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Environment Canterbury looks to release land on Christchurch fringes for up to 5,000 homes; up to Environment Court

Posted in Property Updated

Greenfields land on the fringes of Christchurch may be reclassified as residential to accommodate up to 5,000 new homes for the city if the Environment Court decides in favour of revised urban limits for the east of the city.

The announcement comes on the same day as the government is expected to announce it will offer to buy about 5,000 of the worst affected homes in Christchurch, allowing insured residents to take cash for the 2007 value of their homes.

Environment Canterbury Regional Council, which had originally been against extending the limits before the series of earthquakes hit the region, made the announcement saying the land may be released, although it is dependant on the decision of an Environment Court hearing being held in Queenstown this week.

A number of parties are seeking to have land reclassified as residential inside the region's Urban Development Strategy (UDS) urban limit. The UDS is maintained by Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council and the NZ Transport Agency

Yet although The UDS partners had already settled a number of disputes with parties seeking reclasificataion of land, they are not withdrawing the remaining court hearings, saying the Environment Court had to be satisfied that what was being proposed meet with the purpose of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

Change of mind

Environment Canterbury, as well as Christchurch City Council and other councils in the region, had been against the idea of pushing out the urban limits. Environment Canterbury Commissioner Peter Skelton told interest.co.nz that was indeed the case before the series of devastating earthqukes hit the city, leading to the change of mind.

"We were opposed to extending the limits until the earthquakes came along," Skelton told interest.co.nz

"In terms of the East part of Christchurch, that’s been the main motivation for agreeing to extend the urban limits to bring some more land in," he said.

However the change of mind would not mean the Environment Court cases would be scrapped.

“Because the court still has to be satisfied that what’s now being proposed meets the purpose of the RMA, and that’s what this hearing is about this week,” Skelton said.

“Of course, urbanisation of any greenfield land within the urban limit would still be subject to a plan change process under the Christchurch City Plan and Selwyn and Waimakariri district plans. This is to ensure that infrastructure requirements integrate with existing and other planned developments and that any new or upgraded infrastructure is affordable to the community,” he said.

The move would add further land to the market, “and that must be beneficial in market terms.”

“But what effect that will have [on prices], I’m not an economist, but it’s got to provide people with more choice and so forth than they otherwise would have,” Skelton said.

Prior to the Environment Court hearing, the UDS partners had worked towards reaching agreements with ten of the property owners and developers who had appealed against Change 1 of the Regional Policy Statement. They were Prestons Road Ltd, Franco Farms, Case Family, Oakvale Farms Ltd, Fulton Hogan Ltd., National Investment Trust, Memorial Avenue Investments Ltd., Equus, Calder Stewart and Lincoln Land Development.

Draft consent orders for each proposed agreement were then submitted to the Court for consideration.

“Under the extraordinary circumstances following the earthquakes, the UDS partners made the pragmatic decision to review the urban limits in orderto provide additional land for potential development. There was a clear need to review the urban limits once it became clear that some parts of Christchurch, particularly in the eastern suburbs, may no longer be suited for housing," Skelton said.

“The Urban Development Strategy has shown that it can be responsive to the changing needs of the community and has demonstrated its continuing relevance for the future of post-earthquake Greater Christchurch.The proposed new urban limit now rests with the Court,” he said.

Background

  • A number of parties had appealed against the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement, Change 1 which gives statutory backing to the Urban Development Strategy.
  • Prestons Road Limited are seeking to include additional land within the UDS urban limit, a number of others, including Mills Hills (Highfield Park) to the east of the Prestons Road development had appealed mainly on the basis of sequencing - i.e. the timing that development in certain areas could occur.
  • The Urban Development Strategy partners now support the inclusion of Preston’s land within the urban limits and the changes in sequencing as agreed with individual appellants. They worked to reach separate agreements with these ten landowners/developers prior to the start of the hearing, but the proposed agreements are still being considered by the Court.

(Updates with Skelton interview.)

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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61 Comments

Alex - we could call this a

Alex - we could call this a belated step in the right direction. One could hardly accuse the Authorities here of being "responsive".

CERA really does need to give this whole land issue on the fringes a good hurry up - as I outlined within Mondays article on Interest Co and on CTV Jo Kanes One on One Wednesday evening.

