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Nats must hate Auckland’s building consents boom

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, July 15th, 2019 - 59 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Economy, Gerry Brownlee, housing, len brown, local government, nick smith, phil goff, phil twyford, Politics, Simon Bridges, Social issues - Tags: ,

When you look at the steady rise in building consents in Auckland, it just highlights exactly how incompetent National were and would still be as managers of the economy. From Greater Auckland’s Matt L in “Auckland Building Activity soars” you can see the build up in consents (click on the image for a larger view).

Now of course gaining consents aren’t buildings actually getting built. A lot depends on the finance, take up of the housing prior to and during building, and these days just the cost and availability of materials and people. But getting a consent isn’t a easy or cheap procedure and it damn well shouldn’t be1. But because of the lead times, you need to have consents going in well before the builds. And that looks like it is finally happening.

Moreover the types of housing is getting better suited to modern Auckland. Probably because there is less uncertainty for developers about what the city wants to build. 

What’s also notable is that much of the increase has come about since the Unitary Plan was passed in August 2016 and that more than half of all new consents are for denser housing typologies such as townhouses and apartments. The townhouse category is seeing perhaps the most significant difference compared to what we’ve seen before with nearly 3,600 consents issued over the 12-months period which is more than 50% higher than any time prior to the Unitary Plan being adopted.

The housing sizes are coming down. Fewer MacMansions built out at the end of the creaking transport infrastructure and more apartments and townhouses mostly around the available public transport corridors. This is pretty clear when you look at the snapshot that Matt did of where consents were issued for April.

auckland home consents for april 2019

So where does National fit into this? Well after a rule of law, clean water and sanitation – housing and transport are the economic marks of a productive society. They clearly failed at the those last two (and weren’t particularly good on  the others).

National’s policy settings essentially were to pile people into Auckland over the past decade at an ever increasing rate… Far in excess of creating the transport infrastructure and housing required to maintain that rate of migration. 

The year ending June 2017 being pretty typical of the last decade. Auckland grew by 1.79% from immigration and 0.86% from natural increase. Sustaining population  growth of 2.5% increase on a dense population areas containing 1.5 million is whole different ball game to doing it for somewhere like Northland with its population of a tenth of the size and similar growth. There is less room for error.

National just before launching their immigration drive into Auckland, at the urging of the economic idiots from Act, kneecapped the councils in 2010 by ignoring the royal commission advice and forcing the formation of the Super City.

A significiant effect of this, on top of a global financial crisis, was to  increase developer uncertainty and to effectively stall most housing development in Auckland. Which is a significant cause of the low number of housing consents after 2009.  

So National effectively took the profit generated from increased windfall immigration to Auckland and put it into providing Roads of Significance to National (RoNS) in the areas with lower population and slower growth. It meant that Auckland didn’t get the kinds of fast fixes that would have eased roading glitches. For instance the horrible SH1 Greenlane stop spot, where every day the city grinds to a stop on. Or the incredibly protracted fixes on widening the southern motorway from 2015 and still going. 

Auckland’s transport infrastructure grew significiantly slower that it should have. In fact the only reason that I can see for any new transport spending in Auckland over the last decade was primarily because Auckland politicians spent a lot of time butt kicking National’s politicians.

Those annoying Auckland politicians managed to force National recalcitrant economic idiots like Simon Bridges in his transport roles into finishing the double tracking and electrification of rail and getting the City Rail Link underway to be able to use the rail effectively. And essentially forced the existing projects left over from Labour to be done – like the Waterview tunnel.

Meanwhile housing was being produced at best at about a third of the required rate for the population growth, prices were rising rapidly, and National were saying that the Labour politicians like Phil Twyford were being alarmist.

Now of course, we have Simon Bridges and other morons from National claiming that Phil Twyford and Labour aren’t cleaning up National’s wasted decade fast enough….

Looking at those consents, it is pretty hard to see how it could be done much faster with any due diligence 1.

 


  1. The council is and should be directly responsible for the quality of the housing and infrastructure going in and therefore needs to take full diligence to ensure that ratepayers aren’t paying for profit seeking by developers and investors. Fixing my leaky apartment block fell to the council because they were responsible, and the developers had long since moved on.
 

