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Kiwibuild kicks off

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, March 26th, 2018 - 218 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, labour, national, phil twyford, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Photo credit Patrick Reynolds

Kiwibuild is now closer to reality with the announcement of 3,000 to 4,000 new houses to be constructed in the Auckland suburb of Mount Albert.

The proposal will tick a number of boxes.  There will be social housing, affordable housing and privately owned housing all within walking distance of rail and public transport.  And the area is large enough so that proper urban design can occur.  This is urban intensification the way it is meant to occur.

From the Beehive website:

The Government has announced the first major development under its ambitious KiwiBuild programme with the purchase of 29 hectares of land for thousands of houses in Auckland.

The land at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus, just 9km from Auckland’s CBD, will be transferred from Unitec to the Crown with the intention of building a community of between 3000-4000 homes.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says it’s an opportunity to build a whole new community around Unitec, and help address Auckland’s housing crisis.

“Too many Aucklanders are suffering because of the housing crisis. This Government will not sit around while children are living in cars and families are cramped into overcrowded housing. We need bold action to solve this.

“There will be a mix of affordable KiwiBuild homes for first homebuyers, public housing and open market houses.

“This is a beautiful and historic piece of land with natural features such as the Oakley Stream running through it. It’s close to education, employment and public transport. This new community will have open spaces, new parks and shops.

“We want to create a place for people to put down roots and to live, work, learn and play, for generations to come.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Iwi of the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau collective on this development, consistent with the agreements in their Treaty settlement,” Phil Twfyord says.

Unitec Chairman, Dr Lee Mathias, says the introduction of new homes would create a vibrant space around the campus. The sale of surplus land freed up capital currently used for maintenance work and provided funding for the institute’s ongoing development.

“We have enjoyed this stunning campus for 30 years and it will be fantastic to open the space up to others who will make it their home, grow businesses, and create a community. All proceeds of this sale will support the delivery of our teaching and learning programmes,” Lee Mathias says.

The opposition has responded negatively.  National is trying to work out how to respond to something that will be extremely popular.  After all when a country is in the middle of a housing crisis what better thing can a Government do than build houses, lots of them?

National’s first attempt is to say that this is a rebranding of something National was already going to do.

From Stuff:

National’s housing spokesperson Judith Collins said the previous National Government had actually signed off on Unitec’s investment plans to consolidate their campus and develop the spare land for housing.

“If Mr Twyford wants to be known as someone that actually adds new housing stock rather than re-badging existing plans he needs to come up with something new. Not just re-hash something that’s already happening,” she said.

“The development at Unitec has already been factored into the plans and predictions for housing development in Auckland. All that seems to have happened here is that Mr Twyford wants to use taxpayers’ money to subsidise the building and selling of homes that were going to happen anyway.”

And if you thought that Collins’s response was bad you should see what Simon Bridges said.  From Newshub:

National was going to build 3000 homes in Auckland’s Mt Albert before it lost the election, but didn’t reveal the plans because it would have been seen as pork barrelling, Simon Bridges said on Monday.

The Government on Sunday announced the first batch of homes to be built under its KiwiBuild scheme. They’ll be among between 3000 and 4000 new homes built on land formerly owned by Unitec.

“This Government will not sit around while children are living in cars and families are cramped into overcrowded housing,” Housing Minister Phil Twyford said.

“There will be a mix of affordable KiwiBuild homes for first-homebuyers, public housing and open market houses.”

The National Party leader told The AM Show on Monday it was “spin”.

“You heard Phil Twyford yesterday, he said, ‘We’ve had to come in and start this from scratch.’ What a load of nonsense. Bollocks. It’s just bollocks. This has been around for some time. All that’s happened to date is a rebranding of what we were doing.”

Considering the housing affordability crisis, The AM Show host Duncan Garner asked Mr Bridges why National didn’t reveal the plans before the election.

“I think in the end we didn’t announce it because we went through some of this and we said actually, would it would look a bit pork-barrel politics just before the election? We’d been working on this a while.”

My first response was nine long years … My second was National declining to announce policy because it would be seen as pork barrelling?  When has that ever stopped them in the past?

It is interesting that National equates Auckland Council doing rezoning with actually building houses.  And that selling land off to private developers who will no doubt want to maximise return by building McMansions is the same as building social and affordable housing.  And National is zig zagging between saying it is a terrible idea and it is also their idea.  The focus group results must not be in yet.

And the right’s primary cheerleader has engaged in a good old fashioned piece of dog whistling and claiming the area will be a slum within a decade.  He bases this claim by arithmetically working out how much land each unit will have if it was a stand alone unit.  Note to Mike.  There are things called apartments where you can have a large number of people living comfortably in high densities.

At long last the Government is using the forces of the state, which are prodigious, to deal with this most pressing of problems.  I can understand National wanting Labour to fail.  I am sure that the homeless, families living in cars and young people who currently have no chance of owning their home in Auckland will be urging the Government to succeed.

218 comments on “Kiwibuild kicks off ”

  1. tc 1

    Can Twford, Adern and co put their backs into dismantling the BS and spin from National this time. Deflate this shite now.

    Bridges has just handed you a giant placard with ‘hypocrisy’ in neon letters as this was a minister who openly and desperately used a pork barrell in the Northland by-election.

    • ianmac 1.1

      It seems that the National policy is to claim that every move the current Government makes is really just a National plan that Labour has rebranded their own.
      Well the reply to that is, “Show me the Money!” Or at least ,”Show me the plans!”

      Will journalists embarrass Bridges/Collins?

      • Barfly 1.1.1

        Will journalists embarrass Bridges/Collins?


        • dukeofurl

          Well heres the proposals Unitec made back in 2014

          “He wants 43.5ha to be leased or sold for intensive residential and commercial development and Unitec squeezed down to 10ha. ”

          So nothing happened from Jun 2014 to end of 2017 and national claims it as their own?
          In 4 months Twyford has announced the land has been bought. In the last 4years even Nick Smith never even talked about the site

      • tracey 1.1.2

        Afterall Labour had the same complaints and the Nats even absorbed Labour policies from Labours time in opposition.

    • Anne 1.2

      Can Twford, Adern and co put their backs into dismantling the BS and spin from National this time. Deflate this shite now.

      My immediate thoughts too. Also:

      Can Ardern and ministers start standing up to the tripe and falsehoods being printed about their actions by certain elements inside the media. Two of the latest examples and I haven’t read either article because the bullshit is there in the titles:



      It looks like the Hosk and the Hawk are on a personal crusade to bring down the Coalition Govt.

      • Barfly 1.2.1

        “It looks like the Hosk and the Hawk are on a personal crusade to bring down the Coalition Govt.”

        They look like ducks, they quack like ducks – I’m sure if someone shot and cooked them they’d taste like ducks to.

      • tracey 1.2.2

        The speed with which Campaign National has begun is quite scarey but makes sense if you take 2005 to 2008 as your template

        • Draco T Bastard

          National’s campaign never stops. It’s always in attack mode and ready with well thought out lies.

      • Michelle 1.2.3

        birds of a feather hosk and hawk

        • Anne

          And now it’s the Hoot’s turn.


          Listen to it and be educated one and all. He accuses (in as many words) Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford of lying, spinning and obfuscating when he is the country’s foremost lying, spinning and obfuscating commentator.

          And note how many times he prevents Stephen Mills from being able to properly respond and is allowed to get away with it. Kathryn Ryan tries but he simply shouts over the top of her.

          Edit: we should call them HHH in future – Hosk,Hawk and Hoot.

          • tc

            A fantastic example of 2 issues I reckon.