For Ecan Commissioner Peter Skelton to suggest that hes not an economist - and in essense saying that he hasnt a clue what an affordable section price is, sure is stretching credulity. Skelton doesnt need to be an economist to understand that current section prices are grossly inflated.

Journalists should gently ask Skelton if he understands the consequences of sections being $200,000 - when they should be $50,000. If Skelton cant figure that out, he needs to do the community a favour by getting out of the current job he has and contribute constructively to the community, by say picking vegetables for the rest of his life.

One really does wonder if IQ tests are required for those involved with RMA matters. Its pathetic.

What are the other Local Authorities throughout New Zealand learning from the Christchurch events?????

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

Hugh I couldn’t agree

Hugh I couldn’t agree more this is a golden and necessary opportunity to provide the city with sufficient land to realign values and to provide those seeking sections at realistic levels. These people are just plain dumb.

The US housing stock currently represents around 110% of GDP Historically it has been around 80%.still some way to go. The New Zealand housing stock currently represents around 350% of GDP and people wonder why this economy will not grow, why we have such high levels of debt and such high levels of poverty. 

Colin - you are spot on. I

Colin - you are spot on. I have added quite a number of, shall we say, direct comments on other threads as well, you may wish to read.

The reality is, that if affordable section supply doesnt happen on the fringes fast - we will see continuing destructive outwards migration, which in any event will lead to a substantial fall in property prices. The current rental supply situation is a very good indicator. There is plenty of it.

Hopefully - as I have made clear, Christchurch needs to become an affordable opportunity city fast. If it doesnt - it will simply continue to spiral downwards.

They are already talking about it in Australia being a "ghost city". The word had gone out months ago within the Asian community, to get out of the place. It is so unfortunate and unnecessary.

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

If its left to private

If its left to private developers, the new sections wont be affordable. Council or Central Govt. needs to become involved in developing & supplying to the market the affordable sections talked about. When private developers are faced with competition from genuinely affordable sections their prices will fall into line.

Environment Canterbury - do

Environment Canterbury - do we really want these guys involved as well, everyone knows what performance they have delivered over the years. One really important question - Where/WHo is going  to build the infrastructure to support the Big migration Move.......the schools are at capacity already, they closed all the hospitals down on the outskirts of CHC...you can't do one without the other or the infrastructure already there will breakdown. All I see on the above  are names of  property developers wanting there slice of teh action to get some of the cream Fletchers are getting

 

FCM - You are quite right. I

FCM - You are quite right. I thought the idea of putting the Commissioners in to Environment Canterbury (Canterbury Regional Authority), was to take them out of land use issues and cut them down to size to be just a Regional Water Authority.

As a developer, one gets fed up listening to the constant bellyaching from Local and Central Government, on why it is oh so difficult to supply and run infrastructure.

It is because - as the perceptive George Balani said - they couldn't run a bath.

I think it would be fair enough to say Christchurch residents are getting a "rude lesson" in just how well Governments run things, when we are "enduring" the Christchurch City Council, EQC and Civil Defence. Lets see what Sutton does with CERA.

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

Maybe Hugh could start the

Maybe Hugh could start the trend he so dearly thinks should happen and sell his house for 3x the average  wage of CHC....ummm I doubt that will happen, as I doubt it will ever happen.

Even if the govt will payout

Even if the govt will payout the value of homes as of last September, some people will still be left with debt on their mortgage. So one can expect increasing mortgage defaults in the coming months. 

They can't be serious

They can't be serious rezoning in the Prestons/Hills areas.  This land is marginal at best, prone to flooding and surrounded by areas of minor liquifaction.

The Redwood end of Prestons Rd had quite a bit of liquifaction and some houses need demolished.  Parts of Hills Road had appalling liquifaction (the city end of Hills was impassable after Feb 22).  If a stronger quake or one centred say on the Waimak mouth fault (has generated M5.7 in the past 30 years) struck these areas could be porridge.

Ironically areas where they are flat out building standard dwellings in the conventional way are right next to paddocks that had liquifaction in Sept (ie Halswell/Aidanfield.).

Does no one learn?

Maybe have a look at the

Maybe have a look at the geotech assessments available about Prestons - looks pretty well assessed to me. 

