The ARA has issued the following media release.
COUNCIL MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HOUSING AFFORDABILITY FAILURE
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance says Auckland Council needs to take its share of the blame for the city having the fifth least affordable housing in the world. Responding to the Demographia survey, released today, Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says:
“Auckland Council’s planning rules rely too much on discretion and uncertainty. It means that building takes longer and developers charge higher risk premiums.”
“Take for example the Mana Whenua provisions in the Unitary Plan. These are requiring thousands of Aucklanders to pay iwi groups for ‘cultural impact’ sign-off, for sites the Council didn’t even bother to check exist. We know of developments being held up because the Council’s Unitary Plan requires observance to mana whenua ‘metaphysical’ considerations. With planning like that, no wonder housing costs the Earth.”
“This Mayor and Council seldom think of the costs they impose on Aucklanders when they come to decisions. For the costs of housing to come down, that needs to change.”
The Taniwha Tax: Briefing paper on Auckland Council’s new Mana Whenua rules is available here.
It is time for a complete change of focus and thinking if Auckland Council is to make the city affordable for all.