            Firstly the role RNZ continue to play in DP memes and secondly how ineffective Labour/NZF have been in realigning these taxpayer funded soapboxes cleansing them of this paid for ‘rent a rant’ hoots makes his living over.

            Curran’s simply out of her depth IMO…. way out.

            • Anne

              Never hear a peep out of her. No heads up on what she proposes to do about the parlous state of public broadcasting.

          • patricia bremner

            I don’t even listen to her session now. I think one more dropping out. If we all did that it would show in their figures. Or write to their advertisers to say you are not buying because of these two prats.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The Haxis of Hevil?

          • newsense

            I can’t understand how this P.R. consultant has been able to dominant the commentary on our respected news outlets.

            Who are his clients? Why on earth does that not matter?

            I mean, if he went there probably would be some other proxy doing the same job with a less antagonistic reputation, the way Dr. Mapp joins us here from time to time or at the Spinoff.

            How can Farrar be legitimately introduced as ‘Kiwblog commentator’ with out any disclosure of his National party links? Baffling.

          • patricia bremner


      • newsense 1.2.4

        Na, just keep doing it. Leave others to sort out the bleaters.

  2. Yes Simon “a Bridge both ways”:
    They wouldn’t have done it (have Govt do the development), but Labour aren’t doing anything they weren’t already doing.

    Not sure how “doing something about the housing crisis” is pork-barrelling…

    And the houses will be too small… or as it turns out exactly the same range of sizes (80-200sqm) as the enormously popular Hobsonville development…

    • Carolyn_Nth 2.1

      Thanks, Ben. Nats in confusion!

      I note your avatar. Are you standing in the Northcote by-election? All the best!

    • AB 2.2

      “enormously popular Hobsonville development”
      Every day for a couple of years I have looked across the upper harbour watching Hobsonville Point being razed to the ground. What was a bushy promontory in the beautiful and fragile upper harbour is crawling and cranking with earthmoving machinery and is now being covered in ugly houses. I worry if silt run off is being handled properly and where the stormwater will go.. The upper harbour has sea grass, mud crabs and a good flounder population. Snapper visit seasonally to feed on both. There are baitfish , kahawai and kingfish and bronze whaler sharks spawn here in early summer.I don’t like watching this intensification. Why don’t we create satellite villages on rail corridors instead?

      • tracey 2.2.1

        Cos we have to have rail first for that to happen. The closest rail to hobsonville is henderson or te atatu?

        Pukekohe was going to be a satelite… now kingseat/waiuku are going to get huge growth ( but no rail link).

        • Brigid

          Henderson. No rail in Te Atatu. The service goes one stop further north from Hendo to Swanson. Fuck all bus service north of Henderson and no rail service.

      • weston 2.2.2

        i had a laugh about that title too AB theres a place called MILLWATER a bit further north similarly touted …ugliest place you ever saw this side of america anyway !! i hate seeing land getting ripped apart for housing ive never seen the sense of destroying natural contours and generally turning the land upside down to create suberbia,s plus the carbon footprint for doing a development like that would be such that it would take six life times of all its dwellers to make up for ….thats if they lived like monks !!Imo neither of or any of these types of developments would be necessary were it not for far too many people coming to live in nz to quickly for our infrastructure to keep pace with and we can thank the nats for that .

  3. Ssorwredna 3

    3000-4000 seems a bit vague -surely they would have a more difinative number??

  4. tracey 4

    As a former employee of Unitec I can attest that land has been earmarked for housing development for some time. During the poorly handled change at Unitec over the last many years we were always told the new trades building and remodelled Hub were being paid for by the sale of the land.

    The sale was forced on Unitec because no govt would fund its much needed updating

    However at no time was it ever said tge land was being sold by the government for affordable housing. Given Mt Albert is a million dollar plus per house suburb building affordable housing there was always unlikely under the last govts public private model. How much of Hobsonville was affordable cos that is Collins yardstick.

    • Wayne 4.1

      I don’t have a problem with the concept. Obviously Twyford does have to get cracking if he is to build any houses at all that were not already in the pipeline. For instance he could announce Northcote as new.
      Anyway my real concern is density. 4000 dwellings is an awful lot for 29 hectares.
      It will have to have several 5 to 10 storey buildings. For instance a 10 story apartment block with say 8 apartments of 80 square meters would have 80 dwellings, quite a lot per building. To get say 2,000 apartments in multi-storey buildings would require 25 buildings. That seems more like Hong Kong than Auckland. I personally think no more than 2,000 dwellings for the whole site.
      I wonder if the land actually has the zoning for such density. Presumably yes, because otherwise getting resource consent will take at least a year.

      • tracey 4.1.1

        To repeat my question Waybe, how would you fix this?

        Or would you not fix it and leave it to the market… oh wait Nats dont just leave it to the market they allow immigration to distort the market to keep wages low which is one of the causes of the housing crisis.

        Again. What would you do?

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Good questions!!

          I’ll be surprised if you get an answer.

        • Babayaga

          Hi Tracey

          The ‘market’ in housing in Auckland does work, because houses get built that people can afford in places where they are needed. But here’s the problem…The cost and timing of house development is massively inflated by AC regulations, so the market operates in an environment of constraint. Twyford is about to learn just how difficult it is.

          I want to see the insane intensification of Auckland slowed immediately, and replaced with the development of satellites (eg Pokeno) services by express rail links and ongoing investment in roads. There is plenty of land, and with new projects the developer/eventual owner fund the local infrastructure.

          • tracey

            No it doesnt. Because there is a supply shortage. Or demand is too high. This is not all on AC.


            In 1991 I bought a house for 145k. My annual salary was 52k.

            In 2016 I sold my house for 1.8m. My salary was 75k.

            My salary has not kept pace with my house because of deliberate market interference to keep wages low and a deliberate policy to not calculate housing as part of cpi ( or is it inflation). Either way the playing field is not even as the market supposedly makes it

            Example 2

            Unregulated gave us leaky homes
            Loosening of regulations is giving us failed repairs in Christchurch.

            Each time the construction industry is given its head consumers get burned.

            The Nats deliberately left Developers out of the personal liability loop when adding builders and designers. National needs to stop championing the market cos it plays it. And always to tge detriment of tge consumer not the profit taker.

            • Babayaga

              Supply issues are all on AC. They are obsessed with public transport, and to justify its huge expense need population density. Brown and Goff have sat on their hands while Auckland has been strangled.

          • tracey

            Given your Pokeno rail link argument, who did you vote for?

          • Carolyn_Nth

            There’s plenty of greenfields residential development happening in Whangaparaoa, Orewa, Warkworth, Hobsonville, etc. But most of those people need to commute to Auckland central – the northern motorway is constantly clogged.

            Mass transit does need to be developed, but Auckland city also needs more intensification. It can be done with the political will.

            A lot of the problem is developers not seeing a profit in affordable housing. The building of more state/public housing within the central suburbs is also needed.

            And then there’s the nimbies – the latest colonisers of Auckland central suburbs who do not want the hoipoloi anywhere near them, and want to shift any change away from where they live.

            • wayne

              I would have had medium density housing in the area between Westgate and Kumeu. Two decent shopping centres 5 km apart. Enough space for around 10,000 houses according Sir Bob Harvey.

              Median density housing is easy to prefab.

              There is rail in Kumeu. The motorway can be easily extended north of Kumeu.

              I would do Unitech as well, but at 2,000, not 4,000


              Most people out west do not commute into the central city, maybe 40% do according to stats. They mostly work in the north west and at Albany. Just about all of them need cars, because there is almost zero lateral bus services. Also in Albany industrial centre everything is quite spread out.