Helps to be a local,

Helps to be a local, ChrisJ.

You're talking aboot the other end of Prestons Rd:  the Main North Road end.

Prestons subdivision is on well consolidated coastal sand dune country, no liquefaction, has been growing ponies and thistles for the last 30 years.  Great building country.

How do I know:  Walked around it a bit, and live on identical country over at Waimairi Beach.  No probs.  Period. (Whoops!)

Incidentlally, a leetle boid told me that the per-section Development Contribution to the Clueless City Council for Prestons was of the order of 70 grand.

So just how much would Prestons sections cost if the DC was magically erased by Higher Powers?

The other thing aboot the whole about-face of the Urban Limit (a squiggle on a map, drawn with about as much care as the Sykes-Picot line in the ME) is that it spells the effective end of the Urban Development Strategy.  Especially the bit that envisaged a lot of grateful people living cheek by jowl in Beautiful High Rises (average 6 storeys) in Blissful Urban Surrounds.

Densification, to coin a phrase.

Well, if youse all think the people will flock to That sort of proposal, I have a Ferrymead apartment building to sell you, only ever so slightly tilted.....

It is a fantastic time be a

It is a fantastic time be a real estate agent.  In Queensland.

Christchurch's population will contract - there simply isn't enough existing spare housing capacity to cope with the level of displacement set to occur.

Bob Parker is trying to put a good spin on the situation, but in doing so he is merely adding to his reputation as a fool of some distinction.  His brilliant insight into the principle of supply and demand is a good example:

..............

[Real estate firm Colliers International valuation and advisory director Gary] Sellars told Radio New Zealand the law of supply and demand suggested that property prices could be pushed up in the region but Parker was doubtful that would be the case.

"The market will actually move to deliver outcomes that work for people," he said.

..............

As it does, Bob, as it most surely does...

 

It’s beyond Parkers

It’s beyond Parkers intellect. The whole of the CCC city planning section should be sacked and replaced they haven’t a clue. Its’ the culture of city planners which lead to the mess many in eastern suburbs find themselves in. The Council ring fenced the city and without any good alternative developers were forced to use more and more marginal land.

Do they have Trademe in

Do they have Trademe in Brisbane??

I think the land development

I think the land development and sales to those people affected should be handled by either the government or the council, so developers are not involved. Otherwise you are going to get a supply and demand problem , which will cause a pricing bubbles. This shouldn't be something that developers profit on.

 

I wonder if this all means that you are going to get opportunitists trying to buy peoples properties int eh red zones for a quick profit. eg, We will pay you cash now at a lessor amount than the government will pay you, but you will get the cash now to move on.

Rob it will cause pricing

Rob it will cause pricing bubble, developments especially the ones BOB is talking about take TIME to put in. You cant shift 5000 hosues from one side of CHC to the other without serious infrastructure work..schools, roading , shops etc...We also have the CBD and commerical centers to build first (I.e if dont get businesses up and running then jobs will go fast).....basically what the Government has said..if you want out of CHC  you have the opportunity.

If you want to STAY then the process is goign to be long and diffcult..but they have given the option.

Look, we have been discussing

Look, we have been discussing bubbles for years on this site.

Hugh Pavletich's whole argument is about avoiding them.

Rob is partly right about developers making too much money on the land, but so are incumbent land owners, land bankers, lawyers, consultants, and local councils.

Google "Planning Gain". This racket has now been completely "bowdlerised" in Britain at least; it is no longer a dirty word; the various parties quite openly bargain for months and years for their share.

If NZ can't do new developments WITHOUT "planning gain" even in the wake of this human tragedy, we are beyond help.

"Planning gain" simply would not exist if it were not for "plans" restricting the "freedom to build". So don't blame the developers/incumbent property owners/land bankers.

It is only a question of "when" rather than "if" serious corruption occurs around this racket and these abused powers.

The only way that has been

The only way that has been proved to eliminate house price bubbles, is at least 30 years of "supply" within urban growth boundaries, and RAPID permission processes.

