an affordable arrangement made with and a deposit paid to a builder.

        But I’m talking about a Ruapehu sized climb to save a 20k deposit not 60k.

        So yep, a house for all those folk you speak of, it’s still going to take 4 years of knuckling down to get there, but not an impossible dream.

        If it goes pear shaped with the repayments, the asset doesn’t vaporise. Another family dreaming of their own home can slide in.

        I’m sure my idea has holes, I can think of some, what do you see Colville.

        • Colville. 2.2.2.1

          Well as I am a lower north island based property investor I am maybe not your ideal target market, but hey I will buy them if they are cheap.

          • David Bachman 2.2.2.1.1

            Ah ok, thanks. The homes I’m talking about are for first home buyers only. They will require some conventional finance. As always, applicants would need to present a solid saving history and prove their ability to comfortably afford the repayments. I guess wealthy parents could assist with a deposit but the owner/occupiers would need to be the ones making the repayments.

            Owners would of course have the option of selling to an investor. Investors would be paying full market price and the seller’s first bill to pay when the property is sold would be, pay the land mortgage out in full. I suspect this device will restrict owners selling before they have considerable equity.

            • Colville. 2.2.2.1.1.1

              and as I said my kids nephews and nieces all ranging from 3 yrs old to 23 yrs old would be first home buyers, my Wife too but she is a bit older.

              Sign us up for 11 of your cheap houses please. The deposit is no problem.

              • Lanthanide

                Not too good at the old reading comprehension, eh?

                “As always, applicants would need to present a solid saving history and prove their ability to comfortably afford the repayments.”

                If your 3 year old can afford repayments on a mortgage, they must have a pretty good job.

                Also, “my dad just gave me $40k deposit last week” doesn’t count as “a solid saving history”.

                Better luck next rort!

                • Colville.

                  You think no saving history will stop bank from lending?

                  LOL LOL

                  • Lanthanide

                    Um, no, I suggest that a government policy that sells land on 100 year mortgages at low rates (which is what David suggested) is an entirely separate beast from regular bank lending, and the government (or reserve bank) can set whatever rules it likes for such lending.

                    Like, you have to show 3 years of bank statements showing regular saving to be eligible for these loans. You have to show stable income of the applicant in order to make the repayments.

                    Try actually reading what people are saying some time, instead of just imaging what they’re saying and then attacking them for it, when it’s just your imagination that’s stupid.

                    Note that I am in no way endorsing David’s suggestion as a good or sensible idea, I’m simply pointing out how thick YOU are for failing to understand what was really written in quite plain and simple language.

    • Amanda Atkinson 2.3

      The most expensive part of buying a house is neither the building or the dirt. It is the interest payments, that’s what is always overlooked by everyone who comments on property. The media has got this all wrong. The amount of people who right now (today) want to own a home and cannot buy one, is far less than the amount of people (left and right) who already own a home, and perhaps even bought it 5 years ago or more, and are receiving massive capital gains, and paying low interest rates.

      • David Bachman 2.3.1

        Yes, Main city owners already on the merry-go-round are enjoying the benefits of low interest rates and soaring capital growth. The downside of the house being worth a million is that the one next door is worth that too. A move up is going to take 2 million. To take advantage of the capital gain the owner would need to do something like, sell up and move to fabulous Doubtless Bay.

        Those wanting to get on the carousel can’t save as quick as values are rising, nobody can hop on a merry-go-round travelling at 50 kph.

        That’s why I’m suggesting the leg up of 100 year govt backed, interest covering the admin only loans on the most expensive and ‘forever’ part of the first-timers house/land purchase.

      • Colville. 2.3.2

        Nope.

        At the mo the interest payments arent too far off your rental costs.

        If you look at it including a capital gain the interest costs are actually negative.

    • les 2.4

      +1000

  3. adam 3

    So were back to why the Maori party was formed in the first place.

    The government of the day, carrying out the long tradition of stealing Maori land, and breaking treaty deals.

