Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Geography and housing options

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  • Sacha, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    Thanks.

    In fact, Auckland has grown faster than the high population growth forecasts.

    Which continues the long-term trend mentioned at that Akl Conversations session in 2012, hence Council benchmarking projections against the high-growth line.

    Fools like Auckland2040 and a certain mayoral candidate continue to insist medium is enough. The same blinding ambition that saw clip-ons needed for the harbour bridge. I can say this stuff as a non-employee. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Build a dam across Manakau heads. Pump out water. Build seven bedroom multi million dollar mcmansions on quarter acre sections. Sell them. Blow up dam.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to David Hood,

    Thanks a lot for that David. A very interesting graph. I would be keen to see a comparison with Australian cities and Vancouver, since there is talk that they are suffering similar bubbles to Auckland based on wealth flowing out of China since 2003.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Thanks a lot for that David. A very interesting graph. I would be keen to see a comparison with Australian cities and Vancouver, since there is talk that they are suffering similar bubbles to Auckland based on wealth flowing out of China since 2003.

    In Sydney:
    Australia's ghost suburbs a 'national scandal'

    Vancouver:
    China’s economic turmoil likely to affect Vancouver real estate market — but how?

    And London's right up there too:
    China and Qatar buying London properties

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Build seven bedroom multi million dollar mcmansions on quarter acre sections. Sell them. Blow up dam.

    Missing second step: market to doltish easties as logical place to deposit their offspring.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    Build seven bedroom multi million dollar mcmansions on quarter acre sections. Sell them. Blow up dam.

    Missing second step: market to doltish easties as logical place to deposit their offspring.

    If it's not within the budget, some old-fashioned FUD could do. Starting with this:

    RNZ: 'Massive risk' to coastal property

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Rochelle Wilson,

    I remember that a number of large Head Offices trans-located from Wellington to Auckland in the 1990's and early 2000's. They weren't manufacturers/exporters.. but they took very many jobs away and Wellington has not recovered. Plus earthquake risk is considerably greater that active Volcano activity.

    Kapiti • Since Jul 2007 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Rochelle Wilson,

    Also, the land south, and north of Auckland is good horticultural land... we need to eat.
    All past cities and empires eventually fell because they could not feed themselves from nearby .. or have enough water.
    Auckland is crazy to consider expanding into these productive areas.

    Kapiti • Since Jul 2007 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Deep Blue, in reply to Rae Sott,

    To pay for the 'baby boomers' qualifying for N Z Super, over the next 10-20 years.
    From memory, its expected that there will be more people either on benefit, or super, than will be working. Kind of elephant in the room stuff. Somewhat surprised the entitlement age for NZ Super hasn't been raised. Put simply, we don't have enough workers to subsidise the benefit/ pension.

    Te Awamutu • Since Sep 2014 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Deep Blue,

    its expected that there will be more people either on benefit, or super, than will be working. Kind of elephant in the room stuff.

    Working at what? This is the reason Labour have been talking about the future of work (Or as the Right would have it "how are we going to be able to pay for Labours elevnty billion dollar Universal Basic Income").
    With machines rapidly replacing skilled workers, yes, skilled workers, its not just the semi skilled that will be passed their use by date in no time flat, there will be a huge problem.
    Unless we all go on "Gardening Leave" and get paid to pursue our hobbies and games the inequity will lead, inevitably, to either a total collapse of the financial system, most people too poor to buy the goods the Multinational Corporations want to sell, or Revolution, once you start disenfranchising the clever people you got problems.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Deep Blue,

    we don't have enough workers to subsidise the benefit/ pension.

    only if the value the work brings does not increase, and is not more fairly shared.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rochelle Wilson,

    Wellington's fine. The only people who think it's doing badly are landlords and property developers who want more unearned income. For those of us that actually work, there are lots of opportunities, and a way cheaper cost of living than the rest of NZ.

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

  • Ieuan, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    That's a completely ridiculous idea, Tom.

    We need the Manukau Harbour for the new port.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    By which I really meant relative cost of living for wage earners - it's obviously very cheap to live in places like the West Coast or Central North Island, but unless you manage to find a job as the local doctor/solicitor/accountant it's also hard to earn a decent wage.

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

  • Rick Townsend, in reply to David Hood,

    I am living (temporarily) in London at the moment. The housing situation here is exactly the same as Auckland. Have a look at www.guardian.co.uk

    Auckland • Since Apr 2016 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Rick Townsend,

    The housing situation here is exactly the same as Auckland.