A building "boom" is no problem in comparison, because it keeps the prices LOW, including ALL existing properties. The big damage is done by PRICE inflation via planning gain, because it filters through to price increases in the ENTIRE existing property market. This is invariably hundreds of times more economically costly than a few "too many" new homes. The obsession with "overbuilding" is just another typical modern day irrationality, and probably led to the whole GFC.

30 years supply. Linear, or

30 years supply.

Linear, or exponential?

Therein lies the flaw in you whole house of cards.

Same as Brownlee quoting coal reserves.

The question is always: at what rate?

Oh, and the other is : What then?

Powerdownkiwi: the site's

Powerdownkiwi: the site's hyper-linear-thinking troll.

Malthus. Rachel Carson. Paul Ehrlich. Lester Brown. All wrong, wrong, wrong. Every time, every prediction they ever made. But all consistently assure us that they are right "this time", "this year", "this decade", "this century". PDK is in illustrious company.

Anyone who can't see that technological progress and human utilisation of resources is exponential, is a waste of space on an allegedly serious financial and economic site like this.

If Powerdownkiwi had been running Western Civilisation in the 1800's, progress would have stopped at wood-burning for energy and horses for motive power. Because as everyone would have known, there were limits to how much wood we could use and how much land was needed to grow food for horses and how much harm horse shit in the streets did. We could have left all that coal, oil, and uranium in the ground and remained ignorant about what it might have been used for, and how.

The anti-Malthusian masterpiece is George Reisman's "Environmentalism Refuted";

http://mises.org/daily/661

No-one who reads this will take PDK and his ilk seriously ever again. His type are simply an insult to the rational mind. The inevitable connection is with totalitarianism and theocracy. People worried about maintaining scientific objectivity in society today need to focus not on christian fundamentalists like Sarah Palin and George W Bush, but on Greenie raving idiots like Powerdownkiwi, and political correctness.

Re: Rachel Carson - you'll

Re: Rachel Carson - you'll have to remind me which bit of the DDT causes egg shell thinning causing the death of birds (hence 'Silent Spring') she got wrong because there was I thinking the science behind those observations was pretty rock solid.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol. 1997 Oct;118(2):113-28.Lundholm CD.

 

But then perhaps you think if you shout a lot maybe you can prove it not to be so............

There are so many errors,

There are so many errors, lies and smearing in this I dont know where to start.....Malthus, he considered there was a risk....a real possibility we would reach imits, and suffer for it.  All we have done for this is kick the can down the road when we found first coal and then oil...that doesnt mean its wrong just that its been delayed...

Even if Human resource utilisation were expotental and just by looking at the quality of say  the rock that they are extracting in copper mines right now shows thats a fallacy the resource is still finite...ditto fossil fuel extraction.  Let alone the maths...you cant get more than 100% efficient, therefore you cant have expotential improvements for ever...even at 100% efficient eventually its all used up....therefore it cant be expotential maybe for a short period fo production but thats long past for us.

"masterpiece" its a piece of drivel IMHO by a Libertarian who frankly seems to match you in the un-realistic expectations of technology and science you dont understand at all.  All he does is smear anyone who cares about the environemnt labeling them socialists of loons because they cant see teh world his fringe fundie way.

So actually there is nothing rational in your mind....you have no logic, just blinkers....

regards

 

 

  Interest Co

 

Interest Co reports:

Greenfields land on the fringes of Christchurch may be reclassified as residential to accommodate up to 5,000 new homes for the city if the Environment Court decides in favour of revised urban limits for the east of the city.

Which seems to be good news.

However, the ‘’release” of the land (from bondage behind the Urban Limits) is “dependent on the decision of an Environment Court hearing being held in Queenstown this week.”

The Environment Court has to be satisfied that the proposed release “meets the purpose of the Resource Management Act.”

The Environment Canterbury Commissioner then helpfully reminds us that: “Of course, urbanisation of any greenfield land within the urban limit would still be subject to a plan change process under the Christchurch City Plan and Selwyn and Waimakariri district plans. This is to ensure that infrastructure requirements integrate with existing and other planned developments and that any new or upgraded infrastructure is affordable to the community,” he said.

So this release of 5,000 lots is still some years away given the normal time it takes to change a District Plan.

Those 130,000 households who fled New Orleans shortly after Katrina must surely appreciate that Houston was able to supply their demand for 130,000 houses within the year, and without any measurable impact on house prices. People are already talking about the Government’s announcement driving up house prices in Christchurch.