59 comments on “Nats must hate Auckland’s building consents boom ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    If you are in Auckland – the best example of what was built under the Nats can be found at Golden Morning Drive in Albany. A whole subdivision of 5 or 6 bedroom, 7 bathroom "South Fork on the Yangtse" type McMansions. Built by Asian business migrants, for Asian business migrants. Silver Moon Drive is much the same.

    • Shadrach 1.1

      The 'Nats' didn't build those houses. The market did. But do tell us, how many are empty? I wonder how many KiwiBuild homes are still empty?

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/383723/wanaka-kiwibuild-homes-facing-tough-competition-to-be-sold

      • gsays 1.1.1

        "The 'Nats' didn't build those houses. The market did."

        What do you mean by The market did?

        We are talking about house's, dwellings and apartments- real, tangible objects. The market is a fiction, in this case an ideological fiction. Can you use other words to explain what you mean?

        • Shadrach 1.1.1.1

          'The market' is the private businesses who purchase and supply goods and services. In this case, those real, tangible objects were built by real builders, plumbers, electricians etc etc working in the private sector. Governments don't build houses. They just get in the way.

  2. michelle 2

    that example Visubversa shows an abuse of power by the national party they built for their chinese masters national were feathering there own nests at the expense of many poor homeless NZers and they will always do this

  3. Shadrach 3

    1. The graph shows that building consents decreased steadily from march 2004 through March 2009 (almost all under a Labour government), and have increased steadily ever since. Your comment "When you look at the steady rise in building consents in Auckland, it just highlights exactly how incompetent National were and would still be as managers of the economy" is not supported by your own data.

    2. The momentum in the market in Auckland at the moment is simply a continuation of the previous 9 years. The one decision this Government has made that has helped is to cancel the CGT. The PM's call to then rule out a CGT under her premiership has saved a number of projects I am personally aware of. And BTW so is she.

    3. "Moreover the types of housing is getting better suited to modern Auckland." Really? Are you seriously suggesting that the type of housing being built has switched from McMansions to smaller scale dwellings because of anything this government has done? It is the market that builds houses, and it builds them to demand. If they get it wrong, the market pays. When they get it right, they profit. In the suburb I live in in Auckland there have been many housing developments over the past 10 years; all have sold, whether small or large. In the time KiwiBuild has build under 200 homes, the private sector has built thousands. The government should get out of house building other than for state housing provision.

    4. "neecapped the councils in 2010 by ignoring the royal commission advice and forcing the formation of the Super City." Partly true. But the super city was also kneecapped by two successive dead set useless mayors, who instead of realising even the faintest of benefits of scale have simply built and extended their fiefdom. The sooner we see the back of the lasts version, the better.

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      Yeah the graph seems to follow the trend of most economic growth graphs across the world.

      Strong demand in the mid 2000s. A slump due something called the Global Financial Crisis. And reasonable steady and consistent growth since about 2011.

      • Shadrach 3.1.1

        Not quite. The slump began in March 2004, well before the GFC, and under the watch of a Labour government.

        And then there's this:

        "Moreover the types of housing is getting better suited to modern Auckland." followed by this quote from Matt:

        "…more than half of all new consents are for denser housing typologies such as townhouses and apartments."

        Now go back to the graph. That trend actually began around March 2014. Under a national Government.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          Leaky buildings kicked in big time in Auckland in 2004-2006 and took over the high court from much of a decade after that. Still going on.

          The smaller housing trend pretty much followed the Auckland City council starting to put out drafts of the Unitary plan. It is incredibly hard to see how having Smith waddling and waffling in paddocks has anything to do with the real world.

          • Shadrach 3.1.1.1.1

            What evidence do you have as to the impact of the leaky building crisis on building consents in the March 2004 through 2009 period? Bearing in mind that the Clark government made changes to the BIA and the building code from late 2003.

            • SHG 3.1.1.1.1.1

              FOUR LEGS GOOD! TWO LEGS BAD!

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.1.2

              It isn’t hard to find – but I’m sure you can shift your lazy arse to look if you feel like it.

              Just look at the press statements by the failing development companies at the time, the bankruptcy stats show a string spike in that sector, and their presence in the courts defending against litigants. You have to remember that I had a strong personal interest as we kept doing engineering inspections here as a result of ongoing leaky building claims. A little later I spent some time around the high court for our leaky building case and my nieces protesting appeal.