              • savenz

                Their may be a railway line in Kumeu but they are not using it for transport. Since the SHA and ‘relaxed zoning’ there has been much more congestion in that area. Know someone how bought one of the McMansions, lives in OZ… but he has family from overseas renting it. Not helping local shortages at all.

                Houses used to cost $500,000 and you got land for it a few years ago, now nearly a million buys you a McMansion on 500m2 like this person bought.

                Less affordability, more speculation and more congestion! What a win!

              • Brigid

                Stop making shit up Wayne.
                There is no fucking rail service to Kumeu, in fact Swanson is the last station that’s serviced.
                There is no intention to extend it either because the Waitakere tunnel cant accommodate electric lines.

                • wayne


                  Stop being so negative. I said there is a railway, it is easy to add a service.

                  Passenger trains used to go out to Helensville. Tunnels can be lowered (basically the floor of the tunnel is dug out to give more clearance). They need to that anyway if the line north is to be made suitable for containers.

                  • tracey

                    It is not easy when a govt is ideologically or otherwise opposed to passenger rail Wayne. Presumably over the last 9 years, well last few months of tge last 9 years when they admitted there was a problem, they thought of this but did nothing.


              • tracey

                Thanks but you would have to overturn Nat core policy regarding passenger transport. Have you ever talked to anyone in Nat about this?

            • patricia bremner

              I agree Carolyn_Nth, too many say “not in our Suburb”

            • Babayaga

              Sorry but you are wrong about people from those suburbs commuting into the city. With population comes business investment, as we are seeing in Pokeno.

        • wayne

          I would have had medium density housing in the area between Westgate and Kumeu. Two decent shopping centres 5 km apart. Enough space for around 10,000 houses according Sir Bob Harvey.

          Median density housing is easy to prefab.

          There is rail in Kumeu. The motorway can be easily extended north of Kumeu.

          Do Unitech as well, but at a density of 2,000, not 4,000.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.2

        “I wonder if the land actually has the zoning for such density. ”

        Surely all that was sorted out when it was nationals project ?

        falls over laughing!

        • tracey

          Exactly. Nats are claiming it is theirs while some of their supporters are slamming it

        • wayne


          So is it sorted for 4,000 homes or not? This should be in the Unitary Plaqn, which just everyone thinks is pretty good.

          I personally hope it is not zoned for 4,000 homes because then that scale won’t happen.

          But I assume Twyford has enough competence to only announce something that has the right zoning.

          • Keepcalmcarryon

            This is the most interest a National politician has shown in housing for 9 years, outside their portfolio.
            I just wanted to congratulate you Wayne.

            • tracey

              And may it extend beyond this blog to something other than swipes at Twyford

        • patricia bremner

          No. National only plans for squillionairs. The ones with big back pockets.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        And the RWNJ comes in and starts fear-mongering about high density housing. Despite all the very successful cities that have far higher density.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          “high density housing”

          And not to mention, beats living in a car. But stop – Wayne’s lot thinks that is a lifestyle choice.

        • tracey

          Poo poos the higher density but offers no alternative. Seems lije his wealthy white sensibilities are offended at the likelihood of 40%+ of a development living amongst the hard working and deserving property classes.

        • Wayne

          Why don’t you actually debate the issue instead of handing out insults. Apart from you most people can manage that.

          • Draco T Bastard

            You didn’t put up anything to debate – just the ignorant scaremongering of a typical RWNJ with no facts involved.

            • Monty

              Hey. Tend to agree DTB why the personal attack nothing you said added anything to the debate just personal abuse.

              DTB you are better than that.

              Wayne. I live in HKG. One of the highest density of humans per metre. It’s immense.

              I have advocated for a long time that NZ needs to accept what is real across the world in big cities and develop high density living. After living in Shanghai and HKG they do it so well it shouldn’t be seen as a negative.

              My current abode is in place that is a called in HKG is a eco village. No cars allowed, buses are electric, you have to seperate all your waste. The area houses 30,000 people has 2 supermarkets, bars, restaurants, parks and a proud community. It’s has built up apartment complexes and terraced houses around the central complex. All of this in less than the Unitec development.

              To be honest when in Shanghai the complex I lived in had amazing facilities for the family and housed 20,000 people and would have fitted into the area Eden park including Eden Park 2 would have covered.

              We need to accept if you want inner city or big city living you can’t expect the old quarter arcs dream.

              DTB stop the abuse and grow up.

              • Monty

                However I would like to see the split of how the dwellings are divided and designed.

                How many 3/4 bedroom how many 1 or 2 bedrooms.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Tend to agree DTB why the personal attack nothing you said added anything to the debate just personal abuse.

                What personal attack? I just pointed out that Wayne was lying as per normal for a RWNJ.

                And I did add to the debate. I pointed out, just like you, that many high density cities are very successful at producing places that people want to live.

                • Monty

                  Hi did you need to start with RWNJ call him ignorant claim all RMNJ are liars. It just starts off tit for tat.

                  I would rather people took the arguement and debated it rather than label.

                  This is a great topic and one that is fun to debate.

                  As I said from most of your comments you are much better than resorting to labelling.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Hi did you need to start with RWNJ call him ignorant claim all RMNJ are liars. It just starts off tit for tat.

                    Liars need to be called for what they are else others will trust them.

                    I would rather people took the arguement and debated it rather than label.

                    He didn’t provide an argument – just scaremongering spin. Which is what he always does and which is what makes him a liar.

      • Incognito 4.1.4

        Would you consider 100 people per hectare more like Hong Kong than Auckland?

        • Monty

          Hkg is amazing.

          Over 6000 humans per square km and it’s amazing. I love living here.

          They have an amazing sense of community and family especially in the community in live in. .


          • Incognito

            Good to hear that. Somebody’s dream is someone else’s nightmare.

            • Monty

              It wasn’t my dream and to be fair at first I hated losing what we have in NZ but now being here I can really appreciate it and find how they solve issues as to density interesting.

              The big concern I see for Auckland is the transport big high density have effective and mass transit systems.

      • Visubversa 4.1.5

        If you are talking about 8 storey apartments with 42 units in each then its a net area (allowing for parks and roads) of 2,000m2 per site. In the private realm you would get more intensive than that given half the chance.

    • Babayaga 4.2

      Hi Tracey…I live in Mt Albert and the proposed development is deeply dividing the community, mainly around the increased chaos that will inevitably arise from the extra traffic. There is also deep skepticism over the number of affordable houses that will be built.

      But my main point is this – You are right this plan has been on the table for some years. Some contributors here are insinuating nothing has happened until now – that is total nonsense. The ball has been in United and AC’s court, and it still is! Twyford has simply announced something that was happening anyway and branded it ‘kiwibuild’, because he’s under pressure having made promises he cannot keep.

      • tracey 4.2.1

        Not quite. National at best were going to cordon off 10% for affordable homes. The talk at Unitec was always that Unitec was selling the land to Developers. It was never that National was using the land to help alleviate the lower end housing shortage.

        I am sure no one in Mt Albert is suffering from Nimbyism or property devaluing phobia ( the later will never happen in Mt Albert but the outrage of the golden trianglers knows no bounds). Remember Hooton leading the crusade to stop a new school at Alexandra Park?

        • Babayaga

          The affordable homes tag is a nonsense. All homes are affordable to someone. Labour’s numbers have already changed, and Ardern seems to suddenly woken from her sleep to realise people now demand larger houses than they did 30-40 years ago. The lower end housing shortage will be alleviated when AC gets out of the way and let’s Auckland sprawl and developers build. And btw, how much do think the ‘affordable. Houses’ will be in the Unitec space by the time the project delivers houses? And will they be houses or units or apartments?

          • mac1

            Googling ‘affordable’ brings in part this entry from an on-line dictionary.
            “(used about houses, etc.) able to be bought or rented by people who do not earn a lot of money”.


            Another assumption I challenge, babayaga, is that people demand larger houses. That is of course true of many.

            But so too is the ‘small house’ movement growing, driven either by affordability, or by a sense of small is less intrusive, more economical of the world’s resources, even a symbol of the rejection of ostentation and size as a personal marker of achievement.


            • Babayaga

              The average house built today is far larger (almost double the size) of houses built 30-40 years ago. That is one of the reasons for houses costing a greater proportion of income.

              Thanks for the definition of ‘affordable’, but it just pushes the question backbone. What is ‘a lot of money’?

              As to the small house movement, I call bs on that and your claims above it it’s benefits. I grew up in a modest house, but in a 1/4 acre section. A city that sprawls can provide more section space, making for a far better family environment. Living cheek to cheek in slums is not healthy for anyone. The intensification of Auckland will never be matched by appropriate infrastructure investment, and that damages resources.

              • mac1

                You have taken what I said far beyond any thing I said.

                I said nothing about section sizes, slums, even living cheek to cheek.

                I made a comment that there is a growing movement, admittedly small, for smaller homes. These range from what I’d call ‘hippy houses’, being of that generation, through to smart, well designed smaller living spaces.

                I came off a quarter acre three bedroom suburban thirties style house. I was somewhat dismayed to see that section now housed the original plus a house at the back- probably for sentimental reasons.

                The modern movement for smaller houses comes from people like my daughter who wants to live simply, have room for a vegetable garden, and be smart about how living spaces are organised. Cost is very much a factor, as well. My three brothers live singly now in small units, happily and affordably, as older men, with gardens, access to community outdoor space and within walking distance of amenities.

                That kind of dwelling is much more needed, since here has been less than 10% of building since 2003 of one or two bedrooms, which is more affordable just through its size.

                Such housing is more attractive to older people as well as young singles or childless couples. Most housing built in the last 15 years has been targeted at the well off, or those of higher incomes than what we might say can buy ‘affordable’ housing.

                Hence in our town this is why we have 60 people turning up to view rental properties, why we have communal housing development for single workers, and concepts like Abbeyfield more attractive for ‘affordable’housing.

                • Baba Yaga

                  Thanks mac1.

                  There is confusion (not necessarily from you) around housing density. My initial point was that we cannot expect to live in houses twice the size and pay the same % of our incomes in costs.

                  And I would also say that living in smaller houses with decent sized sections would be a healthy option, hence my support for sprawl over intensity. By Hooten’s calculations, the Unitec plan is for housing density somewhere around that of Mumbai. Is that really how we want NZ communities to develop?

                  • mac1

                    Whereas now we now have a prevalent housing mode for large and expensive houses on small sections. I look at them as I walk the trails around the ‘top end of town.” Three car garages, boats and motor homes outside, gardens of stones. They’re not designed for life styles which are centred around kids playing cricket outdoors on the lawn, 150 square metre vegetable gardens, fruit trees and an asparagus bed.

                    The thing with urban sprawl is the cost of infrastructure is greater. Also, the developments are predicated on having a car. Entire coastal hill developments that are far from shops, churches, halls, schools, community areas such as libraries, pools. Instead we have what are virtual gated communities, sterile and boring.

                    I had four years cleaning at the end of my professional career. I cleaned houses like these. Large, sterile expanses with little in the way of decent art (just faux French posters and furniture shop wall decorations), no book shelves or books, large amounts of glass and wine racks exposed to heat and light. And at the end of the room, the 60″ TV display and DVD rack.

                    Boring secular temples to mammon. For me, unhealthy and unspiritual.

                    Can we have housing developments which are economical of space and cost, healthy and warm, safe and neighbourly, within walking distance of amenities, with good bus services, and a mix of age and ethnicity? That allow community growth in spirit and good relations? That don’t feel crowded and soulless.

                    As the recent Herald editorial said, they will indeed need to be well-designed. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12020420

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “The thing with urban sprawl is the cost of infrastructure is greater.”

                      I’m not convinced that’s true. And with Greenfields developments, the costs are born directly by the value. With a development such as Unitec, the cost (and it will be huge) of developing the infrastructure will be picked up by the government and council, and spread over a whole group of people who derive little or no value.

                      The rest of what you have written is all good stuff…thanks.

                    • mac1

                      Cheers, Baba Yaga.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Hell, at least they are starting to do something.

  6. tracey 6

    Note Bridges language has changed since his week out of media? He now says things like “cock up” and ” bollocks” . Part of the moulding of him as every man?

  7. MarkF 7

    29 hectares, 3000 houses, please do the maths. That means each house has to fit on 97sq mtrs, where do the roads etc. go?

    • tracey 7.1

      Apartment buildings?

      There is a large such block on Alexandra Park opposite Cornwall Park and the hospital. Small area higher density.

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        Hobsonville too has blocks of 4-5 stories. Its been a while for me to get out there in Ormiston but they have them too.

    • red-blooded 7.2

      You do understand the idea of apartments, don’t you Mark? Like lots of houses in a stack – all fitted into one building with halls and lifts so people can get to their own home from the inside! Maybe there aren’t many of these where you live, but presumably you’ve seen them in other places? On TV, maybe?

      • tracey 7.2.1

        Tou bloody che

        • MarkF

          Of course I do! But it wasn’t me who said houses not apartments. Also add to that 3000 dwellings (of whatever ilk) and you end up with 10000+ people, 4-5 flushes per day 6-8lts per flush x 365days = 115 million litres of water just for that. That’s an awful lot of infrastructure, just saying.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Oh noes! Planning!

          • RedLogix

            Given that Auckland consumes about 400 million litres of water per day … I somehow think the engineers will be able to squeeze an extra 0.07 % extra out of the system.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            And so there needs to be consideration of ways to build in worm toilets to new housing, cutting down on flushable loos.

          • red-blooded

            Mark, it’s not like there’s going to be an influx of people into Auckland caused by this and other similar developments. That influx is happening already and has been for decades. People who live in garages and spare room, motels and even cars flush every day too, you know.

            As for the “houses” issue – you’re being deliberately obtuse. Yes, I’ve heard that word from Twyford today (he specifically mentioned terraced houses), but I’ve also heard “housing” (which doesn’t just refer to houses), “homes” and “apartments”. You and Mike Hosking might choose to ignore all those other words, but most people hear them and understand what’s being discussed.

          • dukeofurl

            he said HOMES markF
            ( You are trying to make a point without checking the wording)
            ““There will be a mix of affordable KiwiBuild homes for first homebuyers, public housing and open market houses.

            The ‘houses’ will be open market and likely a double the ‘affordable homes’

          • tracey

            Dwellings includes houses and apartments

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.3

      There’s a local group already watching and analysing the implications. they formed when UNITEC, under the Nat government, was looking to sell the land to private developers.

      their report on Twyford’s announcement includes this info:

      The start in about a year on a programme to build 3000-4000 apartments and terraced homes on the 30ha. Most will probably be two or three-bedroomed;

      they do have concerns about the impact on the local area, and will no doubt be keeping a close watch on it.

      The mere mention of potentially 4000 homes – on top of the several hundred likely to rise on the Ngati Whatua land on the western boundary of the block – will certainly raise concerns because 3000 was always seen as the upper limit. In the end, Auckland Council, with its eye on traffic congestion, will have the final say after working through the required Integrated Traffic Assessment (ITA) before consents are granted.

      Up to 4000 homes on 30ha is the sort of density Auckland is moving towards, but the impact on traffic flows will be substantial. The quiet side streets and the cul-de-sacs that will be turned into through roads will never be the same again once the hammers start swinging.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      Ah, you’re one of the idiots who can’t think in 3D.

    • Visubversa 7.5

      8 storey apartments with 42 units in each then its a net area (allowing for parks and roads) of 2,000m2 per site.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    That’s a very large and prominent photo credit, Micky.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      A really nice photo which I saw on twitter. I trimmed it a bit so it lost some of its grandeur. Patrick Reynolds is an intelligent commentator on urban issues as well as a photographer in Auckland and credit was appropriate.

  9. Bill 9

    I don’t know about this idea of “urban intensification the way it is meant to occur”.

    I’d question why it has to occur at all in New Zealand. But then, I’m from Europe and so have experienced nothing but bad shit from “urban intensification” projects. Maybe, some day, someone will regulate to de-intensify business operations?

    On the plus side, if this is a move back towards truly mixed housing and away from ghettoisation, then that’s a good thing.

    And on the pondering side. That Oakly Stream…is this a fairly low lying area of land?

    I know streams tend to have to come from some elevation, and it’s just in my head that I have an image of some slow flowing and therefore low lying body of water 🙂 But the 1 metre of sea level rise projected by his government takes precisely zero account of any contribution from Antarctica. And…NASA research is suggesting that to be 6 – 9m under current CO2 levels and possibly over the space of decades.


    • tracey 9.1

      This is the clear result of poor future planning and reliance on cars for movement.

      If Auckland had been developing good transport homes coukd be built further out and lije London we would be sitting in trains for 2 hours commuting BUT able to work remotely while doing so.

      BM has always responded, when Nats were in power that technology will develop to cure all. Driverless cars flying cars. Although for the former to work everyone cant have one.

    • red-blooded 9.2

      I’d say one reason urban intensification has to occur is because of the climate change issues that are lessened if people have access to good public transport networks, cycle lanes, the option of walking to work or school…etc. That doesn’t tend to happen with the kind of urban sprawl that we’ve allowed up until now.

      • tracey 9.2.1

        We do need to bear in mind Auckland’s sewerage problem too

      • Bill 9.2.2

        So…even where I am (schools and doctors and whatever reasonable local amenities in easy walking distance) …the fact is that the road in and out of the place will be gone (under a 1m scenario) and much of the land ‘down the way’ will be pooling.

        Intensify the hell out of this location, and regardless, it’s going to be isolated in the fairly near future.

        So which option works out better? Small population having to re-discover forgotten levels of self reliance? Or a large one concentrated in the same space?

        And as Tracey brings to mind with her comment below, almost all of the infrastructure providing service (sewerage, reticulated water, electricity….) all that shit’s currently underground, at sea level, and soon enough, underwater and defunct.

        But this is going off topic.

        I’m just curious as to how much AGW is being taken into account when it comes to building stuff (not just housing projects). My strong suspicion is that willful blindness plays a far bigger role in decision making than AGW.

    • Carolyn_Nth 9.3

      Oakley Creek runs closer to the Great North Road than Carrington Road – so to the west of UNITEC grounds.

      There are a couple of ponds in the middle of the UNITEC grounds, so it is probably quite low lying. The Waterview road tunnel goes right by/under the creek.

      There is some attention to protecting the Oakley Creek

      A friends of Oakley Creek group.

      The nearby north western motorway has been raised to counter flooding, and the council has generally been building protections against erosion. But, I think the motorway may not have been raised enough due to the limited nature of projected coastal erosion.

      • Bill 9.3.1

        Thank you.

      • Bill 9.3.2

        From a pdf through the “Friends of Oakley Creek link –

        A large portion of its upper reaches were originally swamp, including the ancient Rakataura Wetland. Much of the stream in this area was channelled in the 1930s to drain the land for farming. However, the lower reaches of the creek (including the Oakley Creek Esplanade Reserve) have remained relatively natural and unmodified

        So the upper reaches were swamp. Why is the government building there again?

        And is the Point England development still going ahead? Because that land is definitely going under.

        I think it bears repeating that 1m sea level rise (unrealistic projection that it is) is 1m above Spring/Autumn high tide marks, while land elevations are taken from the mean sea level.

      • tracey 9.3.3

        It is a beautiful campus and my understanding the proposed development is from where the mason clinic and hospital laundry were toward the motorway.

  10. Ad 10

    Really good.

    But no developer.

    Not sure why Minister rushed this one without deals in place.

    • Pat 10.1

      think thats pretty obvious and am sure you can answer that for yourself

      • Ad 10.1.1

        I would have waited.

        There’s plenty of other good news the government is about to rol l out.

        • Pat

          maybe…but i dont think it will do any harm. They will I expect be some way along in the planning but it could take months to sign a formal agreement with any development group and theres no doubt the attack line s are getting support so this takes a bit of pressure off….especially after a couple of poor weeks

  11. McFlock 11

    Ten Bridges says they didn’t announce a policy before an election because it would look like pork-barelling? Seems legit.

  12. jcuknz 12

    If his government was proposing to build all state houses to meet the needs of our population I would say “good on you Phil”
    But with the talk of private ownership and first home buyers it is simply creating more money for the Banks as they enslave more and more people to a lifetime of hardship.
    Here Labour for all the waffle shows it is very little different from National.

    • red-blooded 12.1

      So did you not hear Twyford yesterday talking about shared equity arrangements for people who can’t afford the full mortgage? He was also making it clear that some of these dwellings will be state houses. This is the same approach taken by previous Labour governments who both built state housing stock and offered what was then called a state advance, for people buying their first home to get access to mortgages. It’s how my parents bought there first home – ditto most of their generation.

      I don’t think the mechanism will be exactly the same, but the basic concept hasn’t changed.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.1.1

        “So did you not hear Twyford yesterday talking about shared equity arrangements for people who can’t afford the full mortgage? ”

        To really change things – Labour could loan state money directly, cut the private banks out entirely and gut their obscene profits.

    • patricia bremner 12.2

      If perfection is a required condition of state, affordable and private building in Auckland, it will never happen.

      If however, co-operation and compromise with local iwi and the owner is happening in an area with infrastructure in place and transport hubs already there, this is as close to a great start as one could get.

      Of course, doing anything brings out the cassandras.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3


  13. indiana 13

    Mascot is a suburb in Sydney, similar in distance from the CBD that the Unitech is from Auckland CBD. In the last 3 years over 7000 2 bedroom units have been built in huge apartment blocks.


    Affordable housing? I think not. But very few remain unsold – they are all mostly rentals at on average $800 per week.

    • red-blooded 13.1

      Well, some of these will also be rentals – state houses. Of course, over time ownership may change, but these homes are only being made available to first home buyers and the plan is to specify a minimum number of years before they can be resold, as part of the purchase agreement. And I guess, long-term, if some of them become rental properties then that’s still a bit of extra housing in Auckland.

      And let’s remember that there’ll be more projects in the pipeline.

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        More projects in the pipeline – We need 30 of these to be in place now just to meet current demand of 10k and that is not taking into account the 30-40k shortfall we require to meet the backlog we are currently in..
        And it is a pity that our govt has tempered on its election commitment to reduce immigration, as we continue to have net immigration of 70k , even at 3/household that is 23k more dwellings just to cater for the current year !!!
        We have IMO a slightly better government that what they replaced 🙁

        • red-blooded

          Well, you’re entitled to your opinion. However, it’s impossible for “30 of these to be in place right now” – development projects take planning, finance, infrastructure and labour. They take time – that’s an inescapable truth. Things will pick up pace once the supply chain of prefabricated materials is established and the workforce has been expanded through a combination of training and (yes, unavoidably) immigration. Nobody has a magic wand, though.