Surely, the RMA must make some provision for appropriate response to major disasters.

 Sadly it does not. 

I happened to look into the relevant section of the Act several years ago when wondering how we might respond to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. I concluded then that Section 330 should be amended to enable action to protect and promote the interests of people and communities as well as “the environment.”

 The relevant section reads:

330 Emergency works and power to take preventive or remedial action

(1)

Where —

(a)

any public work for which any person has financial responsibility; or

(b)

any natural and physical resource or area for which a local authority or consent authority has jurisdiction under this Act; or

(c)

any project or work or network utility operation for which any network utility operator is approved as a requiring authority under section 167

is, in the opinion of the person or the authority or the network utility operator, affected by or likely to be  affected by —

(d)

an adverse effect on the environment which requires immediate preventive measures; or

(e)

an adverse effect on the environment which requires immediate remedial measures; or

(f)

any sudden event causing or likely to cause loss of life, injury, or serious damage to property —

the provisions of sections 9121314, and 15 shall not apply to any activity undertaken by or on behalf of that person, authority, or network utility operator to remove the cause of, or mitigate any actual or likely adverse effect of, the emergency.

 This clause, which does provide emergency powers in the event of an “adverse effect on the environment”, simply does not encompass the range of considerations that need to be brought to bear following a disaster such as the earthquake that has struck Christchurch or the Tsunami that has struck Japan. No reporter would describe either of these events as “an adverse effect on the environment.”

Clause (e) does appear to  cover such an event but only as it occurs in the present, or is likely to cause loss of life, injury or serious damage to property – in the future.

The section’s primary focus is on the adverse effects on the environment rather than on the “social, economic, and cultural wellbeing, and the health and safety” of the people and communities. (see section 5)

However, under Interpretation, we read that the definition of environment is broad, but (d) is unclear about the environment that prevails in the wake of a natural disaster. We read:

environment includes—

(a)

ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; and

(b)

all natural and physical resources; and

(c)

amenity values; and

(d)

the social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural conditions which affect the matters stated in paragraphs (a) to (c) or which are affected by those matters.

The language of section 330 does not provide decision makers the confidence to use the powers needed to respond to a major disaster such as an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or tsumani. This is largely because human economic and general welfare seems to take a back seat to “adverse effects”. Indeed my speculation about foot and mouth disease concluded that the proposed outdoor incineration of culled infected cattle (a routine response in the UK) could probably be prevented by a neighbour objecting to the air pollution.

 This general “tenor” of the language is reinforced by the fact that the whole section fails to envisage the situation now being experienced in Christchurch, the “event” has already occurred but hasleft an ongoing long term crisis “where basic human needs demand action and demand it NOW.

 The appropriate Minister should amend the legislation now.

O mc - actually, at some

O mc - actually, at some point, the RMA has to go the other way.

It purports to safeguard the rights of future generations, but allows the 'economic wellbeing' of present.

So the RMA is an oxymoron, made so on the changeover from Palmer to Bolger.

It can't relinquish the right of future generations (it would fail under 'natural justice', is my guess) so it will have to curtail current economic wellbeing.

So few folk see the logic-path........

Wendell Cox gets hammered in

Wendell Cox gets hammered in comments section of Wall Street Journal.

http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2011/06/14/did-smart-growth-fuel-the-p...

Oh yeah

Oh yeah right...Philbest....

regards

Doesn't CERA trump the RMA on

Doesn't CERA trump the RMA on this issue?

The Lyttleton harbour

The Lyttleton harbour filling-in would suggest so          :)

Seems to me that before too

Seems to me that before too much longer, the Government will with reluctance, be forced to put a Commissioner in to the Christchurch City Council - and fire the Councillors.

The mishandling of the CEO exercise, when Councillors failed to terminate the contract of the current CEO Tony Marryatt will I suspect prove to be the last straw.

Without Marryatt out of the road and with the short advertising for a CEO, my understanding is that there have been no applications so far for the position.

 

That smacks of:   Because

That smacks of:   Because Hugh doesn't want what the elected Council does, Hugh wants them repaced with someone who presumably thinks like Hugh,

How about letting democracy run it's course Hugh?