    Nothing changes a Tories spots.

  4. Colville. 4

    I cant see a problem if there is a genuine Treaty claim on the land. The titles will be tagged with whatever that clause is….

    Tender for sale of the land can carry on as usual..all it will do is set the price for the land (rather than a valuation) and Iwi will have final option to take it up or not.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Its not a treaty ‘claim’ old salt, the treaty ‘settlement’ gives the local iwi first right of refusal when any crown land is sold.

      First things in most cases, it seems the government doesnt own the land as such. Eg electricty land is owned by SOE Transpower. Other land could be educational institutions and so on. I think there is some land owned by Mt Albert Grammar school farm.

      In a lot of cases its not even land under the direct control of a government department. Maybe Transit land would be sold anyway so could be transferred, but an used school site, could have been compulsorily purchased to begin with some decades back. So those owners could have a claim first.

      You know when it comes to Nick Smith, the landslide expert, who creates disaster where ever he goes

      • Visubversa 4.1.1

        The Mt Albert Grammar farm is all tied up in a nice Trust. Gov’t cannot get their hands on it.

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          A good example of land the government doesnt own or control.

          There is a large block of land I know of in Aucklands suburbs, that contained a supermarket and carpark, right on bus routes and trains.

          Owned by Auckland City but has been vacant , literally, for around 15 years. There were a few proposals 10 years or more ago. But nothing zada zip since.

          This could have up to 150 homes, of mostly higher densities, but Council doesnt seem to care.

      • RJL 4.1.2

        @dukeofurl “Its not a treaty ‘claim’ old salt…

        But it could become one in the future!

        If Smith confiscates land that the iwi have rights over the issue will eventually (perhaps in decades time) become a new claim in the Waitangi Tribunal, or similar venue.

        • You_Fool 4.1.2.1

          I think you missed the point. It is not a claim in a future tense sort of way, it was a past claim that was settled in a specific way that the government is now not honouring.

          • dukeofurl 4.1.2.1.1

            Heres the wording:

            “Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will receive right of first refusal redress for 170 years over surplus Crown owned properties and other specified properties in the Tāmaki Makaurau region through the Tāmaki Collective deed of settlement.”

            All those various settlements through the region were consolidated into
            Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014.

            Signed, sealed but not delivered by Nick Smith.

  5. maui 5

    Complete cock-up. The only thing going for it is that building medium density housing in a cemetery doesn’t count as urban sprawl I spose.

  6. shorts 6

    One day we’ll have a new mayor, possibly one we’ve had before, he will appeal to the current govt and everything will be alright… until then this govt will fuck with auckland and seek profit for their friends where they can

    Come on back banksy… its bleeding obvious we need your skills

    • lprent 6.1

      Banks was the most lazy incompetent mayor we ever had. I always remember him promising him to repopulate None Tree Hill – that was 15 years ago.

      Needless to say, it is almost impossible to point to anything the lazy prick actually achieved in his stints at mayor. Well apart from his parking spaces, and some spectacular stalling of critical infrastructure projects.

      • Colville. 6.1.1

        Lecher Len has set a pretty low bar for competence.

        He couldn’t even not get caught shagging his tart on Council property!

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          And what does that have to do with council business?

          It isn’t relevent like getting a damn tree growing on public property eh?

          • Colville. 6.1.1.1.1

            Your comment was..

            “Banks was the most lazy incompetent mayor we ever had. ”

            and I dispute that. Lecher Len is far more incompetent that Banks on his worst day.

            That is all.

            Edit. Possibly we are talking at cross purposes. Banks is the most incompetent Mayor that has been. Lecher Len is the most incompetent Auckland Mayor ever tho. Because he is incumbent he is not a “been” just yet.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I just don’t find questions about who is banging whom as being that relevant to politics.

              It appears that is the only thing you do? Please explain the logic?

              • felix

                Perhaps Colville means that Banks is better at not getting caught, and that makes him better than Len.

