Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So what now?

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  • Sacha, in reply to Marc C,

    defending Council as being the good faith acting vested interest party. They want intensification and growth, because they want more residents

    Again, please stop making this ridiculous claim.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Marc C,

    we will withdraw from the hearing process, apart from perhaps presenting legal evidence

    ah, their experts explicitly said they won't be presenting evidence.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Marc C, in reply to linger,

    Is this the Godwin like version of a judgment for someone commenting critically and generally on immigration? But I thank you, that is exactly why nobody dares mentioning the "elephant in the room". New Zealand is now so PC mad, any critical comment does instantly get interpreted as being racist or whatever else one can think of.

    You have proved this yet again, perfectly, putting words to my comments that I never mentioned and even considered. Immigrants are not simply "Asian", they come from many places, so your comment is just totally ridiculous, I fear.

    By the way, we will also have limited natural resources that will at some point mean we should not have local natural population growth, not more than what is sustainable.

    Countries like the UK and others, that have high populations, they can only supply and sustain them due to using fossil fuels for energy, and unless some magical new sustainable energy form is found, that can provide enough energy not just for lighting homes and streets, but also power cars and more, they will not be sustainable either.

    Wind and solar and hydro energy there won't be enough to supply them with the present living standards, the same will one day apply to New Zealand.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Marc C, in reply to Sacha,

    I think they have kind of scored an own goal by that decision, and the arguments Council's planners stated do not convince me. They could still present evidence, or give a statement re what evidence will now be withdrawn due to the decision by the Councillors. Even if that is not possible, there has already been plenty of evidence presented by Council on residential zoning topics and other topics, which show where Council stands on all this, at least generally.

    Then there will be submitters like Housing NZ, Mr Ben Ross also, and many others, who will present their evidence and views, some supporting intensification and more up-zoning in the form of re-zoning, others will oppose it.

    It makes the hearing process a little less inclusive due to Council's withdrawal, but both sides and also affected residents (some also want up-zoning rather than the opposite) will be given a chance to be heard.

    I think it is not perfect, but will not end in a total disaster either.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to Marc C,

    Nah, I was referring only to the continual trumpeting of elephants (Asian or otherwise). Packing away the pachyderms (presumably, into a massive trunk):
    Immigration is an important factor for population planning, and deserves mention in that context. I'm interested in what you see as being the council's or the government's options.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Marc C, in reply to linger,

    Thanks for the clarifications. As I already commented, we could start with some more proactive regional planning, thus enabling more jobs and business in regions. We can further incentivise the new migrants to move to other parts of the country, the government seems to have started with that giving more points for a move to other places than Auckland.

    And for the rest, no country is forced to take in migrants, except perhaps a reasonable amount of internationally acknowledged refugees as a quota, so the government could tighten criteria, thus limiting immigration into the country. This approach has been used again and again, to perhaps adjust inflow, so it is economically and socially feasible to handle the flow of people. Naturally citizens and permanent residents with a right to return cannot be stopped, but if there is a great move of returnees from say Australia, other migration can be slowed for a while.

    It makes no sense to enable growth in a city when there are likely to be serious limitations to water and energy supply that cannot meet potential demand, and we are likely to have just that kind of situation sooner than some may suspect.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Christopher Randal, in reply to Marc C,

    Your comments about the attitudes and reactions of council employees have reinforced my view that they have hijacked council for their own ends and the Governing Body is powerless against them.

    One hopes that the new council will rule with an iron fist.

    Manurewa • Since Feb 2016 • 1 posts Report

  • Zach Bagnall,

    No one's talking about the causes for immigration here because it's mostly immaterial. As long as Auckland continues to appear in the top 3 liveable cities in the world it's going to grow, and the question is how Auckland deals with that.

    Talking about who's coming and from where and how to stop them will terminally derail this conversation.