          • savenz

            Ok so the solution to the housing problem is to bring in more people that need accomodation to build the houses….

            Couldn’t be more logical if a right winger had proposed it…

            And will they new houses be affordable for those on the average affordable wage???

            Or are we really building them for the rich and better off using public land and money that the private sector and wealthier individuals will profit from?

            And will the amount of infrastructure and wealth transfer needed for this master mind plan be paid by the Auckland ratepayers and NZ taxpayers…

            Personally would prefer the houses retained by the Auckland council and rented out at cheaper rates. You know like in the old days before John Banks sold off all the social housing.

            At least our public money is being invested as well as available to help poorer people by being rentals in decent areas.

            They could ear mark them for ‘essential service’ people (teachers, police etc) and then have categories like families, elderly and disabled etc. Try to create a mixed rental community.

            • McFlock

              I think that’s a bit unfair.

              The new homes will mean more ratepayers to fund the infrastructure. If I recall the election campaign correctly, kiwibuild was supposed to be self-funding by offsetting costs of social housing with profits from the pricier houses.

              Basically, I’d expect the build plan to be on a bell curve – a long tail of planning and project announcements, then maybe no additional buildings until late this year, culminating around the second term to 20k or 30k new homes a year. That’s where we’ll need the migrant labour if not enough apprentices are trained up by then. But the bulk of the work would be done by NZers.

              • tracey

                Should have more tradies freed up from Christchurch which English and others talk about as almost done now

              • Herodotus

                From my reading of your comment re “That’s where we’ll need the migrant labour if not enough apprentices are trained up by then” you are just parroting Nationals excuse to temper wage growth and we already have this.
                Strong demand and limited workforce = increase in pay. Within the current market I am aware that supervisors, heavy machine operators are achieving pay increases of 10%. Demand vs Supply, and I find it alarming when we are told to temper this just import people. There are plenty of short term immigrates already within the industry.
                And https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/101659486/immigration-figures-show-tradies-visas-outnumber-professionals-for-the-first-time
                and “Campbell said construction company Fu Wah wanting to bring up to 200 tradespeople from China to Auckland to build a hotel, had become the method for hunting talent for many construction companies to get skilled labour fast.” do we want this situation to prevail – Not alot of benefit to the NZ worker.

                • tracey

                  Yes the parodox of trumpetting market forces but when it comes to labour breaking market forces to import labour. Had this not happened maybe with higher wages more peoole woukd have chosen trade education.

                  Anecdote. A friends neighbour runs a trade hire business. Last week 10 adult male fijians moved into his 3 bedroom house. They told her they have jobs on a construction site.

                  • savenz

                    Same with fruit picking. If you turn up for fruit picking you will be turned away because they use migrant labour now and say they can’t get people. Coincidentally someone in the industry was saying that the picking rate has not gone gone up for 20 years!

                    Meanwhile those that could be fruit picking and actually working and getting a start on the job ladder, on the dole or in jail or somewhere in between!

                • McFlock

                  That depends on whether we’re talking unskilled labour or skilled workers like certified electricians, builders, plumbers/gasfitters, and so on.

                  I totally agree the unskilled/less skilled labouring jobs would be filled locally if they paid a decent wage and had decent conditions.

                  There are currently 5000-odd licensed site managers in NZ. Going from 3000 residential consents to 30,000 in five years would, I submit, involve us needing a significantly larger number of site managers to keep up with demand. Many can be trained in the meantime, but what proportion of site managers will have less than 2 or 3 years of experience? Is that safe? at what stage does another CTV become a real risk?

                  Or we can import some experienced sit managers to lower that risk.

                  • tracey

                    I am wondering what the imported site managers know about our health and safety and employment laws? If from China or non commonwealth countries of Asia then they have no comparable legislation in their countries.

                    Mcflock the argument is circular. We dont have higher skilled cos not enough went into trades in the last decade many of which might now be regarded as highly skilled. They may not have gone into it cos wages are low and employers have preferred the easier option of importing rather than doing their paet in a young tradies training… so while we fill the short term we exacerbate the long term because wages stay low.

                    • McFlock

                      As for the quality of imported site managers, that’s up to the licensing authorities. There is a class of application for LBPs with current Australian certification, but even without that I don’t think it’s as difficult as getting an australasian heart surgeon certification based on an unrecognised qualification.

                      The situation is circular, the argument is not. Pay labourers a living wage. Many will upskill later. But if KB waits for training to ramp up for enough certified professionals to build the 100k homes, I doubt it’ll meet the target and I also suspect an awful lot of rookie mistakes will be made on those homes that are built. So we have leaky homes built late. Sonds more like a nat project, to me.

                    • tracey

                      I agree that kiwibuild cant wait. My argument is broader about the self interest in political survival that perpetuates these problems and the deliberate interference by Nats in immigration with the soul purpose of keeping wages down and profits up. There is no other explanation from their otherwise unrepetant mantra about letting the market do its thing.

                    • McFlock

                      what’s “bats”? got the rest of it.

                  • savenz

                    It’s pretty much a rout. They are rounding up unskilled Chinese from the country, giving them a quick course and bringing them into NZ to manage ‘shortages’.

                    No wonder we all have such shoddy remedial building work.

                    There are plenty of tradies up north going to waste – yep they look a bit rough and might have to have help getting accomodation (like the migrant labour) but they can do the job.

                    Instead they are farmed out by trade staff at $18p/h which is below the living wage and they give up because the cost of getting to Auckland, time and so forth at the wages they are given and casual work is not worth it.

                    If it was about labour skills you would expect people to import real skills and pay accordingly. They are not, it’s all bogus. Locals are on $20 p/h through trade staff, even the illegal Malaysians were on up to $40 p/h.

                    Site managers should be on $100k plus. There needs to be high fees like 20% fee of their wages, to bring overseas workers in for work and IRD breathing down their necks looking out for scams.

                    • McFlock

                      Can I just point out that I’m not asking people to choose between kiwibuild and paying decent wages? Both need to happen.

                      What I’m talking about is that when KB is looking to build tens of thousands a year when it’s ramped up, the number of licensed tradies we currently have isn’t going to cut it and we probably won’t have been able to train enough locals to do the job by then. No matter how much we pay.

                      So if that happens, and I think it is a very real likelihood, what’s a contingency plan people can come up with?

                    • savenz

                      Not sure if you realise this, but building and trades are not rocket science. They could start training now. Returned service men with zero building experience built many of the state houses. It’s a myth about the difficulty of ‘building’.

                      You can learn to tile in an afternoon.

                      Plumbing is pretty easy.

                      Unitec builds house with the students every year.

                      Building is not hard. The hard part is the architecture and running the project. But the labour is available if NZ is willing to train it.

                    • savenz

                      If you have ever watched ‘The block’ they are kids with zero experience and with help they do a pretty good job.

                      Likewise homes for humanity use unskilled labour.

                    • McFlock

                      Labour, yes.
                      All overseen by people with quals.

                      Never watched the Block. Do they wire the mains boards themselves, unsupervised and uninspected? What about gas?

                      Even a low scaff needs working from heights these days. Rightly so, but still not the “she’ll be right” attitudes of yesteryear.

                    • joe90

                      . It’s a myth about the difficulty of ‘building’.

                      You can learn to tile in an afternoon.

                      Plumbing is pretty easy.

                      Unitec builds house with the students every year.

                      Building is not hard.

                      That’s a pretty fucking big claim.

                      Your qualifications and experience to make it are…..?

