When an “accord” is not

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 am, May 17th, 2013 - 127 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, bill english, class war, democracy under attack, housing, labour, local government, privatisation, same old national, sustainability - Tags: ,

In its budget and its related “accord” with the Auckland Council over Housing, National moved in response to opposition pressures to increase affordable housing. It’s all sleight of hand, limited real solutions, and one or two marginal gains.

It’s good that social (especially community) housing gets a boost.  But it should not be at the expense of the divestment of state housing.  It now has created a climate of fear and insecurity for state housing tenants, most of whom are on meagre incomes and with limited resources to resist a a callous and ideologically-driven government.

In the last few weeks the government had reached an accord with Auckland Council over housing, that it included in the budget.  It followed this up immediately by launching the housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill in the House under urgency, with the first reading yesterday. Phil Twyford’s response was excellent, laying out the problems the Bill doesn’t resolve, and highlighting that it was the result of a government “spooked” by Labour’s Kiwibuild policy.

During the debate on the next related Bill’s first reading, also debated under urgency yesterday, Phil Twyford asks if kicking state housing residents out of their homes is an aspirational target, 

Is it simply an aspirational target like the 39,000 houses that Mr Smith says that he is gonna build in Auckland?39,000 houses he says he’s gonna build simply by opening the gate to greenfields land on the fringes of the city and streamlining a bit of RMA consenting. …. Only the National Party, only the National Party, would come to this house, with an inspirational target in the area social housing to boot out 3,000 state tenants when we are in the worst affordable housing crisis in living memory.

However, the Auckland Council-government accord is already under threat as a result of Auckland Council being unhappy with the “housing accord” Bill. Auckland Council says the housing plans in yesterday’s budget are at odds with the agreement Auckland Council drawn up between the mayor and the minister last week, but not yet signed.  The accord still need to go to the Auckland Council for ratification.  Auckland deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, talking on Morning Report on RNZ this morning said,

The legislation that’s been passed certainly doesn’t follow through with much of what was negotiated through the accord.

Hulse says that the Council is committed to getting affordable housing on the ground.  The government is committed to more houses being built in Auckland. However, Hulse says,

It’s not just about plonking houses in paddocks out on the outskirts of Auckland to bring house prices down.

The worry with the legislation is that it doesn’t meet with Auckland Council’s plan to be innovative.  The government’s legislation just seems to go back to the just release the urban limits and “just plonk houses in paddocks” on the outskirts of Auckland.  There also needs to be support for first time buyers, a capital gains tax.

I’m concerned that Hulses’ focus (as with Labour’s Kiwibuild) is on first time buyers, and not low income renters and state house tenants.

However, their policies go a lot further towards improving the housing provisions for the majority than does the government’s. Hulse says Auckland, and “the whole of New Zealand” are concerned about the government giving itself the ability to override Council building consents. This weakens the desire for local communities to have a say in the development of their communities.

http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20130517-0809-auckland_council_seek_clarity_on_budget_housing_plans-048.mp3

Hulse says they need to get round the table again with the government. So, on top of the government’s lack of concern for the plight of those on low incomes most impacted by the crisis in (un)affordable housing, their pitiful response via the budget, is shown to be lacking in integrity.  The NAct government is again shown to be ruthlessly wedded to the discredited “neoliberal” focus on state provision-bad, private provision-good.  Underlying this is their anti-democratic MO, and their support of private enterprise and the interest of the 2% over that of the people.

NickSmith forked tongue

mickysavage linked to an NZ Herald article and a relevant pages on the Auckland Council (Housing Accord) and government (Housing Accord Bill) websites. micky’s comments include the following:

Interestingly the Accord states that publicity about it was to be agreed to by the Mayor and Nick Smith prior to its release. Looks like Len does not believe that this occurred.

And:

It is a big stick the Government has handed itself and it smacks of bad faith bargaining.

[Update] further analysis of the government’s bad faith negotiations posted by mickysavage at Waitakere News.

127 comments on “When an “accord” is not”

  1. Thanks Karol.

    One of the most startling breaches is that the accord says that its effect continues until the notice of termination (6 months) has expired.

    The bill (section 16(4)(a)(ii) says that Nick Smith can nominate an area as a special housing area without council approval if he has given notice to terminate the accord. He does not have to wait for 6 months. He could pull the pin and then immediately designate urban sprawl areas.

    There are also considerable concerns about how brownfields redevelopment are restricted. The height restriction (6 stories) is arbitrary and ridiculous given some of the areas that are being contemplated. All this will do is lessen the short term intensification ability of Council.

    Further although Smith needs to “have regard” to existing and proposed district plans. But he could conceivably designate areas outside of the proposed future RUB.

    I have posted a few more thoughts at http://waitakerenews.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/the-governments-not-so-good-faith.html

    This bill has a number of potentially dangerous provisions.