              I note that you didn’t look at the changes in the BIA in the 90s that led them to do such stupid things as encouraging use of monolithic coatings and untreated timers in non-cavity structural walls.

              The changes to the building code and the BIA in 2003 were in a direct response to the increasing numbers of discovered leaky building to increase the robustness of the building code and to kill the stupid private building inspector system.

              Sure those changes increased the rate of developers going belly up. For instance it required the reintroduction of a cavity wall system for monolithic coatings, which caused substantial extra costs in recladdings after the wall structures rotted out behind the cladding. That ate into capital.

              But a government in 2008, 5 years later, would have known all of that. You’re trying to say that explains a National government planning to increase immigration (clearly signalled in the policies) and not doing anything to try to increase an already limited housing supply in Auckland? After all they came in complaining about the rising house prices there during the 2008 election campaign. Prices didn’t come down, all that happened was that rents rose and the number of homeless increased.

              So do you think that was a wise thing for a government to do? Ignore the downstream effects of their own policies?

              Because that is exactly what your covering for National reads like.

              • Shadrach

                "It isn’t hard to find – "

                And yet all you have is conjecture. Nothing you have written is evidence of the impact of the leaky building crisis on building consents.

                "You have to remember that I had a strong personal interest as we kept doing engineering inspections here as a result of ongoing leaky building claims."

                Bully for you. I'm close to the leaky building saga as well. I can just as easily take up your tactic and claim that consents were being granted in the period of decline to start fixing the leaky buildings, which actually inflated the consent numbers. Or I could claim that consents are still being granted, which are inflating the current numbers. Either way if I don't have evidence I would just be repeating your laziness.

                Your last comment just reveals your partisanship, and possibly why your approach to this entire discussion is so flaky. I’m not defending national. Hell we’ve probably got some ground for agreement on that score. But what I am doing is pointing out that you’ve made claims that are contradicted by your own sources.

          • woodart 3.1.1.1.2

            leaky homes, bought to you by the act party's deregulation fetish, aided and abetted by the nats cosying up to corporate building suppliers selling untested building products. dont ever forget prebble on parliament steps burning building regs, claiming the free market knew best. economic vandalism of the highest order.

    • Infused 3.2

      On point all began under national. Theres a big article on this aomewhere

      • Shadrach 3.2.1

        I'll shorten that 'big article' for you.

        "Probably because there is less uncertainty for developers about what the city wants to build.

        What’s also notable is that much of the increase has come about since the Unitary Plan was passed in August 2016 and that more than half of all new consents are for denser housing typologies such as townhouses and apartments."

        The government in 2016 was National.

        The posts headline should be re-written.

        • AklTransport 3.2.1.1

          It won’t change. There will be some leet pseudo factual argument as to why you’re wrong and it’s all nationals fault shortly. Problem is that it’s all governments fault, this one includes

          • Shadrach 3.2.1.1.1

            I agree. Which is why Governments should get out of the way when it comes to providing private housing.

          • lprent 3.2.1.1.2

            leet pseudo factual argument as to why you’re wrong

            Yeah – mostly to do with the Auckland City council doing the work. I guess you haven't read the post?

            • Shadrach 3.2.1.1.2.1

              The post started with a headline that was contradicted by the contents.

              You misrepresented/misunderstood the points Matt was making, and then to top it all off you wrote "National just before launching their immigration drive into Auckland…”, conveniently forgetting the part that returning NZ’ers played in that picture.

              I’m tempted to ponder whether your post was a new ‘spot the obvious mistakes’ feature.

              • lprent

                Now you’re just trying to obstrufacate (another word for dumb lying). Read the post rather than your navel and quit trying to squirm away from my conclusions.

                I made two several points that Matt didn’t look at and then examined how that impacted on what he was looking at – housing.

                Immigration was at an all time high over the last decade because that was the policy setting that the National government set. Most of the absolute numbers went to Auckland, so did the highest percentages. Auckland doesn’t control those immigration policy settings – central government does. I could point to the nett immigration numbers numbers, traditionally about 20k per annum, or about a high of 40k in the 90s or 50k in 2003 – which triggered the housing spike in the mid-00s. But we hit that by after sustained growth by 2014 and there was absolutely no action by the incompetent central government.