                    • savenz

                      you can wire up a house yourself legally, you just need to get it signed off…

                      Nicky Hager built his own house, as did MANY people only a few decades ago.

                      Funny enough, years ago shock! people did not do 3 year courses for trade work. They trained on the job and were paid for it.

                      I know that is very hard to believe because it’s against the capitalist system that everyone is a helpless consumer who has to pay mega dollars to get anything done and against the paid education system.

                      But keep believing the myth that building a house is impossible, takes a long time and is incredibly difficult, if you want because it is soooooo hard we have to import in labour like the Natz taught you.

                    • joe90

                      Your experience and qualifications to make these claims…?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes you need to get it “signed off” and connected to the mains. By people who are qualified.

                      But that’s your own home. Now imagine a whole bunch of unskilled workers wiring an apartment block after a “red wire goes here” briefing. That can’t go wrong, lol.

                      Probably be quicker to get an electrician to do it right first time, than inspect it then clean it up.

                    • savenz


                      “But that’s your own home. Now imagine a whole bunch of unskilled workers wiring an apartment block’

                      Yep we already have that, plus they don’t speak English.

                      I’m wanting improvement in the sector, like training local people to do the job on the job like they used to in the old days before building shortages.

                      An example is that they used to take people at the old electricity board and train them to be linesmen on the job and paid them!

                      And lines is high risk. Pulling some wires through is apprentice stuff. They don’t need to go to China to get someone to do that.

                      And I’d prefer my electricity signed off by a person that can read the form they sign.

                    • McFlock

                      So you want local unskilled people to do it but you also want training to be done on the job.

                      Who trains and supervises the unskilled workers – other unskilled workers?

                    • joe90

                      And lines is high risk. Pulling some wires through is apprentice stuff.

                      I have a distribution lines certification and a limited electrical registration that allows me to connect motors/appliances, etc to fixed wiring, and to change hot water elements/thermostats but that’s it, because fucking with fixed wiring is above my pay grade.

                      Again, your qualifications and experience to make these claims…?

                  • tracey

                    Bats are Nats

                    • McFlock

                      lols strangely appropriate.

                      Anyway, to put it bluntly, just because we import unskilled labour to depress wages, that doesn’t mean that a rapid change in an industry will see enough skilled people in NZ hanging around to pick up the extra work if we paid them more.

                    • tracey

                      I agree

                • red-blooded

                  From my reading of your comment re “That’s where we’ll need the migrant labour if not enough apprentices are trained up by then” you are just parroting Nationals excuse to temper wage growth

                  If that’s aimed at me, kindly point out where you see me arguing against decent wages or wage increases for builders and tradies? The simple fact is that we need more people in these jobs. Yes, wage improvements are part of the package, and so is increased funding to train people. Some immigration is bound to be part of the mix, though. Have a look at ChCh – there are a heck of a lot of people working there who came here because of the jobs being offered in the rebuild. (And no, Tracey, I don’t think we can say that the rebuild isn’t nearly finished – I wish we could. While most houses have now been repaired, freeing up some workers, the inner city is still as level as a lake and the roads, sewerage system etc will take decades to fully fix.)

              • savenz

                I really think the way it’s going in Auckland a much better use would be to keep them as rentals for people who actually are poorer!

                And I’ve been an Auckland ratepayer for many years, have yet to see the new houses offsetting the infrastructure costs of the new houses. It’s a myth. They clearly can’t add up, because they keep projecting how much more money every year they need to run the council while saying how good growth is!

                So the rates go up every year while they cut services like expecting the locals to mow their own berms as a famous example while funding billionaire yacht races.

                • tracey

                  I was a kid in Auckland in the 70s and remember the discussions of adults about light rail.

                  Transport is always on tge Auckland agenda, but for later

                • Brigid

                  And you’re correct . It’s a myth about the difficulty of ‘building’.

                  It’s how we built our house in 1989 with a housing corp loan. After having drawn the plans and submitted them to the council. We did employ an electrician, plumber and drainlayer but I wont next time. It isn’t rocket science.

                • savenz

                  Apparently idiot Micheal Barnett was rabbiting on today about how much more money is needed by Auckland council and they should do a PPP to get it… hmmm who gets money the cheapest, government?

                  So what is the advantage of a PPP – it puts a whole lot of extra money and overhead and time into the project – but luckily keeps the fats cats of industry and banking happy – and great for the politicians to get that private sector job after wards. In short takes from the public and gives to rich individuals and corporations.

                  London has totally abandoned PPPs for their transport because surprise surprise they costed a whole lot more.

          • Herodotus

            There are only 2 prefab places in Auckland, and most developments will not allow within the covenants such structures to be built.
            But if this development is multi level appartments prefab is not a solution as the walls will be block, tilt slab etc, and these will take 2+ years to construct, that is post earthworks and whatever is required such as offline Stormwater detention ponds are required.
            We have been in a deficit construction position in Auckland for 15 years – How long will it take before things start to ramp up ? Many construction areas: earthworks, civil works, concrete etc are currently at capacity.

            • red-blooded

              So, in your last comment you criticised this announcement because because we need at least 30 of these developments right now. Then, in this comment, you say that many construction areas (earthworks etc) are already at capacity. Probably both comments are pretty much true, but surely that’s part of understanding that while there’s a pressing need, things can only progress at a certain pace, no matter how great the pressure?

              At least things ARE progressing, and with the needs of those who need state housing and affordable housing driving the development.

              As for the issue of prefabricated apartments, a quick Google search shows that such things do exist elsewhere. This morning on RNZ Twyford talked about factories needing time to tool up for this and other prefab projects – perhaps this is one of the reasons why? I won’t claim building expertise – maybe only the semis are going to be prefabricated, but that’s not how it sounded this morning.

              • Herodotus

                No my point re 30 of these developments are needed, was that whilst a help, it does little to assist into contributing as being a solution.
                Perfab – yes they could but it is a risk for the companies as nothing has been guaranteed. And the design is it tilt slab design so no need. Wood framed which suggests stand alone or 1-2 level, but that then would not allow for the densities to be achieved to enable 3-4k houses.
                For a factory to tool up- you would expect contracts to be in place, design and timing of construction to be know. Like many political announcements they are short on detail, and allow “both” sides to talk it up or undermine with lack of detail.

    • tracey 13.2


    • tracey 13.3

      I wonder why Collins and Bridges are claiming it as their success for affordable housing then.

  14. savenz 14

    Reposting this important link… don’t think the houses are gonna be enough after a decade of Natz policy…

    (if you are in a hurry – start at 8 mins for the council bit).

    Auckland is running at 2.8% growth officially, but get a feeling there’s a lot more people here with tourism and people escaping the reporting net.

    • tracey 14.1

      Again I urge people to watch this. I am useless with numbers as alwyn and others can attest but I get this.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1

        Pity it’s nonsense then. The projections he makes are fundamentally flawed.

        There’s so much crap written about population growth.

        • tracey

          Why? He is talking about exponential growth according to a mathematical formula? Surely all he is saying is IF the growth continues at that rate then it means X in real numbers?

          I would think if the growth rate was different in any year he would recalculate the exponential growth?

          Are you saying the mathematical equation is flawed?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            One major flaw is that, as Rosling makes clear, it isn’t exponential growth: it’s linear, and the growth is temporary.

            • savenz

              The growth is applicable to the factor of growth. The premise is completely sound! It might not always been the same growth but it’s been big increases.

              Auckland and NZ has had massive population growth in particular over the last 10 years. But the sad thing, is that nobody seemed to have bothered planning for the consequences.