  2. ratesarerevolting 2

    What concerns me most is the undemocratic push by the Auckland council to have the plan notified when there is monumental gaping holes in it and a large proportion of the public having serious concerns about the effect it will have on infrastructure and their quality of life.

    When you have councillors from the right and the left voicing very serious and valid concerns about the Unitary plan their can be no reason not to delay the notification of the plan pending further consultation.

    I would encourage as many people as possible to voice their opinion via the sites below.

    http://shapeauckland.co.nz/?gclid=CJ_Mttbdm7cCFQQcpQodQicAAw
    http://auckland2040.org.nz

    • karol 2.1

      I agree the consultation period could be longer for the Auckland Unitary Plan. But, this:

      a large proportion of the public having serious concerns about the effect it will have on infrastructure and their quality of life.

      So that “large proportion” would be the home owners who have invested in housing at the expense of the less well-off: low income people struggling to afford rents, let alone home buying, and who already have a low quality of life.

      The property owning classes have had a disproportionate voice in the media. They are as much the problem as the solution. For all its faults, at least the AUP is a step in the right direction. It aims to develop an infrastructure that will provide a quality community context for all. It’s the power of the rentier classes that is keeping it from addressing the real problems for those already stretched to find and pay for accommodation, let alone experience a reasonable quality of life..

      • ratesarerevolting 2.1.1

        No the AUP plan is not a step in the right direction if you want to continue to live or rent in areas with green spaces acceptable congestion and reasonable access to schools.

        There is very little consideration given to either transport or the pressure on educational facilities if we proceed with the plan as is, let alone any brakes on developers turning many parts of auckland in to a complete shambles for their own profit.

        Brown and his acolytes are no better than Banks and his cronies just more of do as I say not as I do.

        • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1.1

          commentary by English on RNZ said NAct will prioritize developments over maintaining recreational parks protections if they have to.

          • ratesarerevolting 2.1.1.1.1

            If they try it they will have the Auckland public rioting in the streets.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Possibly, but for the moment I think the NATs are simply talking tough; they’re going to pick their fights very carefully over the next 12 months.

              • ghostrider888

                “interesting times” indeed; oh well, there goes any semblance of “democracy” that remained; at least we have a reasonable weather climate, for now. 😉

              • I think in part they are trying to shift blame for housing onto Auckland Council and in part trying to shaft Len Brown. Either way they are making the city quite unstable.

                And I don’t accept RR’s comments. Most people are ok with consolidation once the issue is talked through. There are a few grumpies but they are the exact same people who would jump up and down at the slightest restriction on the use of their property yet they then demand the utmost say over their neighbour’s property.

                • ratesarerevolting

                  Bullshit – let me guess you are one of the councils current weasels and a Brown nosing sycophant.

                  Why don’t you attend some public meetings and read the local papers to see the outrage there is concerning the unitary plan, when you have councillors from the right and the left both decrying the lack of consultation and the need to stop the plan being notified at this time there’s obviously some very valid concerns.

                  All those running for council should declare where they stand on the unitary plan and let the public decide before it proceeds any further.

                  • Adrian

                    Read the local papers? Please don’t tell me you base your opinion on those?

                  • I’ve been to about 10 public meetings out west. I have not seen any significant opposition to the plan. Basically Waitakere City has been trying to do this sort of stuff (intensification around transport nodes) for the past 12 years.

                    I was on Council when a huge amount of effort was put into intensifying Henderson and protecting the Waitakere Ranges. A consensus for both was built up over time. Westies realise what the issues are and they are much more complex than a NIMBY approach.

                    I take it you do not live out west rr.

                    I don’t disagree with the concern at the pace of change but it is funny that the Government has been telling Auckland that if they don’t do something about affordable housing they will lose their planning powers while at the same time the Government is refusing to let Auckland implement change quickly.

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      No I live to the North.

                      If the public in the west is happy about intensification then they should be allowed to get on with it that is democracy.

                      Similarly if those in other communities aren’t then they should be listened too and the plans for their areas should be amended.

                      Once again can you confirm if you are on the council pay roll or not ?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Once again can you confirm if you are on the council pay roll or not ?

                      Why is it an issue?

                    • Um I did rr. See below.

                      And how about you try debating the issues rather than throwing mud around?

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      It is impossible to debate the issues when lying Len and his councillors continue to change the rules.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10884432

                      Half of suburban Auckland could be built up with three-storey apartments and residents will have no say when developers move into their street.

                      After nine weeks of telling Aucklanders the maximum height of “small-scale apartment buildings” in neighbourhoods was two storeys, the Auckland Council has admitted the height limit is three storeys.