                The year ending June 2017 being pretty typical of the last decade. Auckland grew by 1.79% from immigration and 0.86% from natural increase. Sustaining population growth of 2.5% increase on a dense population areas containing 1.5 million is whole different ball game to doing it for somewhere like Northland with its population of a tenth of the size and similar growth. There is less room for error.

                A 2.5% growth is well over 10% every 4 years. Where was the housing growth? Any sensible central government reacts to changes in population growth. This one just threw up the hands, allowed a shortage of housing and infrastructure to grow and said that immigration, house shortages and housing prices had nothing to do with them.

                They ignored that the rate of immigration of non-passport holders was clearly in their hands and that was by far the majority of nett migration. You can see it in the stats for applications for residence and citizenship.

                What would you call that? Wise?

                The National government didn’t effectively help with dealing with the transport and housing issues that their policies caused. They seem to have gone out of their way to obstruct them as I detailed. They spent infrastructure money largely outside of Auckland mostly on roads of significance to National. They did nothing worth while on housing. Mostly they just continued, reluctantly, the projects that were started by the previous Labour government. And the few infrastructure projects that were started in the main immigration landing point of Auckland were almost entirely pushed by the local council.

                The expense of just putting in infrastructure to cope with growth is why the council is bumping on their debt ceiling. A ceiling that was arbitrarily imposed on them by the do-nothing dimwits in the National party.

                • New view

                  Why have the post at all. What purpose does it serve. National aren’t in Government and part of the reason was their housing policy. There’s nothing new here, just muck raking for the sake of it. The building consents are a good sign but using them for some justification for the post is milking the good news a bit in my opinion.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Looking at the past National Government's housing policy is muck-raking?

                    Fair call.

                    • Incognito

                      Indeed, National are now in Opposition and can’t defend themselves. When they were in Government, they couldn’t either because their actions were indefensible, at the end of the day.

                    • New view

                      Smug and witty in your own mind. In my opinion. Did you laugh at yourself while you were writing it. ?

                    • "Witty" always looks smug to those on the receiving end.

                • Shadrach

                  Your headline reads "Nats must hate Auckland’s building consents boom"

                  Your first paragraph starts with this: "When you look at the steady rise in building consents in Auckland, it just highlights exactly how incompetent National were and would still be as managers of the economy."

                  You then quote extensively from Matt's article.

                  His article includes a graph (which you have posted) that demonstrates a dramatic decline in consents under the Clark Labour Government, and then a dramatic rise on the election of the Key National Government.

                  You also quote directly from his article "What’s also notable is that much of the increase has come about since the Unitary Plan was passed in August 2016." The Unitary Plan was passed under a National Government.

                  Matt's material directly contradicts your assertions. This isn't about how bad National or Labour were. It's about holding you to account for an entirely misleading piece of writing.

                • AklTransport

                  immigration was at an all time high as NZ was a great place to live work and study. Very few people move to a shit country. But that’s a fact that gets in the way of the narrative. Just like you can’t have low quality and immigration and high housing costs, there is a factual disconnect. Go figure

                  • lprent

                    immigration was at an all time high as NZ was a great place to live work and study.

                    So? I have no problem with immigration.

                    As a programmer, every workplace I have ever worked in for decades has have at least as many immigrants as it has has native born. We import skills because we don't train enough (and often cannot in a small economy), and because those that we do train frequently head offshore.

                    Don't be a stupid dickhead. Read what I argue rather than being a pathetic wanker and trying to tell me what I said.

                    What I have a problem with is lazy tight-fisted National party dimwits in government thinking that they can have increased immigration without also spending money up front to increase the infrastructure and encouraging housing where the immigrants settle.

                    In NZ that means that by far the greatest immigration numbers settle in Auckland, and National ignored Auckland growing by about 20% during their term in office. They did nothing useful (and several things that were detrimental)to help get the housing built, so rents and house prices skyrocketed. They spent almost all of the new discretionary (ie not ChCh earthquake) infrastructure money for things like transport in provincial areas that needed it less, but which provided a base level of votes for their party.

                    Essentially National dumped immigrants in Auckland and took the profit from doing so to reward their landlord and rural / semi-rural voters.