              You can’t just turn off the tap because now all those people are having kids at that huge exponential rate so it continues even if we try to stop immigration now. Which nobody is doing anyway cos they clearly don’t get the maths. in fact the argument seems to be that we need to bring more people in to build the houses…it’s bat crazy.

              So we have traffic jams, beaches constantly shut because of pollution, insecure and poorly paid work, inequality, people living in hotels as emergency accomodation…. but wait it’s only going to get worse as the new ‘young’ people keep having children as the neoliberals wanted…

              I don’t blame the people who are new to NZ, it’s the government’s fault through and through.

              We have had zero new hospitals built… inspite of NZ record population growth. Chch was only a rebuild.

              So it’s nobodies imagination that things are getting worse…

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                having kids at that huge exponential rate

                Wrong. The NZ birthrate is below replacement value.

                In 2016, the average was 1.87.

                • savenz

                  Oh is that why there is such a midwife and teacher shortage. Clearly government figures have a lot to be desired… lets face it, they are out 25% on their own poverty figures…

                  Look around Auckland it is swarming with babies. We are in an explosion, they have been too incompetent, to measure it accurately.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Citation needed

                    While our population increased from 59,427 to 59,610 year-on-year, the number of babies born in Auckland over 2017 dropped to by more than 400 to 21,393.

                    This was reflective of a gradual decrease in the number of births recorded in the region.

                    Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence: do you have any?

  15. CHCOff 15

    Tis very good, but is a band-aid for a big structural problem to the economy all the same.

    I would think work best if kept to cheap flat constructions, rather than homes, and the savings on that money put towards correcting the economic un-balancing factors, which the regional investment is targeting in part. But even approaches like that, need to be done in tandem with less linearly direct social development, which is the ground that grows and spreads the financial investment. That also needs to be done, targeting what will give the most bang for the buck. That is the more complete holistic approach to succeed which govts. everywhere find very hard with current cultures or norms.

    The property market is far too over run with speculative industry for integration of state build to NZ’s open market to be of much traction in the issues of fundamental home ownership for a property owning democratic population. So my thought would be in keeping it separate and it’s own thing.

    Also additional kick start to kiwi build, what about taking the state houses back that N. Smith & B. English got the loan from treasury from, to buy up and put into their own private property portfolio company, at back dated cost due to lost value to the New Zealand public??

  16. mary_a 16

    This home build will emerge to be a proven positive, both for Labour and getting Kiwis established into their own affordable homes, which is the important factor here.

    Claiming it was a Natz idea and plan in the first place, despite not running with it during nine years of government, then condemning the concept as a failure, likely to be a slum in 10 years, pathetic Collins and Bridges are clearly demonstrating the confused, petulant, lying Natz mindset. Vindictive morons of the first degree!

    • tracey 16.1

      I am less optimistic than you but then I did not vote Labour

    • savenz 16.2

      It’s a nice fantasy Mary_a but I for one don’t agree with Labour about market forces.

      All we heard about in the election was how Labour was helping renters, they then have an opportunity to help renters but don’t take it. They have the ability to help renters and make sure there is set accomodation available for needy people LONG TERM and secure in Auckland. Nope apparently the evil landlords are going to be doing that with ‘market forces’. If even the government does not want to be a landlord it’s a bit rich expecting others to do it for them.

      Are they helping those who are renting. Nope selling them off to professionals… bit like selling off the state houses but actually building them and then selling them off…

      Nothing stopping that teacher getting fed up and selling the house on in a few years, whereas if it was a rental kept for essential services like teachers and police, then it could be retained for that purpose.

      And of course there are all the people homeless in hotels, don’t seem them getting the money to buy one of these houses and if they do, not exactly the most vulnerable. Where are they going? What’s the plan?

  17. Stuart Munro 17

    Well I hope this is the first of many. For a long while now Singapore has been a major contributor to its own housing market. Because it enjoys certain privileges as the state, some costs never arise, and the whole enterprise is profitable. It was apparently a localization of NZ’s original state housing program – not everyone threw the baby out with the neo-liberal bathwater.

    • indiana 17.1

      There is a significant difference between the mentality of the people of Singapore and New Zealand. Singaporeans understand that there is no such thing as a back yard, young families are raised in shoe box apartments. Are Kiwi’s ready for this?

      In Singapore, as I understand it, that state will give you a low interest loan to buy a new apartment, in a new development not near the CBD. Within a year you can sell that apartment to upgrade, but the catch is you must pay back the loan in full and get a commercial loan from a bank.

      • savenz 17.1.1

        yes I seem to remember that is what happened in NZ 40 years ago – state gave cheap loans. Can’t see the banks liking that in NZ! Wash your mouth out Indiana!

        • wayne

          Commercials loans at 5% are as cheap now as they have ever been.

          I presume you are alluding to the State Advances loans of 3% for very low income families. It is not a bad idea. I had one when I was young and obviously on a very low income. I could not have afforded a house without it.

          I argued in the last election that National should have as a policy a government guarantee to cap loans for lower income earner for first homes at 4% or perhaps 5% for 5 years. A lot of first home buyers live in fear of an interest rate hike.

          Pity it wasn’t adopted. Might have meant National would have got 45 or more percent. Enough to stay in power.

          • patricia bremner

            Yes Wayne, but the ideology is towards developers and McMansions.

          • savenz

            Also hard to get a loan, if you are on a low wages with insecure work, which is where a lot of people sit, these days.

            Oh and then find an affordable house.

            Quite a few things to overcome, before you get to the cheaper loan.

            The reality is that if you live overseas you can get loans that way under cut what Kiwis can get so they are already hugely disadvantages.

            Japan has had interest rates below 0 – you need to actually pay to put the money in the bank!

            Kiwis are being ripped off by banks! And immigration and overseas money coming in, keeps our interest rates, higher.

            It’s a double whammy of extra advantages for those overseas vs local buyers.

      • tracey 17.1.2

        John Key said young kiwis had to accept apartments as their future. And then excluded apartments as first home from some of the kiwistart handout

  18. Sparky 18

    So basically its a spin on state housing,,,,,,nothing new there. It always worked it still does….how it will work if the CP-TPP passes and it hurts big developers bottom line is something I’d be keen to find out more about…..

  19. Rozgonz 19

    Let’s do the math shall we?
    29 hectares = 290000 square meters. Lets divide 290000 square meters by say 3500 homes (i.e. half way between 3000 & 4000).
    That gives us an average section size of 82.85 square meters folks, yes 82.85 square meters, and guess what, I haven’t even allowed for roads, ROW’s, footpaths and parks.
    What we’ve got here good left leaning folk is a ghetto in the making.
    But hey, never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh…

    • tracey 19.1

      Have a look at Unitec today. It is a park. It has walkways cycleways, roads and footpaths and a creek.

    • Ad 19.2

      You ever seen an apartment block in your life?

      Ever been on an escalator?

      You might enjoy that special sensation of travelling up and down in a lift.

      Pull that straw out of your mouth, have a shower, and come in to town.

      • Rozgonz 19.2.1

        Lol, you’d need to remove your bright red eye patch before I did any of that.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.3

      an average section size of 82.85 square meters

      If you'd been paying attention, you'd know that many of these homes will be apartments. Guess what, you haven't allowed for your ignorance of the proposal.

    • patricia bremner 19.4

      Who said the places would be single storey or separate. Are letting your ideas get in the way of facts?
      So groups of six two storey town houses and one or two high rises would not have the land footprint you are promoting.
      Of course if you want people to imagine the worst…. well done LOL.
      I see higher density builds in Australia being highly sought after.

  20. savenz 20

    One thing at least, Labour are tying to do something about the shortage, I don’t agree with everything, but they are a damn sight better than the Natz on this issue!

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