    That aside, I've enjoyed reading your comments here Marc C.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report

  • John Farrell, in reply to Christopher Randal,

    Is Mussolini standing for mayor?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report

  • Marc C,

    I am not sure whether this has already been presented in one of the many earlier comments, but here are anyway the Minutes on the extraordinary meeting by the Auckland Council Governing Body on 24 Feb. 2016:


    Some questions may yet need to be clarified by legal experts, but the vote was clear, I think.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Graham Dunster,

    Here's a good overview that answers a lot of the Swan/Marc back and forth - http://www.metromag.co.nz/city-life/simon-wilsons-auckland/the-miserables-of-kohimarama/?utm_source=exacttarget&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=34891&utm_content=272875&user_id=583e31324409926e44bc3e49455a9f6ad462c1f6. Dushko Bogunovich from Unitec could do with some more comments to answer there, too!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report

  • Marc C,

    Simon Wilson has to some degree discredited himself, same as Bernard Hickey has, with these exaggerations about “heckling”, “shouting” and so forth, watch the video found via a link further above, and it will show that the actual atmosphere was tense, but definitely not at the described level.

    I quote:
    "And there they were, 150 of them piled into the back of the room, sitting and standing, shouting at every speaker they disagreed with, seething with anger: the insurrectionists of Kohimarama, just itching to storm the barricades. Well, not storm, exactly, because their average age was well into the 70s. Clamber carefully, perhaps."

    Good grief, so that is supposed to be balanced journalism? Bernard Hickey now makes the rounds claiming the vote by Council’s Governing Body means Council has gone back to the original notified PAUP allowing only capacity for 80-thousand developable homes. That is BS too, as there have been major changes to development controls in the THAB, MHU and even MHS and Mixed Use zone areas, allowing more density, also have greater heights been proposed during earlier hearing topics, all before the Panel to recommend on later in June or July. The feasible capacity modeling is continuing at the Council’s research unit, and they have in recent reports, that did not even consider the “out of scope” changes, already found more feasible development, much higher than the supposed 80-thousand.

    It is astonishing that the journalists and various other commentators have only just now discovered that there is ample debate about the PAUP, notified and heard so far, as before we got stuff all from them about it. It is evident to me that most have not properly read the notified and since then changed text of the PAUP, that is why we get this poor reporting now, it is embarrassing, really.

    But in the end, I understand, this is a theatre fitting dramatisation, based on a comparison with “Les Miserables”, so that is where Simon is good and talented at entertaining us.

    Studying the minutes for that meeting, there is still room for Council to clear up it’s stuff ups, which includes the earlier committee’s decisions in November last year, and to instruct their planners to still tidy up evidence and work in cooperative fashion with other submitters and the Panel, who will after all have to decide, what should be recommended back to Council to do, and what perhaps not.

    The show is far from over, indeed.

    Watching the Nation on TV3, it seems even the Finance Minister is not that clued up about what all the consequences of Council’s Governing Body vote on last Wednesday may mean. But there was NO talk of appointing any Commissioner to sort this out here in Auckland, I wonder why?

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,

    Its quite amazing watching this debate, as an ex Aucklander, from outside Auckland.
    I will say this..
    The bubble will burst when enough Auckland home owners realise they could move to the sticks and retire on the “value” of their property. Thing is is that the bubble will continue until that tipping point is reached and people always want more, they will hang in there until they see others leaving and prices dropping, that maybe triggered by all this hysteria and that could cause the biggest housing crash that NZ has seen since Christchurch..
    Its a gamble for those that see the opportunity, when do you sell?.
    First out, best dressed, as it were.
    For others, those that love Auckland more than their actual life, they are just waiting for the day that they can get a Ponsonby Villa for less than 100 grand again.
    It depends on how many tell the wood from the trees.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Obviously I can't say much on this topic, given I work for Council.

    Just one point on immigration, yes there has been a big spike in the last couple of years but that seems to be largely driven by fewer NZers leaving for overseas and more returning. Can't do much about that.

    Before 2013 we had actually seen a number of years of below expected population growth, mainly due to less migration.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    mainly due to less migration.

    Greater, surely?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Joshua Arbury, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Less net migration. More emigration (remember the brain drain of hundreds a week leaving for Australia).

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    Not that anyone would suggest the NZ economy should be deliberately* downsized in order to force more Kiwis to emigrate – not least because Auckland would be the last place to be affected.

    [* it's a purely accidental result of existing policies.]

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,

    Migration is a two way street.... hence Emigration and Immigration.
    Brain Drain Emigration offsetting Immigration but not including natural population growth would surely mean more unless Immigration was really low numbers at the time.
    I read from your statement that population flow in either direction was less because of more leaving...
    My understanding is Population growth, whether natural or by immigration, was less because Emigrants exceeded Immigrants. So therefore greater net migration.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    NZ immigration has fairly consistently exceeded emigration over the past few decades, but by wildly variable amounts over that time. The natural increase (births – deaths) is fairly constant, so can be planned for; the net migration is much harder to predict in advance (and disproportionately affects Auckland).

    Some sample figures:
    Year, Natural increase, Arrivals, Departures, Net migration
    1991, 33522, 50578, 44181, +6397
    1996, 29025, 79005, 54212, +24793
    2001, 27974, 81094, 71368, +9726
    2006, 30948, 82732, 68123, +14609

    NZ’s annual population growth over the period 2006-2013 was about 31000 per year, which is almost entirely accounted for by natural increase, implying net migration was close to zero over that period.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Sorry Steve I should have been clearer. What I meant is that the net migration gain (immigrants minus emigrants) has risen dramatically in the past few years compared to what happened during most of the 2006-2013 period.

    Interestingly house prices still increased a lot between 2006 and 2o13 even though the net migration gain was relatively low.

    I think there are two separate questions around limiting Auckland's growth: "should you?" and "could you?" There is a really interesting discussion to be had I the first question: essentially a trade off between the benefits of agglomeration and the benefits of making better use of underutilised infrastructure.

    The 2nd question is also interesting. My broad take is that if the massively higher house prices (and rent) in Auckland aren't putting people off, it's hard to know what would. The benefits of being in Auckland clearly outweigh that cost to the people choosing to live here.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Marc C,

    Simon Wilson has to some degree discredited himself, same as Bernard Hickey has, with these exaggerations about “heckling”, “shouting” and so forth

    It's exactly what I heard from the microphones of submitters who had the crowd behind them - and I was surprised. Those mics aren't set up to collect quiet 'murmurs' as you've characterised them. Some rare loud rude folk in the gallery, is all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • linger,

    More accurately, arrivals disproportionately affect Auckland; departures less so. Even over the past decade, when NZ as a whole has had relatively low net migration, the Auckland population has still grown through international migration, as well as through internal migration. The 2010 Statistics New Zealand report New Zealand’s International Migration Statistics: 1922-2009 concludes, rather obviously (p8): “Migration flows were influenced by legislative and economic factors in New Zealand and overseas”.

    N.B. There is a 2014 Statistics NZ release specifically on migration flows in/out of Auckland: International migration to and from Auckland region: 1996-2013.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to linger,

    More accurately, arrivals disproportionately affect Auckland

    Well yes. This is a matter of government policy, lack of influence in getting new immigrants to consider anything other than Auckland. We need more people in the provinces and this should be encouraged, the free for all attitude of the current Government helps no-one but the Auckland elite, bigger rents and property prices paid for by those thinking that all is hunky dory in Auckland. The fact is that the provinces would love the financial and entrepreneurial input of those that want to make a new start, not just the hopeful immigrants but, also, the dispossessed from war torn areas of the world that have fallen due to the over reaching influence of global traders and sectarian revolution.
    We are a last bastion of freedom to some, ironic eh?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • linger,

    The Auckland migration report I linked to shows the effect of a policy change in 2003 which increased points for immigrants with job offers outside Auckland.
    Arrivals to Auckland decreased 25% relative to the rest of the country. But net migration to other regions was … zero, implying most such jobs were short-term. Even the difference in arrivals tapered off, disappearing by 2012. I don’t know if this means the policy was reversed then, or if no further provincial job offers were available, rendering the policy moot, or if it's just the Christchurch effect (see below).

    To underscore the unpredictability of migrant flows:

    In 2011, net migration was negative (Christchurch being an obvious factor).
    But in 2014 and 2015, NZ’s population increase from net migration was twice that from natural increase.

    Net migration, year ending December 2011: -1,855
    Net migration, year ending December 2014: +50,922
    Net migration, year ending January 2016: +65,911

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    the provinces would love the financial and entrepreneurial input of those that want to make a new start

    Yet most of those people do not love the prospect of life in a sleepy village with few of their own culture. Hence having to bribe some of them with points to go there for even a limited time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

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