                    National have always been short-term thinkers who are incompetent at government. But that set of policies is just corrupt.

        • WILD KATIPO 3.2.1.2

          Awww c'mon , Shaddy ,… all National ever did was exacerbate things. From letting state housing deteriorate so children were dying of preventable third world respiratory diseases to overcrowding to trying to sell off state housing stock to their Australian private interest mates.

          Then we had Paula Dumbcluck running around putting beneficiary family's in motels- and clocking up debts they could never hope to repay… and remember John Keys tax havens?- my , how they've all tootled off back into the woodwork now…

          And that's only the tip of the iceberg with all the floodgates open to immigration, -ye gads !- where are we gonna keep putting them all?.. in tree houses ? or doll houses?

          National not only chose to do nothing but made excuses and denied it all , – they actually used it to their advantage to privatize and make a fast buck out of misery.

          So good the shitter's are out of power.

          May that situation never change.

          • Shadrach 3.2.1.2.1

            So your argument is "this governments shite but the last one was too". Nice.

            • WILD KATIPO 3.2.1.2.1.1

              Nuuuuup,… dont twist the words there old son.

              And dont try and put words in my mouth either you pernicious piece of shit.

              Go tell that to the family's whose kids died in those cold moldy derelict state houses under that government , arsehole.

              I don't take kindly to smart arse internet trolls , mate.

              • Shadrach

                "Go tell that to the family's whose kids died in those cold moldy derelict state houses under that government , arsehole."

                Which family? Give me a link and I'll look it up.

                In the meantime, a quote from labour's Welbeing Budget (https://budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/child-poverty-report/current-trends-child-poverty.htm#reference-index-3)

                "Following a significant rise between 2007 and 2011, the material hardship rate is trending down."

                Trending down. Since 2011.

              • Shadrach

                Oh and 'mate'…

                https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/child-poverty-statistics-year-ended-june-2018

                Child poverty stats actually rose under Labour in 2017/18. So put that in yer pipe and smoke it.

                • greywarshark

                  were they facing the problems that had grown exponentially from National. A new government doesn't change things immediately. We have been cursed with the National disease unto the 3rd and 4th generations, change has to be slaved for by progressives.

                • roblogic

                  Child poverty stats actually rose under Labour in 2017/18
                  That’s completely made up. The linked page cautions against such abuse of statistics…

                  “For the series to 2017/18, we emphasise the need to look at the general trend over time and caution against reaching definitive conclusions from reported year-on-year changes.”

                  Note there was a problem with the recent data sets and 2018 is used as a new baseline for proper measures which under the previous government were not robust.

                  • Shadrach

                    "That’s completely made up. "

                    No, it's right there in the data. Mind you, I suspect Labour will stop measuring that now. Like they've stopped measuring everything else.

                    • AklTransport

                      Oh, it's measured. You are only going to hear about it if it's positive though.

                      The best way to tell something is wrong with what a government pledges to do is to listen to their silence on the issue once they are in charge

                  • New view

                    That’s all you and the like do. Look at statistics and quotes all of which can be construed any way you want to win your argument. Let’s just say child poverty hasn’t improved so far under this Government. The elections are next year so the population will decide how well this Government has done.

                    • roblogic

                      Labour is trying to properly measure things like child poverty and housing stress, rather than sweep issues under the carpet and do a teflon smile and wave like the previous lot.

                      This isn't about point scoring, it's about helping real people. And if you're too thick to understand the reports, or too dishonest to admit that these problems exist, then stfu and get out of the way

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Remembered this example WK – maybe the only one? Not the government’s fault – these things ‘just happen’. “Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

                "Paediatrician Professor Innes Asher said people were falling ill – even dying – because of illness related to living in temperatures of just 8-12C.

                "It's not just that you don't feel very good, you can die from it."

                She highlighted the case of 2-year-old Emma-Lita Bourne whose cold, damp state house was identified as a contributing factor to her death in a 2015 coroner's report."

                https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11897319

                • Shadrach

                  I knew someone would quote that case.

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/69095130/

                  "It is entirely possible the condition of the house had contributed to the pneumonia-like illness that Emma-Lita was suffering at the time of her death."

                  Entirely possible. That is far from definitive.

                  And this:

                  "Read said within four days of the family being prioritised they were offered another home by HNZ that met their needs.