                      Three-storey apartments are possible in the “mixed housing” zone in the city’s new planning rulebook. The zone covers 49 per cent of urban Auckland and most suburban streets have some degree of mixed housing.

                      Last night, Penny Pirrit, head of regional and local planning, denied the council had not been upfront with Aucklanders over the maximum heights in the two zones, saying the figures given were what was permitted as of right and, like now, developers could apply to build higher.

                      “At the moment [in the mixed housing zone] the plan says as a permitted activity it is 8m but there is the opportunity to go to 10m,” she said.
                      Ms Pirrit said applications to increase the height to 10m were a non-notified restricted discretionary activity, which meant they would be decided by officers with no input from residents”

                      North Shore councillor George Wood said it bordered on misleading to tell Aucklanders the limit was two storeys in the mixed housing zone when it was three. A published media guide also described the maximum height as two storeys. He was gobsmacked to find the detail buried in the detail on the Unitary Plan.

                      “The community deserve better trying to understand the overall parameters of this new rulebook.”

                      Maximum heights

                      (for “mixed housing” zone covering 49 per cent of urban Auckland)

                      What the council said:

                      • During the first nine weeks of public consultation: two storeys

                      • Yesterday: three storeys

                    • rr

                      I am not sure if you are trolling or really do not understand.

                      Building two stories is permitted, to build three stories you need resource consent. This is just as it is right now. There are also other limitations such as height to boundary ratios that will provide protection for neighbors.

                      If you want to criticise someone about weaknesses in the system and lax development standards blame the Government. They are the ones that are “removing red tape” and making things easier.

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      Bullshit

                      Once again the council has tried to hoodwink the ratepayers suggesting a maximum of two stories when three stories will be possible under the plan to intensify with no input from residents.

                      Len and his cabal of crooks are only interested in shoving as many people into Auckland as possible and filling the council coffers with cash – I also note the mayors house remarkably falls out side the area for intensification it seems to stop on one side of his road and start on the next.

                      Tell me what’s going to happen to our schools and roads that are chocka at the moment when all these infill apartments go in ? The developers will be laughing all the way to the bank along with the mendacious swines on the council.

                    • Are you on trolling duty?

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      Good Lord, no wonder the council is such a shambles when persons like you are among the elected representatives.

                    • You have not made one comment on the subject of the post. You have continuously diverted this to abuse of Len and the Unitary Plan. What else am I to conclude?

        • karol 2.1.1.2

          I do think Brown is pandering a little to the developers. however, the AUP is a noticeable improvement on what we would have got from Banks, and what the government is trying to do.

          In order to get consent to build more intensive housing, developers need to show that the existing infrastructure is adequate.

          However, Smith’s Bill that aims to weaken resource consent, and the ability for government to override council decisions, will weaken that.

          • ratesarerevolting 2.1.1.2.1

            “The AUP is a noticeable improvement on what we would have got from Banks”

            Who really knows and even if that’s the case it’s still not acceptable to have it notified when there is still a far greater requirement for consultation.

            “In order to get consent to build more intensive housing, developers need to show that the existing infrastructure is adequate.”

            Excuse my sarcasm but ha fucking ha, if you believe that will happen I’ve got some shares in the harbour bridge i’d like to sell you.

            • karol 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Well, it’s all laid out in the Auckland Transport Blog post I linked to below, with extensive quoting from the AUP.

              Just saying you don’ believe it, doesn’t amount to an argument. Are you saying the council will totally disregard it’s own regulations? And how do you think they’ll get away with that?

              Either the AUP is too weak and the restrictions are not written into it, or not? Where are the holes in the proposed regulations that the Transport Blog points to?

            • karol 2.1.1.2.1.2

              I said: The AUP is a noticeable improvement on what we would have got from Banks”

              rar responded: Who really knows and even if that’s the case it’s still not acceptable to have it notified when there is still a far greater requirement for consultation.

              Yet, in your earlier comment rar claimed: Brown and his acolytes are no better than Banks and his cronies just more of do as I say not as I do.

              Which is it? Brown is as bad as Banks, or we don’t know?

              What we do know is that Banks is the National party’s preferred candidate, as he has been in Epsom. So we can assume if Banks was mayor, his plan for Auckland would be closer to Nick Smith’s than that of Brown.

              • ratesarerevolting

                Which is it? Brown is as bad as Banks, or we don’t know?

                From where I sit as a ratepayer I can detect little difference apart from the fact that my rates for water and general rates went through the roof with no difference in service.

                They have both surrounded themselves with sycophants and crooks whilst mayor while screwing over the ratepayer but their supporters will cheer them on because they’re perceived as labour or national …pathetic.

                • You should learn a bit of history then rr and blame Rodney Hide and this government. They are the ones who created the current system.

