More tax from Auckland Transport who are imposing new parking charges at its park and ride facilities; more spend by the bloated bureaucrats with overpaid CEO Stephen Town (he gets roughly three times the Mayoral salary of $260,000p.a.) being allowed a discretionary spend of $20 million (for what?); more autocratic behaviour from the Mayor as some Councillors proposed an alternative to the Transport Levy but have given up because, guess what, ‘the Mayor runs the show’.
It’s enough to make you weep.
At the same time home ownership is forced out of reach of many as house prices continue to rise because the Mayor refuses to free up land for new homes, thus ensuring demand outstrips supply.
In the long run the Mayor, the bureaucrats and the planners are only concerning themselves with a vision for the city centre, a vision that will fail in time because it’s not what the majority of Aucklanders want.
Ratepayers' money is being ploughed into the city centre to build a place that pleases a few young, rich, ‘Green’, planners, lawyers and educationalists, who will, in middle to older age, find they want what other Aucklanders want, space to bring up their children. As there will be less and less of it in the Green urban wilderness of the city centre they too will head for the suburbs.
Trouble is they will have condemned their families to a life of apartment living because the very same policies that will have created their ‘vision’ will mean they will never be able to afford a home of their own in the suburbs. The constriction of land supply by the Mayor and planners has led to house prices going through the roof. It also means there will be little or no 'quality' apartments in the city centre because they cost too much to build. What we'll get is more of the same cheap, nasty and ugly apartments for which the city is famous.
The Auckland Plan is a failure because it does not reflect what the majority of Aucklanders want. This was foreseen by many but put succinctly by Phil McDermott a couple of years ago.
Getting the housing equation wrong
The failure of the Auckland Plan to reflect the simple aspirations of Aucklanders for home ownership and predominantly low-rise suburban lifestyles and promote instead the lofty compact city vision held by its planners and policy-makers made its unravelling inevitable. And now it’s started. Rationing land to squeeze the city upward was always going to create problems.
Given the fundamental shift in aspirations, expectations, and behaviour that implementing the Auckland plan demands, the first problem is the need for an over-blown and over-complicated rule book - the draft unitary plan - to get citizens to comply with a transformation they didn’t ask for and don’t want.
The result is, predictably, growing alarm at the proposed transformation of communities and streets to achieve high densities in an area already constricted by its coastlines, its estuaries, and its ranges.
Undoing the rorts and wrongs foisted on Auckland by this generation of zero ability planners and thinkers will be the work of new generations to come. Thanks for legacy Len. Thanks for nothing.