                  However, the family declined to take the house offered in December and waited until April this year to move to a four-bedroom home in Otara.

                  The property where the family now lives is insulated, carpeted in the bedrooms and hallway, has thermal quality drapes throughout the house and a heater in the lounge."

                  A tragic event for the family, but nothing like what WK claimed.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/13-06-2019/two-weeks-from-the-rental-deadline-the-insulation-industry-is-at-total-capacity/

                    "Researchers from the University of Otago estimate poor housing costs the country more than $145 million annually in preventable illness and injury. In 2015 Otara toddler Emma-Lita Bourne’s death was attributed in part to the damp, cold state house in which she lived. Last year Dr Lance O’Sullivan reported visiting freezing homes with water running down the internal walls, where children were contracting third-world illnesses."

                    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/01/10/twelve-fun-facts-about-nationals-failed-housing-policies-for-parmjeet-parmar-to-consider/

                    • Shadrach

                      "In 2015 Otara toddler Emma-Lita Bourne’s death was attributed in part to the damp, cold state house in which she lived."

                      Well whoever wrote that is wrong. Here are the Coroner's precise words:

                      "It is entirely possible the condition of the house had contributed to the pneumonia-like illness that Emma-Lita was suffering at the time of her death."

                      “Entirely possible”. That is very different to what Wild Katipo claimed.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      It's "entirely possible" that the statement

                      "Emma-Lita Bourne’s death was attributed in part to the damp, cold state house in which she lived."

                      is compatible with the statement

                      "It is entirely possible the condition of the house had contributed to the pneumonia-like illness that Emma-Lita was suffering at the time of her death."

                      Only an obstinate rwnj would claim otherwise. Are you (Shadrach) claiming that the two statements are incompatible?

                      What do you (Shadrach) think the coroner was intending to convey with their statement – what was their intent?

                      And if housing was, on the balance of probabilities, not a contributing factor in Emma-Lita's (preventable) death, why this response (under a National-led government, FFS)?

                      "Housing New Zealand has repaired more than 2,000 state houses in the wake of a critical coroners' report which said a cold, damp house may have been a factor in the death of a south Auckland toddler."

                      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/281522/toddler%27s-death-triggers-widespread-house-repairs

                      Seems the coroner’s intent was clear enough. What is your intent?

    • lprent 3.3

      The decline after 2004 in Auckland was driven by the increase in litigation over leaky buildings and the increase in building re regulation in the early 00s.

      The case for my apartment building started in 2004 when we found some spongy decks. It was in full swing in the courts by 2006. The council settled in 2009 because, fortunately for us, we'd used councilmk sectors rather than some shady fly by night crowd with adequete insurance.

      The leaky buildings were entirely the fault of stupidity the national government of the 90s. They deregulated the construction and overseeing regulatory bodies. Then to make sure there was no criticism, they dismembered the standards bodies as well.

      There was a reason that I pointed this out in the footnotes.

      On top of which there was the GFC – started in the construction financial markets in 2007 – went downhill from there. But virtually everywhere in the world rebounded from that and started constructing housing a good 3-4 years before Auckland and the rest of NZ did. You ever look at their consent graphs and wonder why?

      If you are a simpleton at reading graphs without looking at underlying causation, then there are some wonderful stockmarket theories and software about making money by just reading trends. You sound like natural customer and ace graph reader for them. PS They sell bridges too.

      The switch to smaller properties is a direct result of the intersecting changes in public transport and the council plans. They made it easier to make and sell properties on smaller land footprint properties close to public transport. This diminished the effective cost to both developers and purchasers.

      If you don't think that both of those groups are unable to read cost signal, then you'd have to be an economic idiot (usually also known as an act supporter). The 'free market' and consumer choice is just one side of the equation. Only a unbalanced simpleton would ignore the other major factors.

      The reason why MacMansions had been in favour with developers previously was because it maximized the return on their most expensive cost – land price. So they made the things as big as possible, sold to the wealthy with the Trump fallacy – big house means that no-one notices their small…. hands. And didn't start too many of them – which is why the consents and builds were slow.

      After the fiasco of the Auckland Supershitty in 2010 it took time to get a city wide planning place, not to mention the regulatory staff to cost incentivise the production of the kinds of housing we were starting to build 15 years ago before the mistakes of Nationals last two sessions in office fell upon Aucklanders.