                  • karol

                    Yes. Here in the west we were spared Banks’ more damaging policies. Under Rodney’s supercity, Auckland City tries to dominate and do it Banks way. Fortunately Brown has stopped that being too full-on. But the government is determined to do otherwise.

                  • ratesarerevolting

                    Umm my rates bill does not come from Hide it comes from the Auckland council and the rates are vastly more than they were when they didn’t come from the auckland council.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s sent to you from Auckland Council, but it comes courtesy of Rodney Hide.

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      Oh what rubbish, if that’s the case what’s the point of having a council at all.

                    • Are you sure you are not Rodney Hide rr? You have a remarkably similar attitude.

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      No, are you sure you’re not a member of the current council, you deflect and twist and spin much like Brown and his weasels do at community meetings.

    • Tracey 2.2

      unlike the governments plan????

    • Tracey 2.3

      “a large proportion of the public having serious concerns about the effect it will have on infrastructure and their quality of life.” You are against the announced plan in the budget too I take it, for the same reasons? Or is it ok if it’s not in the wealthy suburbs?

      • ratesarerevolting 2.3.1

        Yes

        • karol 2.3.1.1

          Another rightie who thinks government should be all about them, and not for the good for the whole of society.

          • ratesarerevolting 2.3.1.1.1

            Descending into pointless abuse gives the impression you don’t have a rational argument to support your views.

            I’m against any plans foisted on the public by local or central government without sufficient input from the public whatever side of the political spectrum they come from.

            [lprent: The moderators decide if it is pointless abuse – not you. You and everyone else simply have to avoid wasting the moderators time. So read the policy before you continue to waste my time because I’ve never seen Karol do any pointless abuse. And she hasn’t this time.

            However I have seen many craven idiots like yourself try to retreat from some precise descriptions of why people are talking a particular way. Like you they often do it under the cover of bullshit gases blowing out of their arse.

            Please note that I take pleasure in booting people for presuming to tell us how to run our site, including what the behaviour of other commentators should be. Also be very very careful on what you say to the author of a post. I need them a hell of a lot more than I need another idiot commenting. ]

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1.1.1

              I’m against any plans foisted on the public by local or central government without sufficient input from the public

              Meh, I’d be surprised if you wrote any submissions in yourself, or asked to speak to any members of the Council about it. Basically just grandstanding.

            • karol 2.3.1.1.1.2

              Agree on the need for consultation. But you claimed that intensive housing is OK if it’s not in the wealthier suburbs where you live? So one rule for the wealthy and another for the rest?

              • ratesarerevolting

                I’ve claimed nothing of the kind.

                I answered yes to “You are against the announced plan in the budget too I take it, for the same reasons?”

                • karol

                  OK. My mistake. It looked like your question was a response to Tracey’s second question.

          • Populuxe1 2.3.1.1.2

            A society made up of individuals – after all, we aren’t the Borg. And usually when people start chucking around expressions like “for the good of society”, what they mean is “what I think is good for society” (vertical model), not “what society consensually and democratically thinks is good for itself” (horizontal model).

  3. Tracey 3

    In a week when Joyce railed about a future govt possibly undermining a contract a current government shafted an accord partner.

    It is so obvious the amalgamation/s were/are not to give local govt more power but to give central govt fewer bodies to railroad.

    • karol 3.1

      I see Phil Twyford is signalling that Labour will probably strongly oppose the Bill as it progresses though the House, because of the way the government is over-riding local councils.

      “Clearly Auckland Council feels betrayed. They negotiated in good faith only to have the Government then sneakily insert extra powers in the Bill….

      “Labour voted for the Bill to go to select committee because we recognise that while the Bill is an inadequate response to Auckland’s housing crisis, a deal hammered out by the Government and Auckland Council at least deserves to be properly reviewed at select committee.”

  4. Tracey 4

    Auckland has been run by Remuera, Parnell, Epsom, St Heliers, Kohi etc for a long time… of course they don’t want views blocked, unless it’s them building for a view that blocks someone else.

    I think 4-6 story apartments are a great idea for Auckland, especially as the infrastructure/roads/transport problem isnt going anywhere, fast. Developers get a leg up. Same developers who ran away from leaky home responsibility leaving tax payers, ratepayers and homeowners to foot the bill.

    IF developers get to have the same 10 year personal liability shunted on designers and builders (so effortlessly by this govt) then that would be something. But it wont happen, NZ for developers and trucks.

    I live in Mt Eden… along the two main arterial routes (Dom and Sandringham Rd) we could put these kinds of developments, new north roads and so on. Despite all their rhetoric the right and many of its supporters hate anything that is not the status quo… unless it is in someone else’s back yard of course.

    • karol 4.1

      I certainly think a lot of the right wing opposition to the AUP is coming from central and north Auckland.

      Out west (and probably south, too) people are already suffering from the transport woes and infrastructure stress resulting from urban sprawl.