                Funny thing is though, he gets caught all the time: Huljich, Sky City, Dotcom etc.

                So maybe Colville really means Banks is better at getting off?

              • Colville.

                If a Mayor is fucking a council staff member on council property I think that says lot a bout competence.

                Who mentioned politics?

                Your comment was..

                “Banks was the most lazy incompetent mayor we ever had. ”

                • lprent

                  Mayor is not a political role?

                  Mind you, I’d agree that John Banks didn’t appear to think it was.

                  • Colville.

                    Politics gets them elected.
                    Competence gets the job done.
                    Lecher Len is sadly lacking on both fronts. 1% popularity now?

                    • lprent

                      John Banks was never able to work with his councils. If he had any other skills or competences, which I doubt, then he wasn’t competent enough in the political art of working with his legislative branch on council.

                      BTW: His political career prior to becoming mayor looks like a history of brown-nosing other politicians and sliding up by doing their will. His true levels of political incompetence showed when he was able to win elections for mayor, but wasn’t able to do fuckall when there wasn’t someone else like Muldoon or Bolger doing the political management for him.

                      As well as being a dodgy character, he is in my opinion an incompetent politician when it comes to achieving anything significiant because he has an ego and few skills at working a council (or caucus)

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Nope. Banks was/is truly incompetent (his signing things and not reading them is proof of that). And, yeah, he completely failed to do anything for Auckland except to increase its debt loading to almost unmanageable levels.

              Len Brown hasn’t been a great shining light as most Lefties understood would be true. He’s far too right-wing to be that but he has pushed the city in better ways especially as far as transport goes. And as for his affair? Who gives a fuck? Really, it’s none of our business and doesn’t affect his ability to be a mayor at all.

              • Colville.

                I certainly dont give fuck who Len bangs in his spore time.
                But I do care when he is fucking the staff, in work time on work property.
                Oh And extorting freebie rooms from Sky etc to take her to too.

                • Colville.

                  I m off for the night..Bron Broen calls.

                  • felix

                    Probably a good idea. You’ve been at this for four hours and you still can’t think of anything to criticise Len Brown about apart from who he has sex with, or anything good about Banks at all(!)

                • Tracey

                  didnt you just write that you are living in the lower north island. or is that just where your investment properties are?

        • Tracey 6.1.1.2

          lecher len but you want a guy who will sign us up to stuff he hasnt read and will take a salary for stuff he didnt do? ref huljich … electoral forms

    • Alpha z 6.2

      wa, u wanna fuken crook

  7. Tanz 7

    Bill English was quoted as saying that state houses are worth ‘very little.’
    Utter rubbish, it’s the land that is valuable, as long as it’s in Auckland, they are all worth at least half a mill. Just an outrageous lie from him. No house or land in Auckland goes cheap nowadays, and he knows that. Perhaps he is going to just hand them all away??

    • tc 7.1

      How much dosh has and is being made of their carving up of State housing in GI ?

    • lprent 7.2

      Utter rubbish, it’s the land that is valuable, as long as it’s in Auckland, they are all worth at least half a mill. Just an outrageous lie from him.

      Exactly.

  8. David Bachman 8

    Griping about it changes nothing, what’s better?

  9. Bill 9

    Not buying into the ‘lack of land’ argument.

    As I walk around Dunedin,and I’m sure it’s the same in other cities and towns, there is block after block of land sitting idle. And there is vacant building after vacant building in need of refurbishment or re-development.

    I’m picking that a lot of it has to do with speculation.

    So, in the better interests of society then, why not a ‘use it or lose it’ policy?

    You have, say, 2 years to begin developing/re-developing or get hit by a compulsory purchase order.

    • David Bachman 9.1

      Hi Bill, I agree, when people that hold a land title are getting richer by the day via doing and contributing absolutely nothing, somebody else is lining their pockets with little to no advantage going their way.