Leave the choice of Council to those precious first-home-buyers you claim to champion?

 

 

PDK, off-thread, as

PDK, off-thread, as ever. 

Have you ever contemplated the legacy of 'Hubbert and the Technocrats' . The words 'Carbon Currency'  are not helping me... I'm intrigued by the notion that the carbon trading systems 'retire' or 'expire'.

Obscure and vague, but Its going to be you or Iain who may have a feel for this. Any sources that you know of that discuss rather than dismiss as 'One world Order'. Ta. 

KW - that's not off-thread -

KW - that's not off-thread - it's entirely 'on'.

Thanks, I respect Hubbert as one of the great original thinkers, and a great human being - but I hadn't come across that.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/33596921/Carbon-Currency-A-new-Beginning-for-T...

Seems I'm a little late in suggesting that energy is the real currency.....

Thanks PDK... Beginning to

Thanks PDK... Beginning to doubt myself more than usual....

Another great day today - I've just discovered Tau. (Its Tau Day apparently). Haven't read enough to discover whether its a rational number yet (I like the irrational ones). What a great story...  

Chuckle   :)    Out of doubt

Chuckle   :)    Out of doubt comes thought, which always puts you ahead of the closed minds.

Maybe Tautuku could cash in on it - a big fibreglass pie on the 'outskirts', with a wee bit missing.....

Actually, that's on-thread too . radial expansion and all.....

"The new currency, simply

"The new currency, simply called Carbon Currency, is designed to support a revolutionary new economic system based on energy (production, and consumption), instead of price."

Someone it seem who gets it.........now if only we canopen the eyes of the 95% of economists who think throwing more money at the problem is the solution...

"

"Unfortunately for individual people living in this new system, it will also require authoritarianand centralized control over all aspects of life, from cradle to grave."

I can see Philbest foaming at the mouth now....

regards

Um, if Hugh says he wants to

Um, if Hugh says he wants to remove democracy, I think its perfectly on thread for someone to object to that and wish to see democracy continue.

It seems Hugh wants local democracy where it gives him the answer he wants or remote dictatorship where...uh...itgives him the answer he wants.

Its known as having your cake and eating it.

regards

It is time for the folks in

It is time for the folks in CC to get real.  Why relocate or build in CC at all when there is a very real threat of more earthquakes and more damage and more suffering etc.  There are lots of other places in NZ and overseas that are lovely to live in and without earthquakes.  I would never relocate to any place with such high risks, it is just not worth the stress emotionally and risks financially.  Live somewhere safe and enjoy your life with a lot less stress.

That's a load of rubbish as

That's a load of rubbish as only certain types of buildings have failed and unsuitable land. In addition quakes like this appear to be once in a lifetime.

http://www.nzwood.co.nz/residential-houses-performance-in-the-darfield-e...

http://joelcayford.blogspot.com/2011/06/faulty-thinking-about-christchur...

 

It's a no brainer that we

It's a no brainer that we have to release land given the failure of land in the east. The airport is a problem (perhaps?).

One aspect of the Houston

One aspect of the Houston model impresses me as expressed here:

"Deed Restricted communities are created by the developer (the capitalist) and the restrictions cover anything from minimum house size to minimum amount of trees, junk and signage. The developers change these on different developments to accomodate the market or there their own values. The government does not need to waste resources on regulation, zoning and planning when the free market does a better job.

For instance "The Woodlands" in North Houston is a development that has recieved many green awards and the development focused on bringing large companies to set up headquarter and built a community around nature and commerce. Many people never leave the area as everything found in any city can be found their. Turning Green into Green - The developer sold his share in the development for $543,000,000.

Homes in this suburb range from 100k-10 million with a median of $215,000. Median income is $125,000."

...

It is interesting to speculate on what ChCh spread would be without boundaries, today and whether we would have the sqeezed chintzy 'burbs as in parts of Burnside. 

One issue is that while people make their free choices it isn't always for the better as when everyone wants to drive to point A (= gridlock).

Another issue that puts me off the Houston model is the effect on people with private title expressed here:

"For "who" it's not working mighty fine?

