web analytics

Goodbye, Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, December 14th, 2021 - 21 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, covid-19, public transport, supercity, sustainability, transport - Tags:

For the first time in a long time, Aucklanders get to leave. Tomorrow – travel freedom day – we are going to see the 12,000 air bookings out of Auckland queue around SH20 to the airport.

In the following week we will see motorways north and south pile up with even greater intensity than usual as Aucklanders who are able to get out for the first time in months.

They’ve been leaving for a while.

In late October it was announced that New Zealand population growth was slowing in all regions due to the COVID international travel restrictions. But it actually fell in Auckland. Chief Statistician Hamish Slack commented that “While the population decrease in the Auckland region was just 1,300 or 0.1 percent in 2021, this was still a significant change.”

Auckland has grown on average 1.8% over the past 20 years, higher than the national average, and proportionally Auckland dominates New Zealand as in few other countries in the world.

The 2020-21 COVID restrictions have had the effect of making Auckland liveable again by decreasing congestion and making it a whole lot less aggravating.

So hundreds of thousands of people leaving for January will make that even smoother.

Surely in this existential pause if ever there were a revolution to occur in how one third of New Zealand lives, it would be now.

Yet even in this peaceable context for Auckland, one of Auckland’s most passionate, knowledgeable and committed urbanists Matt Lowrie is in utter despair at the uselessness of Auckland’s public transport system.

It was striking to see Matt Lowrie at GreaterAuckland complain at how useless public transport is in Auckland.

He is exceedingly patient, is an avid cyclist, is across all the working groups, and daily assembles a formidable team of nerdy planners and transport specialists to comment on every urban improvement that is and can be made in the region.

He despairs.

I have this sneaking feeling that people have just had enough.

For those still holding out for the future, today, more news of a western Auckland cycleway that now only has funding for the first of seven stages. How the Council got into that little mess is a silly saga all by itself, but it is going south very fast.

This is on top of the New Lynn to Avondale cycleway that has been in design since 2014. About 3 kilometres to build, parallel to a rail line, maybe March 2022. In that time a place like Dunedin started and is near-completion of multiple cycle networks.

In the next few days we will get an announcement about a light rail option for Auckland. It will be a decade away before it’s carrying people. It was top of the construction list post-election 2017.

I had a good discussion with a major moving company rep the other day. For those trying to get out of Auckland to pastures south, their order books are full to June. COVID has given people sufficient time to form plans, change jobs, and commit elsewhere. Lots of people.

They are done with Auckland.

For the hundreds of thousands who have decided to holiday at a town near you, just be careful: they may never leave.

21 comments on “Goodbye, Auckland ”

  1. woodart 1

    good column. covid has obviously had huge effect on working from home etc , and more and more businesses have decided to up sticks and move to cheaper locations . population movement is a very interesting subject to observe, and the reasons for such movement WITHIN countries has usually been for employment. the age of movers is also very instructive. auckland is already becoming a city of young imports(from wthin NZ and overseas) , and this trend will accelerate . 40 yrs ago, the bright lights attracted me to places like ak, now they repel me . and many other fossils. the free market has turned into the flee market…

    • mary_a 1.1

      @ Woodart (1) .. Spot on there.

      We left Auckland for Cromwell Central Otago just over four years ago. It was the best thing we did. No regrets whatsoever. yes

  2. Gezza 2

    Really neat pic of Auckland. Very artistic photographer.

    One wonders what an increased exodus from Auckland for pastures greener will do to the demographics there?

    • Ad 2.1

      You won't get cohort shift breakdowns until the next census. When that comes out any change will likely be easier to register in the data around those who have left Auckland than in any specific effect in small towns.

      But the StatsNZ release cited is a start.

      • Obtrectator 2.1.1

        "You won't get cohort shift breakdowns until the next census."

        And not even then, unless it makes a better fist of gathering the necessary data than in 2018.

  3. Stephen D 3

    Auckland.

    “You can check-out any time you like,
    But you can never leave! "

  4. RedLogix 4

    Good article as always Ad.

    Our own lives back this up. Our family has been Auckland based for five generations – but we're the last. My partner and I left 20 years ago, my brother last year. My daughters cannot stand even visiting the place.

    When my father passes away he will be the last.

  5. Blazer 5

    People leave Auckland,they leave New Zealand….it always seems to be balanced out by the incoming ,especially from Asia in the last 2 decades.

    Immigration has proven vital to GDP and Auckland house prices.

    Becoming tenants in their own country for Joe Lunchbox in NZ ,seems an irreversible trend.

  6. DS 6

    IIRC, 2020 saw the South Island population increase faster than the North for the first time in over a century.

  7. tc 7

    Good post. Born and raised in sth akl, visited akl over many years living offshore observed the growing unaddressed issues.

    Moved back for family, exited akl once those factors had resolved themselves hastened by the supershity cluster.

    I never intended staying. After living overseas in a well structured city it was pretty obvious akl was never going to be one.

  8. vto 8

    dont come down here its horrible

    • In Vino 8.1

      Where is down here? And don't say Hamilton – I am happy enough here..

      (Mind you, most Aucklanders want only to by-pass Hamilton, and will be annoyed that the roading project is not yet complete.)

    • Ad 8.2

      😚

      Comment of the day

  9. Robert Guyton 9

    Nothing worth seeing in the South Island.

  10. weka 10

    Great, another boost to the housing crisis in the regions.

  11. Johnr 11

    Auckland as a town is an unpleasant place to live particularly since becoming a "super city" when all the character suburbs became subsumed into a dollar provider for the CBD. The moneyed men are fixated on the CBD being the be all and end all of auckland.

    However Auckland has one redeeming feature The Hauraki Gulf, one of three great cruising grounds in nz the others being marlborough sounds and bay of islands. This is why I live on my boat here and venture perhaps 2 miles inland for groceries, under protest.

  12. Hunter Thompson II 12

    One redeeming feature of Auckland, if you live there: access to good health services.

    A friend of mine lived 10 minutes from Auckland Hospital and was very grateful when he needed urgent medical help, including surgery. His family, too, appreciated being nearby.

    Live in the boonies if you like, but don't complain about having to drive three hours to see a medical specialist. I guess it all depends on your age.

    .

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    4 days ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    5 days ago
  • Happy new year, Aotearoa!
    Welcome to 2022! As we look ahead to another year of progress on the big issues facing our country, we’re taking a look back at the year that’s been and everything the team of five million achieved together in 2021. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Our Pacific community shares in New Year’s Honours
    Prominent Pacific health champion Faumuina Professor Fa’afetai Sopoaga has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours list. Professor Sopoaga has been a champion for Pacific Health at Otago University, said Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “She’s overseen changes in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Congratulations to Māori New Year’s Honours stars of 2022
    Kei aku rangatira kua whakawhiwhia koutou ki ngā tohu ā tō tātou kuīni hei whakanui nui i ā koutou mahi rangatira i hāpai i te manotini puta noa i a Aotearoa. Ko koutou ngā tino tauira. I whanake i ngā hapori, iwi, hapū, whānau me te motu anō hoki. Mauri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Top honours for women in sport
    Minister of Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson has congratulated Olympian Lisa Carrington and Paralympian Sophie Pascoe on being made Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) in the 2022 New Year Honours. Lisa Carrington is New Zealand’s most successful Olympian, having won five gold and one bronze ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates 2022 New Year Honours recipients
    The New Zealanders recognised in the New Year 2022 Honours List represent the determination and service exemplified by so many New Zealanders during what has been another tough year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “I never fail to be amazed by the outstanding things ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago