Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: After Len

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  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Swan,

    Matthew, what regional infrastructure did the North Shore not contribute to?

    I said facilities, not infrastructure. Y'all paid the least you could get away with towards things like the Zoo, Motat, the museum, Westpac helicopter, regional parks, etc etc. You were the region's bludger. You hold up NSCC's water treatment facility (waste water only, mind) like it's some beacon of hope that absolves you lot from your scandalous leeching off the body politic on everything that existed at a regional level.
    Guess what: we're all one city now, and you aren't the only ones who contributed assets to the Watercare balance sheet. All the things that you weren't paying for previously are now showing up on your rates sheet.
    Watercare isn't funded out of rates. Your Rosedale plant means squat for rates, because it's paid for by metered water. The things you didn't pay for, like the Victoria Wharf and all those regional amenities? You're paying for them now.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Swan, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Yes the token amounts it costs to keep Motat etc going is fairly immaterial compared to wastewater. As for regional parks these were funded by the ARC which all areas paid into equally. I think your idea that the NS was a bludger is misinformed and inflammatory frankly.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Questioner, in reply to Sacha,

    Stat’s NZ’s official population growth figures have exceeded their High projections for many decades in Auckland.

    It is true that at times Auckland’s population growth as a whole has exceeded the Stats high population projections and at other times it hasn’t. How is this relevant to the projections the Council has created regarding CBD population and employment?

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Isn’t the right-wing council an artefact of FPP wards?

    Not sure. FPP is certainly an artifact. But I'm just not convinced it's a good idea to chuck out popularly elected mayors with that bathwater.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    More trips around the region – the focus on the cbd is a red herring.

    Well, it's not the whole picture anyway. It's surely the most popular final destination by an order of magnitude. But I see what you mean. Yes, the CRL also makes other trips that aren't to or from the CBD faster.

    It's hard to understand the resistance to the idea - it's not like being right wing inherently means you think one kind of infrastructure is better than another for the purposes of commuting. I think the resistance is deeper than that - that the CRL represents some kind of quantum leap towards big city status - which is what is found unpalatable. "We like our little town and we don't want it to change". This is probably felt more strongly outside of Auckland than in it, a genuine fear that Auckland is growing too fast.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    STV would create very large wards in Auckland, which would tend to favour the rich and infamous.

    It’s also not entirely clear that “proportionality” is a particularly coherent concept in a not-very-partisan environment like the Auckland council.

    And you can’t compare L/R on the council now with L/R if the Mayor was indirectly elected, as the Len Brown For Mayor campaign would have focussed on turning out marginal council votes instead of mayoral votes, and I think could have swung at least one if not more council wards left if that resource had been redirected.

    [I do think mayors should be elected by the Council, and probably shouldn't also chair the council meeting - or, possibly, should, and a new office of Leader of the Council be created for the political head of the council.]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    It’s also not entirely clear that “proportionality” is a particularly coherent concept in a not-very-partisan environment like the Auckland council.

    Yes, without strong parties, PR isn't really necessary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Swan,

    "Your Rosedale plant means squat for rates, because it’s paid for by metered water"

    Also on this. Wastewater was included in rates pre amalgamation on the shore so maybe get your facts straight.

    Do you think Watercare will be able to fund CI and NI out of meter charges?? I dont think so.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    Doesn't Auckland need to prioritize housing before trains, public pools, and petty political battles between the red and blue corners? Or perhaps people have internalized that the little stuff is all that they can really hope to change. It doesn't really show much vision, spunk or ambition for either the council or the PA segmentation of Auckland.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Housing has fallen into the too hard basket. There is no political will in this country to do a damned thing about affordability anywhere, let alone in Auckland. It's pretty much out of control. I'm not surprised, because it's got so bad that no half measures are going to have any effect. But we are at least in control of smaller things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    You'll be pleased to know it has been, from presentations I've been at around the station redevelopments for the CRL in particular.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Exactly right, and the Dominion Road Project is the best current example of that.

    It was all set to go, construction on the parallel cycle routes underway (and now complete) when it became apparent that there simply would not be enough room in the CBD to park all the buses that you would need to carry the increased number of people from the increased bus capacity the project would deliver. Why this wasn't revealed/discovered sooner I have no idea and it is a major source of frustration - not least because the Local Board I'm on (Puketapapa) has a town centre upgrade we can't do until they do whatever they are going to do on Dominion Road (either Light Rail or a return to the bus project), and it is seriously overdue.

    Trams along Dominion Road, and in time also Sandringham and Mt Eden, will increase capacity to move large numbers of people from the isthmus fringes to the centre quickly, more than buses would, and it comes with lower space requirements for parking and storing buses. It makes sense to look at it. It probably makes sense to do it, if they can sort out the funding in an equitable way (which I've seen no evidence of to date).