For someone where the property next to them happens to change? I don't see it written as a right that you are guaranteed to live in an insulated world where nothing affects you. The idiocy that people have magical rights to stop everything and anything from affecting their property value is something i can't understand. Any purchase of property involves some risk and no gaurantees.

For an old neighborhood that is gentrifying? It's not the developers fault that an old cottage neighborhood is drastically changing. It's the previous property owners that decided to sell. The developers aren't destroying anything or forcing people to leave. Some of these home owners that sold see this is a way to move up in the world."

Mon Feb 04, 02:07:00 PM CST

http://houstonstrategies.blogspot.com/2008/01/home-affordability-in-real-life-context.html

Nimby's can be driven out of their homes as by being built (as in change climate) out or by using unruly tenants etc. What's more population growth is industry driven (lobbying etc).

For the wealthy Clearwater for the poor a box apartment.

Hmmmm?

BETTER LEARN FROM HOUSTON

BETTER LEARN FROM HOUSTON FAST..................

jh - its worth bearing in mind that Houston is a successful city - while Christchurch has sadly proven itself not to be. So there is a lot we can learn from the former - and adopt / adapt to suit our own conditions.

I compared aspects of Houston and Christchurch back March last year within "Houston: We have a housing affordability problem" (Highlighted Articles on my website). In comparison - our development / construction performance is woeful.

Last bunch of numbers I saw was that Houston has a Gross Metropolitan Product of about $US405 billion (US Dpt of Comm Bureau of Economic Analysis) and Total Housing Stock Value in the order of $430 billion - 1.1 times GMP. With Christchurch's population being 8.54% of NZ's total (4.4 million / 376,000) and our GDP approaching $200 billion Im assuming Christchurch Gross Metropilitan Product is something in the order of just $NZ17 billion and our average residential price in the order of $NZ400,000 (median about $NZ333,000), our housing stock (about 145,000 units) is about $NZ58 billion - about 3.4 times Gross Metropoliltan Product.

My rough guess is that Christchurch households are carrying at least $NZ8 billion of excessive bubble mortgages, just to keep these bubble housing prices elevated. It takes about 25% of mortgage debt to inflate these bubbles in our part of the world. That means households have less to spend on themselves and their kids of course - but hey - Kiwis love their Banks!

Affluence is all about net disposable household income as PhilBest pointed out with the US ACCRA household disposable household incomes data recently. They are as poor as church mice in California of course.

All this unnecessary bubble pricing is playing merry hell with the earthquake recovery of course, as I set out within an article on Interest Co NZ a couple of Mondays ago. It seems the recovery will cost at least $NZ10 - $NZ15 billion more than it should have, because of our failed political culture here.

It is very heartening to see that Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authorities new CEO Roger Sutton is on to the structural problems Christchurch needs to deal with.

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

Hugh, I've got friends who

Hugh, I've got friends who used to live in Houston. They hated the place.

Gareth - you are always going

Gareth - you are always going to get that. The reality is that the migration / population growth figures tell a different story. The economic numbers I outlined above explain a lot of it.

Its important we learn about what they are doing right - and other places too throughout middle North America. The reason I quote Houston so much is simply because of the diversity within the place and the easily accessible quality information. The Houston Association of Realtors website www.har.com is the best Im aware of internationally.

I much prefer to live here in NZ, rather than Australia for example. But again - the migration numbers tell a different story,

Being the analytical type you are Gareth, I am most surprised (ha ha) you are being swayed by the anectotal emotional stuff!

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

Sorry, it was a bit of a

Sorry, it was a bit of a drive by comment. From memory, it is a few years ago now, I think crime was one of the main issues.

Gareth - no need to apologize

Gareth - no need to apologize whatsoever. Sydney for example is "lovely" - but its not a load of laughs living there in a 9.6 Multiple market, where they cant make ends meet on $A150,000 a year household incomes.

On the same income numbers, Housrtonians have twice the standard of living (at least) we do here in Australia and New Zealand. One could live quite well in Houston on $US50,000 a year. Heaps of laughs living in Auckland at $NZ50,000, as Tristram Clayton illustrated on TV3 Campbell Live recently.

Im pestering the hell out of economists, to illustrate clearly how housing inflation generatesd general inflation.