      The unitary plan was release in 2016…

      It is a pretty graphic example about why the primary job of government is to provide clear economic direction through laws and regulations. It provides the certainty required for people making risky decisions out into the future. When people are making investment decisions, it is what allows them to crop the risk premium that they’d charge, or to make a decision in the face of inadequate knowledge.

      This isn’t exactly news. It has been a staple of every practise of government and economic back to the clay tablets of Ur. It gets taught in every business degree and in every law or politics course.

      Now I could equally well argue about the dangers of massive government involvement in private enterprise. But as it stands at present we’re in no particular danger of that.

      • Shadrach 3.3.1

        “The decline after 2004 in Auckland was driven by the increase in litigation over leaky buildings and the increase in building re regulation in the early 00s.”

        And that litigation magically stopped on the election of a National government in 2008?

        “If you are a simpleton at reading graphs without looking at underlying causation…”

        Interesting that any ‘underlying causation’ saw a sharp decline in consents under a Labour government, followed by a sharp increase under a National government.

        “The switch to smaller properties…”

        Began under the previous government. A National government.

        "…is a direct result of the intersecting changes in public transport and the council plans. They made it easier to make and sell properties on smaller land footprint properties close to public transport. This diminished the effective cost to both developers and purchasers.”

        Ah, yes. These changes were passed in 2016, remember? And the government of the day was…

        “The 'free market' and consumer choice is just one side of the equation. Only a unbalanced simpleton would ignore the other major factors.”

        No it IS the equation. Once the government (in this case AC) extracted themselves (even if only in part) from the regulatory equation, the private sector responded. Meanwhile, how many houses has Kiwibuild produced?

        “After the fiasco of the Auckland Supershitty in 2010 it took time to get a city wide planning place, not to mention the regulatory staff to cost incentivise the production of the kinds of housing we were starting to build 15 years ago before the mistakes of Nationals last two sessions in office fell upon Aucklanders.”

        The supercity was a stupid idea, made worse by two incompetent mayors.

        “The unitary plan was release in 2016…It is a pretty graphic example about why the primary job of government is to provide clear economic direction through laws and regulations.”

        Your piece began with this “When you look at the steady rise in building consents in Auckland, it just highlights exactly how incompetent National were and would still be as managers of the economy.” And yet the piece you quoted from Matt’s article” directly contradicted that, by implying the Unitary Plan was a key driver in the increase in consents. Your headline was entirely inconsistent with the article you drew you own post from.

        Matt’s material makes it clear. From 2008 there has been a steady increase in consents. The current government is currently living off that momentum. It is also enjoying the benefits of other measures National introduced that have led to a cooling in the Auckland property market.

        Successive governments have done a woeful job of planning for Auckland’s growth, but the most blame rests with Auckland Council. It’s failure to rein in the lunatics at AT, and it’s obsession with intensification to justify public transport projects, has left scars on our city that may well be irreparable.

      • Visubversa 3.3.2

        This is a prime example of the sort of McMansion that has been built recently. The Land Use consents for these houses were processed in 2014 and 2015. Not many families are going to want this sort of house.

        https://www.oneroof.co.nz/57-admirals-court-drive-greenhithe-north-shore-city-auckland-1299140

        • lprent 3.3.2.1

          6 bedrooms…

          Sounds like a dorm rental rather than a family home.

          There are families with this kind of need. There is a demand for them. But probably not in this price bracket or location.

          • Visubversa 3.3.2.1.1

            Most of the street is like that. That is what they were/are building. Maximise the building envelope, maximise the concrete and minimise the landscaping. Every so often one of the Building Consent Planners – faced with a house like this would explore if it was a brothel or a boarding house. The answer would always come back that it was a family home.

  4. Why is it… that every time I heard this number it reminded me of National…

    UB40 – One in Ten – YouTube

    Glad we got this one after 9 years of that National crap.

    • Beewee 4.1

      I am afraid Shads owned you in that little tit tat WK Facts vs abuse,

      [lprent: Banned 2 weeks. Probably pay to read the policy (yet again) and consider that claiming owning of someone just incites me to demonstrate how it should be done. ]

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