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        EXACTLY, and so the government wants to make it worse.

        We are heading back to the deregulation that lined developers and some builders pockets in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Ironic the government is suing James Hardie while producing these policies…

      • ratesarerevolting 4.1.2

        So high rise is the answer… you are nuts !

        How about using technology to allow people not to have to travel 10s or 100s of kilometres to work or university.

        • karol 4.1.2.1

          Your first sentence is hardly a rational response, rar. Please see Penny Hulse’s post on the scaremongering about the AUP, especially with respect to the highly selective possibilities of “high rise”.

          Nor will apartments appear in every neighbourhood. In fact the proposed terraced housing and apartment building zone will make up only 7% of Auckland’s total residential land use.

          Also see the Auckland Transport Blog on the high bar set for development of more “intensified” housing:

          It potentially allows a lot of growth and intensification, but it seems to set a really high bar in terms of requirements for a proposal to be consented while also requiring an unusually high proportion of developments to go through the consenting process. Generally I think this is an excellent approach: to say to developers that there’s a lot of potential here but to unlock that potential you’re going to need to build some great stuff.

          I’m all for technology, but many jobs, especially those for low income people, require them to be on the workplace premises.

          You really don’t seem to want to contemplate any change for you, and have no concerns for those in the rest of Auckland.

          • ratesarerevolting 4.1.2.1.1

            Penny Hulse’s response is chocka full of half truths and waffle.

            Fully 50% of Auckland is subject to Mixed Housing Use zones. In these Mixed Use zones buildings can go up to 3 storeys with non-notified consent by council and neighbours do not have to be informed of the consent effectively allowing developers to build up to 10 metres high next to a property in the Mixed Use zones.

            Similarly the Auckland transport blog is delusional if you’ve lived in Auckland for any amont of time you’ll know that the developers and council will be interested in one thing only maximising profit and rates.

            • karol 4.1.2.1.1.1

              3 storeys is not the equivalent to “high rise”. I don’t think it amounts to 50%. However, I do think the AUP could be more specific about restricting the areas for medium density housing. The specified zones are too broad in places. I understand this is the result of aiming for simplicity with an already complex plan. Hopefully that will be adjusted with the final version of the plan, after submissions have been considered.

              However, that’s all moot, if the government Bill/s will override any council decisions.

              • ratesarerevolting

                If you are living in a single level house or flat, 3 story intensification on either side is certainly high rise and will impact severely on residents and capacity of transport and education facilities.

                • karol

                  Len Brown has said, in reply to some responses to the plan re- impact on single storey houses, they will be looking to make changes to stop that happening – according to the latest Western Leader newspaper.

                    • karol

                      That’s the sort of thing I would expect to be sorted out in the consultation period.

                      Yesterday’s western leader on page 2, has an article entitled: “Rethink on Auckland’s Unitary Plan.”

                      It was about Brown being out on the North Shore for the opening of the Long Bay development. Brown said there would be a review of the mixed zones and they “would also work on easing the impact on single house zones that abut the three-storey plus zones.” Plus the council would be reviewing what property owners can do on their properties.

                      So, home owners in the wealthier parts of Auckland are being listened to.

                      Still don’t seeing anybody taking any notice of views of those on low incomes. And these are the people suffering most from the unaffordable housing crisis.

                      More democracy for the propertied classes, less for anyone else.

                  • Populuxe1

                    What? Like Len Brown responded to Auckland harbour workers? Hahahaha

        • lprent 4.1.2.2

          Good luck trying to convince the minister in charge of transport. So far they prefer to spend orders of magnitude more taxpayers (and raterpayers) money on creating more white elephant roads.

          After all, just look at the rollout of residential fibre now heading into it’s fifth year of the project and with a mere fraction of the planned cable in operation. It has been outside my apartment door since November and I still can’t find anyone who can tell me when it will be available for use (the date moves a month forward every month). Nor what the procedure is to get it provided in a 60 apartment block. Complete screwup.

          Incidentally I spent 11 years working from home in a company that I helped to set up, as did most of my other coders. Unfortunately most employers are simply not ready to or even able to do that. And there are only a relatively few jobs that it is possible to do that with. I’m still programming, but I go to work each day because I’m coding for hardware that is under development. I need to be close to the engineers.

  5. Red Rosa 5

    Farmers are great ones for these ‘Accords’ with a capital A.

    There was the ‘High Country Accord’ and the ‘Clean Streams Accord’.

    Make a few minor (non-binding) concessions and announce it unilaterally as policy.

    Quite nifty really – seems all sweetness and light, and leaves the opposition speechless.

    So you get what you want, and roll on regardless. Looks like same here.

