Category Archives: Planning


I have a small commercial/residential property in Papakura, Auckland.  I was just reflecting on how much is going on there right now:

1) There are 48 townhouses being built around 550m from the CBD.  19 in stage one, being done now.  Corner of Ray Small Drive and Elliot St.  Here’s a picture off of the signboard on the property.  Try and ignore the graffiti :
Elliot Mews

2) They are working on the old Warehouse site to turn it into a medical centre now:
The Warehouse
3) There’s a few apartment developments around the town you probably won’t be aware of:
  • These ones have just been completed and are very close to the subject property.  The guys who did these are doing more just down from the current property on the Great South Road, across the road from the Warehouse – in the medical centre building.  So the medical centre people are moving out and across the road to the Warehouse site.​

Stanley Building

  • There are 11 planned just up and across the road from my building, above the Post Office.  Resource consent granted, construction not started.:

138 Great South Road, Papakura

  • 12 are being built (Nearly finished) in Railway St West.  I don’t have a photo of these, but they’re of very good quality.  Approximately 1km from the centre of CBD.
  • I think there are 4 being built in Wood St.  But haven’t seen this, just been told by an agent.

So anyway, I was listening to something on the radio the other day about the revival of run-down towns in the US and the key they said, was to get people living there.  Then the rest would come e.g. restaurants, cafes, shops etc, people feel safer at night and so on.


So I think this may happen to Papakura, but it won’t happen overnight, might take a few years.

Good Article on Earthquake Prone Buildings

Ann Brower: Earthquake risk? Fix the parapets first



Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter
Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter

On February 22, 2011, I was riding a bus up Colombo Street in Christchurch, when a parapet and façade collapsed onto us. Only I survived. And I was far from unscathed.

During that Christchurch earthquake,16 people were killed on that one block of Colombo Street – and New Zealand is full of places just like Colombo Street – with masonry facades, parapets, and gables.


I agree with pretty much everything she says.  And so does everyone else in the seismic area it seems.  Just gotta get the politicians on board.

Christchurch City Council Aims to Improve Development by Banning It

So in Christchurch, after the earthquakes, many buildings had to be demolished.

And then new ones built.

But the people building them, are building them in the wrong places – according to the Christchurch City Council.

So the have to be STOPPED.   BANNED from building anywhere apart from the central city.

This is how councils think.  Regulate, control, ban, impose costs.  Even activities creating jobs, investment etc. – they still have to be CONTROLLED.

From Stuff:

Plan aims at Christchurch ‘s ‘beating heart’



Last updated 05:00 24/03/2014

The Christchurch City Council wants to stem the haemorrhage of business from the central city by clamping down on commercial growth in the suburbs.

However, it could be another year until the changes takes effect. Central city landowners have welcomed the plan, but say it comes far too late.

The new rules are in the city’s draft district plan review, and would ban new office, retail and hospitality buildings in light industrial (business 4) zones.

This would halt construction in most parts of Addington, Lincoln Rd, Blenheim Rd and much of Moorhouse Ave, where new buildings have sprung up since the earthquakes. It would also affect many suburbs and land near the airport.

The plan, open for public feedback now, comes as developers complain of insufficient tenants to start rebuilding in the central city.

And then right at the end this bit:

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the council was interested in hearing from people about the draft plan.

“The idea is that we encourage commercial development in commercial areas.

“We do need a vibrant beating heart to our city,” she said




Council Incentives to Build!

Well knock me down and call me Susan!  The Hutt City Council are actually wanting people to build!

Yep, that wasn’t a typo, THEY WANT PEOPLE TO BUILD!  Industrial properties this is, to you know, do things like encourage job creation.  Something everyone talks about but no one actually does – until now!

Auckland Council, the biggest bunch of gouging pricks in the world should take a leaf out of Hutt City Council’s books:

Property Article

This is a yoink from the latest Total Property magazine by Bayleys.  You can read it here.

This is in fact what we should have been doing for the last 10 years.  Actually encouraging businesses to start new operations and/or expand.  Over the years I’ve heard so much talk about this, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen it in New Zealand.

So well done Hutt City Council!

Housing Costs

Good article in the Herald this morning exploring why houses have become so expensive:

Damien Grant: Housing game rules are rigged to suit owners – Politics – NZ Herald News.

This quote is very good:

Second, the 2002 Local Government Act compelled councils to consider the social, economic, environmental and cultural factors in town planning. They did, adding extra staff to regulate construction almost out of existence.

Government to the Rescue?

OMG I jumped out of my chair and clapped my hands at this!

Bolding is mine.

Govt piles on pressure for housing land

By Bernard Orsman

5:30 AM Thursday Mar 14, 2013
Photo / Thinkstock

Photo / Thinkstock

The Government is becoming increasingly heavy-handed over Auckland’s housing shortage, with talk of a new Crown agency to free up more land.