      I think your suggestion has been used/trialled in other nations. Use it or lose it legislation. I believe the Conservatives campaigned on a similar platform, I wonder how the idea polled? I can imagine the idea being more warmly received by the Left.

    • Capn Insano 9.2

      Aye, give land-bankers a spanking?

    • Brendon Harre 9.3

      Land value taxes are a tried and true way of getting land owners to either use their land or sell it to someone who wants to use it.

      The cause of the housing crisis is inflated and inflating urban land supply. There is obviously huge amount of air in urban land prices by examining the following facts.

      In NZ top quality rural land sells for about $50,000 hectare. Section prices in Christchurch are about $250,000 for something like 600 sqm , while sections in Auckland are even more expensive. At about 12 sections per hectare (allowing for roads, parks etc) that works out at $3 million a hectare. How did $50,000 become $3,000,000? It takes about $80,000 per section to build all the local infrastructure -sewage, fresh, storm water drains and local roads. So that is about $1 million. Where did the other $2 million go? Rentier capital gains.

      There is two solutions to this. Either massive liberalisation of planning laws so competition eliminates the ability of land owners with favourable planning permission to extract monopoly rentier capital gains. Or the government uses its powers of compulsory acquisition to buy rural land for State housing/ Kiwibuild to produce affordable housing.

      NZ builds about 20,000 houses a year and probably needs to increase on that. This means we need depending on density between 1000 to 2000 hectares of land to build on every year. This 500 hectares from Nick Smith is another example of ‘too little too late.’

      Finding all that land on existing brown field sites is unrealistic and just hands market power to existing land owners to make rentier capital gains.

      We need smarter solutions such as new developments with good transport links i.e. transit orientated development.

      • Colville. 9.3.1

        In NZ top quality rural land sells for about $50,000 hectare. Wrong. try $200K / Ha but it matters not. Hort land not dairy farms. This land is not what becomes sections.

        Lifestyle blocks are what surrounds pretty much every city. 2 Ha with a $2 mil house sitting on it. That is the problem.

  10. Visubversa 10

    Auckland Council says that there is 6 years worth of available land with Subdivisions consented and ready for development. Developers sitting on their wallets waiting for the best time.

  11. Sable 11

    Clowns…..Maybe they could build on railway tracks too…

  12. maui 12

    I think there should be a Council or Government buy up of people backyards or frontyards in the central Auckland isthmus. This would allow mass subdivision of properties and development of small footprint, medium-density homes, close to existing transport and the city centre and using existing infrastructure. If you had a Government/Council building company doing the construction you could hopefully reduce building costs too.

    • RedBaronCV 12.1

      Limited to housing in Parnell & the eastern suburbs perhaps?

      • maui 12.1.1

        I was thinking anywhere in central Auckland that you could fit an approx 10×10 sqm footprint, just go for it, taking some more care around heritage areas. Driveway access might be an issue in some cases though, they would have to live with on street parking.

  13. Barbara 13

    In Albany, North Auckland smack in the middle of the now booming Albany new city, there is a huge pony club completely surrounded by built up light industrial and suburban housing. Acres and acres of lovely flat green fields and used by a few young girls and their mums and dads on the weekend, the rest of the time it sits idle with a few horses grazing. When residents in selected suburbs have zoning forced upon them which allows apartments and muilti housing to be erected next door to them, how on earth does the owner of this land get away with it lying idle when it is ideal for literally hundreds of new houses to be developed on. How is a pony club allowed to be in a residential zone in the first place for that matter. Who are the cronies the owner knows in the super city council or government who allow him to keep this land idle for a few kids to pony ride at the weekends?? All over Albany there are areas of land just sitting idle and being non-productive – there isn’t a land shortage in Auckland from what I see around here on the North Shore, just a Government who needs to give their mates a shove in the right direction and direct them to either develop their land or put it up for sale for someone to do it for them.

    • Brendon Harre 13.1

      Barbara the answer should be land value taxes (LVT) -NZ used to base rates on land not capital value.

