Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The uncooling of the inner West

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  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    first they turned the electorate blue, now they are moving all the red out :/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    In the late 70s, I lived in an old nunnery in the CBD. Having startup bands practice in the old chapel would bring out the noise control pretty quick if it was done these days

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    Auckland has gone bananas. My family have got dreams of moving up there for a couple of years so my wife can finish her studies (and so I can jam with people like SJD/James Milne/Neil Finn who I only ever see in passing and never manage to make any music with!!! grrr). BUT we just can't work it out.

    In Wellington I know a lot of young families moving out to the Hutt Valley. People who would never in a million years considered flatting out there in their 20s. But The Hutt is changing for the better very quickly and getting really nice. And renting with kids sucks. Uninsulated, dilapidated crumbling victorian villas in Newtown for $600pw. It's a rubbish existence.

    The huge difference here is that if you go buy a house in Moera for $350K you are still only a twenty minute drive from the Wellington CBD (maybe 40 minutes in rush hour...maybe). And if you do want to live in South Wellington (it is the best place in the world...) then you can still get a family home for $550k to $750k which seems insane to me but not when I think of Auckland.

    I reckon the house I own in Wellington would be worth 3 times as much in Auckland, easy.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    (was that a really snobby post from me? Name droppy guy....)

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    oh god this is my fault isn't it... I've uncooled my entire suburb...

    More seriously, this is visible in the inner West. I spent my student days around Ponsonby/Grey Lynn when it was super-studenty and quite grungy. No more. Where I live is possibly the only mixed income pocket of Freemans Bay left, but only because about 1/3 of the housing stock is rented, some from HNZ or a housing trust.

    And thank goodness for all the students in the CBD, the place would be dead without them.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith,

    'A whole set of cultural assumptions about about these places – diverse, bohemian, liberal – seem likely to have gone with the young adult population.'

    Damn. As an old person I will have to forego those possible attributes then. It's a good job I live in a rural area where I'm free to be illiberal...

    Come on Russell - this reads like a UKIP post in the Torygraph - Oh No! things around me are changing!

    Maybe it is time to act like you did in the mid 80's and think outside the square. Life outside of LuvieLand is not as bad as you may suppose .

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    Come on Russell – this reads like a UKIP post in the Torygraph – Oh No! things around me are changing!

    Hmm, I think regretting the loss of diversity is pretty much the exact opposite of UKIP. But what would I know.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    But The Hutt is changing for the better very quickly and getting really nice.

    Yup. And my point is about Russell regretting change. Just like the whines from UKIP.

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    UKIP is not a fair comparison. Fearing things different to you is not at all the same as enjoying the cultural benefits of a young population in an area you live and seeing that population being priced out of the market and priced out of living anywhere remotely near the city. It's observation of a sad fact of economics as opposed to scare mongering and racism.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Come on Russell – this reads like a UKIP post in the Torygraph – Oh No! things around me are changing!

    Oh, please. That’s a completely bizarre characterisation of what I said.

    I’m lamenting a potential loss of diversity and hoping for policies that will bring in more young adults to live in my neighbourhood. Clearly, just like UKIP.

    But yeah, I do think I'm entitled to not want to die the death of Parnell.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    fucking Parnell

    Quite topical there Russell. This Government is doing its damndest to do just that with the Slavery Amendment Bill, or the Employment Relations Act Amendment Bill as some would have it.
    Fucking Parnell
    Property tip for those that want to get in on the ground floor, as it were, bucolic Mangere Bridge is set to be the next Ponsonby. It has the potential to have a rail service to town and is a stoned throw up from the Airport.
    According to those stats there is a downturn in population in that area, strange to say the least.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    UKIP is not a fair comparison

    Yes - the hyperbole was uncalled for. The comparison is a tad stretched...

    I still think that the post is a paean to past. The writing was on the wall when I lived there in the mid 90's. Your sad fact of economics was inevitable.

    The young population has moved. The culture you seek and want to be part of will accompany them. Just let me know where you settle so I can get in early with the real-estate purchase. And so it continues...

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    For sure.

    I live 30 minutes walk, 10-15 minutes bus ride or 5 minutes drive from the Wellington CBD. For the same money in Auckland, I'd be out in the back blocks of Avondale or Manukau. (I won't even add that my house looks out on protected bush, so that walk into town is largely through forest, not alongside a highway).