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    -sooo, if the local government does not approve, central govt. takes over
    -on the “periphery” of Auckland

    Larry Murphy, HOD, property studies, AU;
    -SHA’s still a slow process, a year to a decade away before realisation; UK took thirty years to realign to Social Housing Providers
    -loan to value ratios being implemented by RB and trading banks, effectively obstructive “credit control” for first-home buyers.
    -Infrastructure?
    -Inhabitants desire to live further out?

    • prism 6.1

      Will Auckland have to become a modern walled city to keep the marauders from Wellington out??? Or do we go federal for the same effect – Auckland, Wellington, and Ashburton and Timaru that have become the area of gold accretion as Dunedin was in the gold mining days?

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Will Auckland have to become a modern walled city to keep the marauders from Wellington out???

        Uh, it’s to keep Aucklanders in, away from the rest of the nation.

        “Escape from Auckland” is going to be a blockbuster movie of 2033.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          I do know some people planning to leave Auckland when they no longer need to work here.

          The government should step up to encourage (sustainable) job development around the country.

          • Alanz 6.1.1.1.1

            I was really enthused about Jim Anderton’s call for regional development in the early 2000s and he was Minister of Industry and Regional Development. Much more can be done and Labour now must revive that, along with an integrated view and plan for port, rail and road for the country for a new sustainable and green economy, in partnership with tangata whenua. Come on Labour, Greens and Mana, you can do it.

  7. ratesarerevolting 7

    Len Brown is a fucking cunt !

    [karol: any further pointless abuse will be deleted. You started wanting democratic debate n the issues. Great! I’m all for that. Descending into pointless abuse gives the impression you don’t have a rational argument to support your views]

  8. ianmac 8

    Hey. If Auckland needs more land for building on, how about recovering land from over sized houses. Why there are some who bought the house next door, bulldozed the house and used the land to build an over-sized house. Take back the land I say. Consider the rights of other NZers.
    Ooops. Was that John Key who demolished his neighbour?

  9. tracey 9

    Ratesrrevolting, go to dubai to see high rise, 4 stories is hardly high rise. Would love decent transport, which ratepayers will have to pay because this govt wants roads, like john banks was our former mayor

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      this govt wants roads

      Well, it wants the political donations from the road building contractors and long-distance trucking companies, and it’s quite prepared to betray the country to get them.

    • ratesarerevolting 9.2

      I have no wish to go to Dubai – if you love it so much go and live there yourself.

      I’m more interested in a liveable city for my children and grandchildren rather than allowing Len Brown’s wet dream to come to pass.

      • mickysavage 9.2.1

        You should come out west rr and walk around Henderson and New Lynn. They are intensifying but slowly. If done properly you get perfectly good neighbourhoods and improved business opportunities. Hell spend a bit of time in Sydney or Melbourne and see what is possible.

        • ratesarerevolting 9.2.1.1

          Are you taking the piss ?

          Melbourne and Sydney are regularly gridlocked housing is vastly more expensive than Auckland schools are even more difficult to find spots in than NZ the cost of living is horrendous and everywhere you look the is masses of people – if love it so much over there fuck off and take Len Brown with you.

        • karol 9.2.1.2

          Yes, These developments, begun under Waitakere City Council are welcomed by most people I know.

          Transport to Auckland centre and across Auckland remains a big problem. And the government’s idea of opening up more greenfields will just make things worse. They are trying to undermine Brown’s efforts to maintain a balance between some outwards development and some intensification.

          And many people here are very annoyed at the way a lot of Auckland City people are trying to dictate what is happening to those of us in the outer areas.

          • ratesarerevolting 9.2.1.2.1

            Yes Carol let the people decide what should happen in their communities if the community in your area wants intensification fantastic go for it but it should be put to the people to decide.

            In my area the majority does not want intensification should we be dictated to or should we be listened to ?

            • karol 9.2.1.2.1.1

              Well, the thing is, we won’t all be able to get things exactly the way we want. You and the government seem to be saying that all the development should be on the outskirts of the city, while the largely wealthier areas in the inner city should be left alone. That will impact on those of us in the outer areas negatively, when we already have very big problems with transport and affordable housing.

              In contrast, you seem to want no change for those in Auckland City. As I see it, Brown is trying to make a compromise where we all change a little. It seems to be a very considered plan to make it a city that all of us can enjoy a reasonable quality of life..

              It seems to me you are exaggerating what the plan outlines in the intensification.

              Nothing stays the same. Mt Eden has changed a lot since I grew up there. That’s life.

              The government also could come to the party and start implementing policies to revitalise the regions.

              • ratesarerevolting

                So if I understand you correctly it’s OK for the public to be ignored when you agree with what’s proposed ?

                • karol

                  No. It seems to me that you want everybody but yourself ignored. I’m talking about compromise. I don’t totally agree with what’s being proposed as I’ve said before.