Environment Minister Amy Adams has suggested stripping the Auckland Council of some planning powers for three years to allow a Crown agency to play a role increasing the city’s residential land supply.

New Housing Minister Nick Smith has also released a Government report which, he says, shows a worrying trend of reduced land availability and soaring section prices.

Last week, Dr Smith vowed to break the “stranglehold” of Auckland Council’s policy of containing urban sprawl – a policy he said was “killing the dreams of Aucklanders” by driving up house prices.

The Government broadsides come as the council prepares to release its draft unitary plan tomorrow, which will determine where and how the city expands in rural and coastal areas and intensifies existing town centres and suburbs. Ms Adams refused the council’s request to give legal effect to the unitary plan once it is formally released in September and suggested the Crown agency as an interim measure in the three years it will take to finalise it.

The unitary plan contains a new “rural urban boundary” (RUB) to gradually zone land outside the current “metropolitan urban boundary” for a further 160,000 dwellings over the next 30 years. The existing urban boundaries will be intensified for 280,000 new houses.

RUB.  Going to be so many jokes around this.  Therein lies the RUB etc.

Dr Smith said it was essential that more land was made available for housing to improve supply and availability, quoting a report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, “Residential Land in Auckland”. He said it showed Auckland needed about 13,000 new homes a year over the next 30 years.

However, the city had just 1900 sections ready to build on today, 14,500 sections ready to be subdivided and 54,500 sections in the pipeline – half the supply of land to meet the council’s targets. Dr Smith said the Government was also worried about figures in the report showing the council wanted 4000 high-density dwellings a year for 10 years and 10,000 a year after that.

“This compares to 830 higher density dwellings consented last year and an average of 2674 per year over the past decade,” he said.


Rest of Article




And the Deputy Mayor is Just as Clueless

Scrap GST if you want to help, council tells Govt

By Wayne Thompson

5:30 AM Thursday Mar 14, 2013
Photo / Thinkstock

Photo / Thinkstock

Auckland Council says the Government should scrap GST on affordable housing instead of looking to trim council growth levies on developers.

The suggestion is part of the council’s response to a Department of Internal Affairs review of development contributions which considers options of capping or abolishing them.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said yesterday the council wanted to keep development charges in order to recover the cost of servicing roads, stormwater drains, parks, community facilities and public transport.

“The charge is only 4 per cent of the costs of development of an average home.

“Let’s put it in the Government’s court, saying if you want to make a difference, that 15 per cent GST would really help.

“Taking the development charges cost off the developers will only make the ratepayers pay and we say that’s not right.”

Bullshit, the fees paid by developers don’t go into roads etc.  They go straight into the pockets of council employees.

The council planned to recover $2 billion of growth investment from development contributions over the next 10 years, she said.

Growth investment.  Sounds lovely doesn’t it? But what is it?  What it really is, is more council staff on the public’s teat that’s what it is.

This would come from the 100,000 residential homes and 5 million square metres of non-residential development expected to come to Auckland in that time.

Without the charges, ratepayers would pick up the $850 million of interest on what the council would otherwise have to borrow.

Again, totally misleading BS.  Why doesn’t the council trim it’s budget a bit?  The CEO is getting paid $850,000 for crying out loud!  The wastefullness is at every level.  I know of a single traffic light pole that cost $145,000 to put in!

Mrs Hulse said that over the past eight years, development contribution charges in Auckland had fallen by 10 per cent against increases in the median house price of 50 per cent.

OMG, how dishonest can you get.  Prior to 2005 they didn’t even exist in Auckland, then they were introduced at $2500 for a single house.  Now they’re around $25,000 plus say $8000 for water and more for other services.    So that’s way more than a 1000% increase in 8 years. But the facts are never stated.

House materials were up 30 per cent and land costs had risen up to 36 per cent. Developer profit would be well above 16 per cent when a modest subdivision cost was added.

And how on earth does Penny Hulse know what a development margin will be on any given subdivision?  Has she done a few has she?  Or she’s ‘consulted’ with a few developers has she?  I doubt it.

The council also fears proposed changes to the Resource Management Act will free a greater proportion of developers from the need to get resource consents and therefore skip the levy.

Oh we can only wish.  Being able to do what we want with our own land? Wow.  That would be a dream come true.  For the council it would be a nightmare because they wouldn’t be able to introduce all sorts of controls and hoops (with associated fees) for developers to jump through.

Mrs Hulse said the council had worked through a development contributions plan with developers and she was comfortable that a fair and equitable level had been struck.

Oh this really made me see red.  I bet this is a total lie.  Penny Hulse please name the developers you have worked with on a development contributions plan.  And then also get them to publcily say they agreed to the level which has been struck.  I bet not one will.  Either none will have been consulted at all (the most likely scenario) or if they were, they would have agreed with very little the council had to say.