    I have no idea why people tolerate this.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think you're way to late - so many of the inner west suburbs that were affordable (for renters and buyers) are now Parnell in everything but name

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    a stoned throw up

    =bad munchies? :-P@
    (And, to maintain some relevance to descriptions of Auckland suburbia: Imagine how happy I was yesterday when a student misheard a Twilight Zone reference as “you are now entering the toilet zone"…)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1928 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Russell Brown,

    hoping for policies that will bring in more young adults to live in my neighbourhood.

    But you presumably moved to Point Chev as it was affordable and moderately central. Other people found the same and joined you. The area developed a culture that you were a part of. That culture and a convenient location made the suburb desirable. The price of property rose. Young people were dissuaded from the moving to the area. Barring some control on the price of those properties, I can't see any way that could have been prevented.

    Holding on to the past is unlikely to succeed. Rather than developing policy to bring more young people into your area, why don't you follow the young people to the suburbs that they are moving to? Why can this culture not develop in those areas like it did in Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and Point Chev?

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold,

    Here's me, in Upper Hutt, hoping that prices in Wellington and Lower Hutt will force the young and the restless move out here to liven the place up...

    Since Jan 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Why can this culture not develop in those areas like it did in Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and Point Chev?

    the further out you live in Auckland the more of your life you lose to travel... and the more scattered the young (and older who crave the same) become, making any replication or whatever of what Grey Lynn et al so, um, interesting and fun to live very difficult to emulate in any given form. Though saying that all the outer suburbs are slowly but surely accommodating and becoming more 'interesting' as businesses open and the inner city refugees take up homes -cafes and eateries mainly

    syou can still find the sort of culture in the smaller cities where things are still affordable and the young and creative can gather easily

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m lamenting a potential loss of diversity and hoping for policies that will bring in more young adults to live in my neighbourhood. Clearly, just like UKIP.

    And if you want to go there, I don't think you need to be a raving UKIPper to note London has some housing affordability issues that would strain even The Herald's capability for hyperbolic hysteria.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Ditto. I live in Northland (the Northland in Wellington not Te Tai Tokerau) and walk to and from the city most days Takes 30 minutes, or less than 10 in the car. Great views across the harbour from the top of Orangi Kaupapa.

    My last place in Auckland was a flat in a rambling old house in Mt Eden (flatting with Jason Kemp, actually - hi Jase!). That was back in the 90s. I shudder to think what that would cost now. Every time I think property prices in Wellington are out of whack, I can always cheer myself up by thinking about Auckland.

    But there is nothing surprising about what is happening in the property market there. Auckland is NZ's designated global city and this is what always seems to happen in such cities. Here's a recent article from the New York times grizzling about the cost of housing in London. It could have been written by anyone in Auckland.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/28/opinion/londons-housing-boom.html

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to bob daktari,

    inner city refugees

    - and aren’t these ‘refugees’ akin to the ones that traditionally gave us the diversity that we are seeking? Alternative and marginalised folk are the progenitors of the ‘culture’ that sprang up in Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and elsewhere.

    Culture is organic. It thrives on change not stagnation.

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Every time I think property prices in Wellington are out of whack, I can always cheer myself up by thinking about Auckland.

    Why? My partner's retiring next year, and we're seriously mulling over moving back to Wellington after almost thirteen years away. Even with what we've got reasonably good odds of realizing for this place (unless the market pancakes dramatically), not a hope in hell of moving back to Newtown or the Park-end of Karori. But I guess it's the reality check of what you'd like against what you really need that keeps things interesting.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Barring some control on the price of those properties, I can’t see any way that could have been prevented.

    But there are ways of accommodating more people in the inner suburbs. I'm all in favour of suburbs like ours being intensified. There are so many good reasons to do it.

    Holding on to the past is unlikely to succeed. Rather than developing policy to bring more young people into your area, why don’t you follow the young people to the suburbs that they are moving to?

    I don't want to move 20km out of town, and I suspect few of them do either. What's so magical and inviolable about present population densities? Why not more townhouses and low-rise blocks near public transport and cycleways?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Nick Russell,

    My last place in Auckland was a flat in a rambling old house in Mt Eden (flatting with Jason Kemp, actually – hi Jase!). That was back in the 90s. I shudder to think what that would cost now.

    It's been done up and sold this year for $2 million. Soz.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

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