    Buses will remain a key part of the public transport system, but on these heavily used fixed routes with town centres building around them LRT will work for a lot longer than buses. Proceeding with a bus-led Dominion Road Project could actually make bus congestion in the CBD worse sooner rather than later, based on what I've seen.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Transport and housing are linked. If you put your housing near the centres people need to travel to for work, education, play, shopping etc, that has a huge impact on the need to own a car in particular. And if people don't need to own a car to get around to the things they need to access then that frees up more land that otherwise ends up being used as carparking too. The up-zoning in the Unitary Plan is all about matching up increased housing capacity with frequent transport network routes and centres of employment, education and retail. It's the compact city, innit.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Julie Fairey,

    OK Julie, I know what you're saying but the chances of Auckland becoming a city based around public transport nodes is rather pie in the sky don't you think? And if this really were the great vision, what is happening in terms of mid- to high-density development happening in the modes of the CRL right now? Do you really think 3.5 km of rail is going to make a difference? Hell, even HCMC has a more grand vision than this and is on track to build a more impressive transport infrastructure by 2020. And more to the point, what is worth if nobody can actually afford to live there?

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    Housing has fallen into the too hard basket. There is no political will in this country to do a damned thing about affordability anywhere, let alone in Auckland. It’s pretty much out of control. I’m not surprised, because it’s got so bad that no half measures are going to have any effect. But we are at least in control of smaller things.

    I've said it before, but it's gotten to the point where the only thing guaranteed to fix it isn't a political solution, but an act of Murphy's Law. Namely a spherical globe filled with air and a loud popping sound.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    OK Julie, I know what you’re saying but the chances of Auckland becoming a city based around public transport nodes is rather pie in the sky don’t you think? And if this really were the great vision, what is happening in terms of mid- to high-density development happening in the modes of the CRL right now?

    That’s what’s happening in New Lynn and it’s great. The brownfields housing development is based around the train-and-bus station, on the Western Line.

    Do you really think 3.5 km of rail is going to make a difference?

    It’ll make a major difference.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to izogi,

    I never appreciated how well served New Zealand is with public libaries, at least in cities, until I shifted to Melbourne for a few years.

    This. A lot. The magnificent Sydney Public Library rivals the Richmond Public Library for size and the Tapawera Community Library for service. I wish I was kidding. Where I live the libraries are not too bad by Australian standards, and are mostly different in the number of languages supported (book collections in at least five, other material in ten or more), which does unfortunately mean that there's less material in the languages I read. But I go along and use it, because the evil money worshipping cultists watch those numbers like vultures.

    I wish Auckland the best of luck staring down the national government on this stuff, it sounds ugly. But I have to say that from Australia the Kiwi approach of a few large councils per city seems to work a lot better. Over here we have a lot of 30,000-50,000 size council areas, even in major cities. Sydney has 38 councils and that really doesn't work.

    I am a big fan of someone saying "how many councils should we have? Or alternatively, how big should a council be? and working forward from that. Albeit the Nationals seem to have started from "we need more control over Auckland" which is bullshit and we all know it. Sydney has "we must destroy Clover Moore" as a parallel, if you want to really see something nasty (by NZ standards, if you want actually nasty we also have gulags)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The brownfields housng development is based around the train-and-bus station, on the Western Line.

    It doesn't take a lot in many cases. The Sydney light rail is a joke, but it's really making a difference along the corridor it's on. If it was done properly it'd be amazing, but even bad light rail beats the snot out of driving.

    One secret benefit of brownfield is that often the people adding value can capture that - government own the land, add the facilities, then sell off the newly valuable land. Much better than just letting people near the new stuff pocket the proceeds... especially when there's no capital gains tax on them.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Our biggest problem is actually what to do with the sewage and waste we create and the reality of 10,000 year schedules for when she'll be right again. As modelled initially in 1976 or something.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'll take your word Russell and excuse me if I sound somewhat reactionary.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Questioner, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    If Auckland is becoming a city based around public transport nodes why is the Unitary Plan releasing so much rural land for urbanisation on the edge of the city?

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Questioner,

    I would guess: political expediency. And economic reality.

    Becoming = more than it was.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Morepork,

    There's heaps of underutilised land along the railway tracks and stations in West Auckland. The whole land shortage thing is a complete mystery to me as I drive past massive empty lots next to the Sunnyvale Station covered in gorse. Glen Eden waste of space carpark which had plans to be retail /with apartments and a double carpark elsewhere and massive underutilised industrial truck yards with scrub and open space. A huge flat ugly one story square winz office in the centre of Glen Eden with no apartments on top (i thought we had a social housing problem) We don't need to move the urban boundary. But it's much easier for developers to have a big piece of empty land far away from existing urban social problems. They should utilise and renovate the suburbs the land they have along the tracks first. .

    auckland • Since Nov 2015 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Questioner,

    If Auckland is becoming a city based around public transport nodes why is the Unitary Plan releasing so much rural land for urbanisation on the edge of the city?

    I suspect in large part because of pressure from Krum, Quax, Brewer et al. Before then, the Unitary Plan had bigger plans for ‘Manhattanisation’. Can't have any potential pins to the housing bubble, eh?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    It's threads like these that make me glad I only lived in Auckland for 2 years and that was 25 years ago...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

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