      If Auckland council used LVT rates and those pony fields were zoned residential then they would be very valuable. The land would be worth a lot. The club would need to pay a lot of land value rates. If pony riders were unwilling to pay those rates then that land would come onto the market for someone to put to better use -perhaps for housing.

      LVT rates are very clever at getting the best use of land for the community.

      • Barbara 13.1.1

        Thank you Brendon, I think I will phone the supercity council and ask how the pony club is rated and if it isn’t rated residential why isn’t it?? I am surmising the owner has some clout with the council for it to be still sitting idle after many years of extensive development going on all around it. It was touted once that it could be used to build a senior high school for the area, the senior high was finally built on an awkward bend in a very busy highway which is in the throes of being re-jigged into a dual-carriageway and is a terrible site for a high school with no room for playing fields etc. This pony club backs onto a major sports centre complete with playing fields and could have been utilized by a future school for sharing costs of the sports grounds. Auckland is a shambles with no vision for the future, just looking at how the Auckland city centre itself is laid out is proof enough – just a complete mess of awful buildings and no beauty whatsoever. The Government and the Super City Council detest each other and never agree on anything – this land shambles is just another symptom of their facing off against each other.

      • David Bachman 13.1.2

        Would you suggest a sliding scale after a hiatus period of ownership Brendon? Each year that passes with the land in pasture the LVT bumps up a % or 3?

        What about the family that has a section near the coast that they camp on each Xmas? Would there be allowances for situations like that? I guess it could cover holdings of X hectares or larger in a geographically defined area.

        • Colville. 13.1.2.1

          So you apply for and have granted a subdivision consent, you start work which gives you 5 years to finish it typically (and up to 15 years) you dont do any more.

          After 5 years you apply for another 5 years citing financial constraints. Council MUST extend your consent.

          • David Bachman 13.1.2.1.1

            Why can’t loopholes of this nature be closed? A buyer that doesn’t have the wherewithal to take the 30 acres through to ‘Ready to sell’ within a realistic timeframe needs to be very sure before owning the block. There are penalties.

            I think developers should still be able to make money, lots of it, commensurate to their investment and risk. But doing what’s written on their business-cards ‘Developing’ adding value, not sitting on zero input cash-cows.

            • Colville. 13.1.2.1.1.1

              So developers should be forced to develop.
              what about investors?
              what about speculators?
              Every class of investment has risk and return. If the risk is higher then so will the return be.
              Its all going to add cost to sections if you add disincentives.

              • vto

                “So developers should be forced to develop.”

                Yes. It is required in the more civilized parts of the world – just sitting on prime land and doing nothing is not allowed. Do you know why this is the case?

                In other parlance it is called “piss or get off the pot”.

    • You_Fool 13.2

      Don’t forget the Te Atatu pony club as well. Even worse there houses were demolished to make way for the new motorway interchange and the pony club was mostly left in tact…

      Then of course if the clubs were sold off where would the rich get to prance around being rich?

    • David Bachman 13.3

      I haven’t measured it, but looking at Google there are 1000’s of vacant hectares between the Northern Motorway and the Kaipara Harbour. I often use the road North from West Auckland, on the non Kaipara side, all the way up to Wellsford, Highway 16 has vacant land as far as the eye can see. I don’t buy into the ‘There’s no land’ story.

      I do feel a back story is: The forward planning for Auckland is based on rates levels that $900,000 homes attract as opposed to $400,000 ones. I know rates are not technically directly linked to a property’s value….but it seems to work out that way. The 2 million dollar Herne bay place has double the rates of the 1 million dollar Pt Chev one.

    • ICD 13.4

      Surely Barbara you understand the concept behind private property rights? If the owner of that land, which has been a pony club for as long as I can remember, sees no need to develop or sell, then why do you feel he/she needs to be pressured into it?

      I take it you own a car, so how about the government/council forcing you to car-share with people every time you drive to the supermarket or to work? No?