                  • ratesarerevolting

                    No, as I’ve said the communities that are effected should decide and that the unitary plan should not be notified until that decision is made democratically.

                    Do you agree or disagree with that position ?

                    • karol

                      All communities are affected one way or another. All Auckland has been notified. People can have their say. As I understand it, the submissions will be considered and changes made.

                      How is each individual community going to much individual decisions for something where the development of all the “communities” are interlinked?

                      If people don’t like the decisions made by their elected representatives, they can exercise their right to vote in the council elections later in the year. That’s as democratic as we have been allowed under Rodney Hide’s supercity legislation.

                      PS: and the government is trying to take even that amount of local democracy away from us, giving itself the right to override council decisions.

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      Each individual community is more than capable of voting on whether they wish intensification within their community.

                      Just because you are for the unitary plan and having a hissy fit about Rodney Hide is a pretty poor reason to not allow the public their democratic rights.

                      Can you confirm if you are a council member or employee ?
                      I can confirm I am not.

                    • Hey rr a question for you. Should your neighbour be permitted to stop you exercising your rights over your own home?

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      Depends what the rights are and how those rights impinge on ones neighbour and neighbourhood.

                      Now a question or two for you.

                      Should the Auckland Council be allowed to push through a unitary plan which has been at best poorly communicated and consulted upon and at worst aplan that has been lied about by council and its spin doctors since day 1.

                      Could you also please declare whether you are a member of council or employed by the council.

                    • lprent []

                      As I remember it, the *draft* unitary plan is open for submissions until the end of the month (still trying to find time for making one). It will then be 2-3 years going through the rest of the process before it becomes “the plan” with several revisions between then and now including those made by councillors.

                      Unlike the 3-part super-shitty legislation and this latest bit of crap from these National arseholes in wellington it won’t be rammed through either without consultation and over-riding whatever consultation is put in place (like virtually all recommendations of the royal commission).

                      Basically you sound like a dickhead whining because a draft plan doesn’t have exactly what *you* want. Moreover, I haven’t looked extensively at your comments (you read like a traditional troll), but have you actually made a submission?

                    • Firstly the unitary plan is not even advertised. It will not have any effect for a long period of time. What we have now is a draft for people to comment on.

                      It has not been lied about. It is complex and the prospects of mischief making by some are huge.

                      I am a member of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board.

                    • ratesarerevolting

                      As I understand it the Mayor is wanting the plan notified by September meaning it becomes enforceable at that stage.

                      Yes I have put in a submission, the mayor and has council have been deliberately obtuse and at times have lied outright about the potential effect of the plan.

                      While I may come across as a troll, whatever that is, you come across as a self important twerp.

                    • karol

                      I wrote up a long comment in reply here this morning, and by the time I submitted TS had gone offline – lost the comment – t’was about the undemocratic set up of Rodney’s supercity & the fact that the local boards have weak powers to represent their communities. This should have been debated in a consultative period as recommended by the Royal Commission – but Rortney ignored it.

                      I do think local boards should have more power to represent their local communties.

                      But my lost comment was also about the potential value of the amalgamated city to have a well-coordinated development of infrastructure. The wider infrastructure needs to be balanced with the local board representation.

                      Further thought on rar’s “hissy fits” about democracy – rar seems to have totally ignored the first part of my post above, about the needs of low income renters, the role of state and social housing, etc. And I have criticised the AUP for this (see my comment under Penny Hulse’s post here). In the MSM I just see the property developers, the finance people and home owners (especially in the wealthier suburbs, and people owning bungalows on quarter acre sections) being heard.

                      The voice of low income people, renters, state housing tenants, etc, have been totally marginalised (especially by the government and propertied classes, who seem to want low income people ghettoised into the outer edges of the city).

                      rar seems to be about democracy for the propertied and wealthy classes: meanwhile poorer classes little power to be heard.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      No one should take any notice of Mickeysavage aka Greg Presland he is Len Brown’s creature in it for nothing more than power and influence a typical Labour Apparatchik

                      He doesn’t give a crap about the vote Green in the election and for council and give Presland and his ilk the boot.

                    • Aw dont be like that tinfoil. I am probably one of the most environmentally concerned local board members around. And some of my best friends are green.

              • Populuxe1

                So presumably you support the dictatorial anti-democratic approach the government has taken in Christchurch, which is a virtually identical process with an equally hollow call for submissions. Interesting.

      • prism 9.2.2

        URRevolting
        I don’t like your ugly language. It doesn’t go alongside reasoned argument. Please desist the frequency and just use the odd swear word for emphasis not to explain your main argument, if you have one.

        • ratesarerevolting 9.2.2.1

          Oh piss off, if you had to put up with the auckland council you’d be cussing along with the rest of us.