    Except that by most of the metrics of comparing houses affordability to local peoples ability to pay for them, Auckland works out to be about 1 and 1/2 times less affordable than London. Current London is kinda equivalent to Auckland 2012, before the bubble on top of the bubble.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    As a Kiwi who lives overseas, contemplating the NZ and AKL housing market is like looking into a sea of insanity. With the median house price a 10 times median salary in AKL, severely unaffordable and one of the worst in the world, it is clear that the prevailing orthodoxy is failing disastrously. And that orthodoxy at city council level is a belief in compact cities and urban boundaries, with a population unwilling to densify.
    Something has to change in a big way, incrementalism wont solve this problem. It seems up and out, and lots of both is required. To get infrastructure built, use urban utility organisations to borrow to build and charge section holders over 20 years. Foster satellite business centers so there are plenty of good jobs out closer to the burbs so commuting to the center is required only for a shrinking % of jobs. In this age of skype etc, geography is less and less relevant, jobs don't have to be close together.
    Here's an interesting article that highlights how light rules and regs have helped a couple of cities either keep prices down or to innovate quickly.
    http://on.wsj.com/1TuVt3y

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to James Bremner,

    the prevailing orthodoxy [… of …] a belief in compact cities and urban boundaries, […] is failing disastrously […] with a population unwilling to densify

    More accurately, property owners unwilling to allow surrounding densification. The “orthodoxy” of compactness hasn’t “failed” as such, because it hasn’t yet been allowed to be seriously adopted.
    The only truly failed prevailing orthodoxy here is the belief in deregulation and letting the market decide.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to James Bremner,

    In this age of skype etc, geography is less and less relevant, jobs don't have to be close together.

    Telecommuting is good, but it's still slow to catch on in NZ, and it's generally not the employee's choice to do so. Once again, unless you're a company director who can afford to commute from the wop-wops, or have specialist skills that can be taken anywhere, most of us are still required to punch-clock.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James Bremner,

    jobs don't have to be close together.

    true only for low-value jobs.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Foster satellite business centers so there are plenty of good jobs out closer to the burbs so commuting to the center is required only for a shrinking % of jobs.

    What happens when a couple both have jobs in Manukau and buy a house in the area, and then one of them finds a job in another "satellite business centre" in Albany and is faced with a two hour commute?

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What happens when a couple both have jobs in Manukau and buy a house in the area and then one of them finds a job in another “satellite business centre” in Albany and is faced with a two hour commute?

    That's where trains come in handy as proven in many parts of the World. When I lived in Sydney, I worked in the City, (Martin Place and Centrpoint, I had a weekend job in Redfern and I lived in Bondi. The flatmate gave the 1970 VG Valiant 2 Door to a kid down the road because he would visit it to admire it in the street and it sat there never getting used. Trains were our mode of transport. Trains are your friend.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Trains work where there is sufficient population density to make high frequencies economic. Sprawl is the enemy of rail.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Hugh Wilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes …

    This discussion and the situation more broadly strikes me a a repetitive loop:

    - growing population needs somewhere to go
    - increased density is suggested, to accommodate growth and support improved PT
    - increased density is resisted in favour of sprawl so PT never really improves b/c taxes go to other extending infrastructure to sprawled areas
    - sprawled people drive b/c there is not PT, choking roads more
    - non-sprawled people still drive because they’ve always driven, and PTs not a good option for their ‘needs’
    - everyone spends more and more time stuck in traffic, commuting to and from work in order to pay off their very large mortgage
    - loops recommences

    Breaking the loop needs muchos boldness …

    A viable Manukau-Albany rail connection seems to be a long, long way off ..

    And of course there is a song about repetitive loops ...

    Melbourne • Since Feb 2013 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Sacha,

    Trains work where there is sufficient population density to make high frequencies economic. Sprawl is the enemy of rail.

    You have it backwards: trains are the enemy of sprawl.

    Building train systems after the city is established is insanely expensive. Tunnels cost a lot of money ($100M/km is towards the cheap end) but they're cheap compared to demolishing houses. Even cheap houses. Dual track needs about 10m wide, so 1 hectare/kilometre. City land sells for between $100 and $500 per square metre, so you're looking at a minimum of $10M/km just for the land, before you start re-routing infrastructure, often building bridges/underpasses for roads (and bob help you if there's a big water main or gas pipeline).

    If you can get in while the land is clear you save a lot of money. Surrounding infrastructure can be built to suit the trains, rather than built then dug up and re-done after the train line goes in. Plus you can (ideally, anyway) capture a lot of the value increase that comes from the rail line. That's hard to do if you force a rail line into a NIMBY neighbourhood.

    In Sydney we had the fist of god approach to densification and it seems to be working. One of the higher levels of government just made a spreadsheet and gave each council a number: you will accommodate X new residents in the next 20 years. So instead of councils being able to pretend that their neighbourhoods would stay the same while the next council over turned into skyscrapers, everyone had to play the game. We have seen a lot of rezoning around transport hubs as a result. A 1200m2 section+house next to the railway station where I live (30 minutes from the CBD by train) went from $800k to $1.5M the day that zoning change passed. Viz, their rates bill doubled... but now a developer can go 8 storeys there rather than the previous 3-4

    OTOH, there's a new major airport going to be built at Badgery's Creek in western Sydney. Without rail. Even though it's barely 10 years since the privately built rail line to the existing airport went bankrupt because build cost so far exceeded passenger revenue. The value-add there was "don't have to build an 8 lane motorway" not "passengers will pay". At the new airport it's "$30B project, or $25B without the rail... oh, and another $25B for new roads" (watch what happens. I bet my numbers turn out to be closer than the official ones)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

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