      Private property is just that, private and nobody’s business as to what the owner chooses to do.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4.1

        To an extent that’s true. Just pray there’s no oil or shale gas under it.

      • vto 13.4.2

        “Private property is just that, private and nobody’s business as to what the owner chooses to do.”

        That is one of the great myths that people seem to like believing, but nothing could be further from the truth…

    • dukeofurl 13.5

      these pony clubs are often big land owners in their own right

      The North Shore Riding Club was formed in 1938 and Incorporated in 1939. The club owns a 230 acre property in Redvale, Auckland where we agist up to 70 horses and provide facilities for training, recreational riding and instructional clinics for riders of all ages.

      The Pointways Pony Club, sold its land near Howick and bought some more futher out around 10 years ago. Ppapatoetoe PC owns land in Flatbush

    • Ron 13.6

      Actually that Pony Club land was originally meant to be used for the new Albany Junior High but the horsey people caused such a stir that the school was build up by Massey University which is not really the best place.

  14. Tracey 14

    “Smith would not release the full list of sites, as there was still a large amount of work to be done to check which sites were viable.”

    So, Mr Smith and the Government don’t know if the land is viable for housing. Therefore, they haven’t opened up a single hectare for housing to ease Auckland’s problems. Another lie for BLiP

    • RedBaronCV 14.1

      Well he should release the sites. With a bit of crowd sourcing the viable ones could all be sorted by friday.

  15. Sacha 15

    Q4 in parliamentary Question Time today could be interesting:

    “PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister for Building and Housing: Did he consult Auckland iwi on his plan to use vacant Government-owned land for private housing developments before he made the announcement on 21 May?”

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/00HOH_OralQuestions/list-of-questions-for-oral-answer

  16. Heather Grimwood 16

    One area that was mentioned in media at beginning of these revelations was the army land at end of Whangaparoa peninsula. Rumours were at beginning of Gulf Harbour build that it was to be sold, but the folk felt comforted that this gorgeous piece of land was to be given BACK to iwi if no longer needed, and the iwi said it would in that case remain as public park for enjoyment of all. The beauty of this treasure and its twin Bastion Point must NEVER be lost in being built-up.
    Incidentally, I remember walking into Gulf Harbour by a minor walkway to gather cockles before a deal was officially done, only to find on the main gate by which we left “Tresspassers Will etc” and some work already begun. Once lost never regained and we must all be vigilant.

    • David Bachman 16.1

      Yes! These urban pockets are Auckland. They are what make her, her. The jewels about her sparkling harbours. Most of the world’s most beautiful cities feature water. One of my faves is Stockholm, one of those few Euro cities that has never had the bejesus bombed out of it. Sydney and her landmarks would be very ordinary without her harbour. My other favourite bit of Auckland are the Waitakere Ranges. They make the proximity of and getting to the west-coast beaches a unique world city experience.

      • mickysavage 16.1.1

        Amen to that, especially the Ranges and the West Coast beaches. Absolutely stunning …

  17. SMILIN 17

    Its another attempt by National to destroy the socialist roots of our welfare state by not having the guts to stand up to the pressure from the developers
    So Key next time you want to rant and rave about standing up to tyranny look in the mirror you capitalist sellout ….

  18. SMILIN 18

    Its another attempt by National to destroy the socialist roots of our welfare state and the Treaty by not having the guts to stand up to the pressure from the developers
    So Key next time you want to rant and rave about standing up to tyranny look in the mirror you capitalist sellout ….

  19. millsy 19

    IMO the land should be given back to Ngati Whatua to develop. If nothing else, they would be able to create more holistic community based subdivsions with amenties, and community spaces rather than suburban jungles.

    One would hope.

  20. dv 20

    OOPS in the morning Herald

    ‘Auckland property crisis: Shoddy building in hot market

    Shoddy buildings are going up in Auckland as the council struggles with “significant” quality issues including unskilled construction workers without proper supervision.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11459438

    The next ‘leaky building’

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