          • karol 9.2.2.1.1

            It seems to me you are about the only person swearing here. And many of us live in the Auckland Council area.

  10. tracey 10

    Yes, technology will allow the majority of manual and factory workers to work from home. What planet are you on?

    • ratesarerevolting 10.1

      Yes let’s have a society based on lots of manual and factory workers ……… oh wait.

      I prefer my hopes for the planet rather than your Dickensian worldview.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Factory workers manufacturing highly designed, tech content rich items would typically get paid between $20/hr and $30/hr.

        What’s your problem with that? Wanna buy it from China slave labour instead?

        • ratesarerevolting 10.1.1.1

          I have no problem with it but why would you want to put the factory in the middle of Auckland rather than Dunedin or Albany or Hamilton, it’s about as dumb as having a university in the middle of town.

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1

            So your argument against more four to six storey residential buildings in Auckland is that it’s silly to put factories “in the middle of” Auckland?

            I’d be grateful if you could expand on the connection between the two.

            • Arfamo 10.1.1.1.1.1

              The connection appears to be a vaccum tube.

            • ratesarerevolting 10.1.1.1.1.2

            • ratesarerevolting 10.1.1.1.1.3

              No my argument is that perhaps some of the jobs should be transferred to revitalise the regions rather than trying to shove 10s of thousands more people into Auckland.

              • Colonial Viper

                That would require economic planning at a nationwide scale.

                NZ has forgotten how to do that.

              • That would require Soviet type powers to require people to live and businesses to go where they are told. Is that what you intended to say?

                • ratesarerevolting

                  The only persons looking at Soviet type powers are the council trying to turn Auckland into Lennygrad.

                • Populuxe1

                  Really? Because I remember when the government had its departments distributed around the country. In any case, offereing tax rebates etc as an incentive to relocate business to the other centres doesn’t strike me as particularly ‘Soviet’.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Ah, so the solution to deteriorating regional development is to pay businesses to relocate?

                    • tinfoilhat

                      What would your solution be DTB ?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Yes. Because it gives them the choice. As opposed to undemocratically using force or some other dictatorial act.

                    • karol

                      Choices for the wealthier propertied classes. Ghettoisation for everyone else.

                    • McFlock

                      Lower the value of the dollar.
                      A large chunk of people migrate towards money.
                      Boost the tourism and agridollar going through the regions, those areas are more attractive to live in.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What would your solution be DTB ?

                      I’d probably look at locating government offices and other government owned businesses there. The stable base economy of the government would be a credible foundation for private business.

                      Because it gives them the choice.

                      The businesses already have that choice.

                      As opposed to undemocratically using force or some other dictatorial act.

                      Except that you’d be using force on everyone else by getting them to pay through the actions of the government and getting them to subsidise profitable businesses at that.

                  • Populuxe1

                    “Choices for the wealthier propertied classes. Ghettoisation for everyone else.”

                    Oh for fucks sake – we’re talking about Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Hamilton, Wellington etc, not fucking Warsaw 1940. Seriously? To the benefit of those communities, bringing jobs. And if anything, non-property owning people like myself find it relatively easy to move around the country to where jobs are. You really have to stop with the cliche cartoon stereotypes about what most New Zealand workers are like and want.

                    • karol

                      Pop – follow the thread line.I was following through the thread from rar’s comment on Auckland being turned into Leningrad. It wasn’t a comment about revitalising the regions. For that I think incentives are a very good idea.

                      I’m not up with how much there are usually regulations about zones for business activities in the regions.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Leningrad was a major European cultural and historical centre and home to the historical treasures of Tsarish Russia.

                      Less nice during WWII when it was under prolonged siege by the Wehrmacht and a thousand or more people were dying a day due to starvation.

                    • ghostrider888

                      tsarist

  11. MrSmith 11

    Nationals disaster capitalism arm in action for their mates, the mates that are sitting on blocks of land on city boundaries they’re wanting to have rezoned, the Nats couldn’t give a toss about the housing crises in-fact they contributed to it.

    Another game set and match for the Nacts, stealing more of your local democracy while handing out free money to their mates.

  12. tracey 12

    Ratesrrevolting you are a hard guy to have a discussion with because you shift the goal posts and dont recollect what you said to ekoke a response then comment on the response in isolation. Define high rise for me.

    • ratesarerevolting 12.1

      I oppose intensification as proposed in the unitary plan for a variety of reasons some of which are detailed as below.

  13. tracey 13

    Mr smith, it will be interesting to see who owns the land the gummint has in mind

  14. tracey 14

    Mr smith, it will be interesting to see who owns the land the gummint has in mind. Say ratesrr do you work from home?

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  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
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  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    2 weeks ago

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  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
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  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
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  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
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  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
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  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
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    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
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  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
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  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
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  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
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  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
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  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
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  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
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    1 week ago