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

Gareth - on the crime front,

Gareth - on the crime front, I undrrstand following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the migration of at least 100,000 to Houston, one of the issues there was "educating" these new arrivals in Houston policing!

It was quite an experience for these new arrivals I understand !!!!

"The government does not need

"The government does not need to waste resources on regulation, zoning and planning when the free market does a better job."

This is ideology...this is a free for all.........the same ideology that has brought us to the brink of a second Long Depression.

It has also and caused huge waste of land and resources and energy....you can just look at the huge tracts of neatly laid out roads and empty plots or worse never occupied houses (and never will be except by rats and wildlife) in the US that is the end result....

regards

The 'free market' is an

The 'free market' is an oxymoron. Think about it.     :)

JH's point is spot on. The

JH's point is spot on.

The lower cost land is, the more successful local initiatives will be, surrounding "green" communities, transit-oriented development, whatever.

Planners drive land costs up then blame everyone else when their initiatives fail because no-one can afford to buy into the location of the special developments.

Powerdownkiwi is one of the worst hypocrites I know on all this - he claims to support sustainable houses and sections - he lives on one - yet he constantly leaps to the defence, on this site, for urban growth boundaries that limit the options of most people to actually live the way he does; he constantly defends planning around inner city apartment living and high density.

Churchill said of Lenin in 1920, that "he is undergoing the world's most expensive economics lesson". Our urban planners and Greenies are undergoing something similar today. The cost, is of course, a cost to "everyone".

But where JH gets it totally

But where JH gets it totally wrong, is this. In Houston, the people who most overwhelmingly vote in referendums to stay "zoning free", are the POOR.

Texas has the smartest poor people in the world. They can see that zoning always affects them far more negatively than positively, especially in driving their costs of living up.

Also, "everybody driving to point A and causing congestion", is NOT the case in Houston or in any modern city where urban form has been allowed to evolve naturally to decentralisation. It is now unusual to have a concentration of employment in the middle of a city, of more than 10% of the jobs.

PB - nonsense. One can point

PB - nonsense.

One can point out that the Titanic is sinking, andf one can concurrently be engaged in building a liferaft.

The two would not seem incompatible.

I worked out - via peak oil and it's obvious ramifications - how far out development would get from Dunedin, and chose to set up my sustainable abode further out that I had been - to stay clear of the inevitable high-water mark.

No point in being overtook, and I don't expect a further window to 'take the money and run again'.

I'm fully aware that there aren't enough lifeboats (there isn't enough land per head), and I'm fully aware that I probably won't be able to defend mine - but that doesn't meant that building one is invalid. It just means that Darwin was right, and I wasn't the fittest, if I go down.

Your nonsense is that if you were correct about unlimited land, unlimited growth potential, etc etc, then my stance should be having an infinitely small impact. You can't have both arguments, they're incompatible.

You're facing an energy-constrained world, and food and housing services are reliant on that energy. Urban compactness is the best way to deal with that, interspaced with commons/allotments, and probably based around mini-hubs.

Your argument is also hypocritical, in that your kind cram maximum profit from a given subdivision, hardly a recipe for 'lifestyle block' opportunities.

Yeap and in CHC if you were

Yeap and in CHC if you were going to apply the above, which we should, then forget about urban sprawl out to the South, where the land is very productive, and need too make Rolleston  the next big CBD, where the land is not that productive. Forget about Prestons Road, this is where all CHC market gardens are, open up the back of Hornby and Hei hei, again unproductive shingle beds.

FCM - yes, although Chch is

FCM - yes, although Chch is unique in that it's a displacement issue - you could cultivate to repatriated land.

PhilBest - What we are saying

PhilBest - What we are saying essentially is that we support "natural consolidation", while others such as PDK support "forced consolidation" - which creates massive market distortions and sprawl.

It is actually "forced consolidation" that causes sprawl, as it creates economic refugees fleeing in to rural and outlying towns in their quest for more affordable land. I covered this some years ago within "Lifestyle Block Mythology" (Highlighted Articles on my website).

So they are forced to make unnecessary "donations" to the Oil Companies instead, because of the excess car travel required.

People such as PDK are not really interested in sustainability and economic effeciency. Its just they dont trust people to allow them to make their own decisions about how and where they wish to live. Is PDK being paid by the Oil Companies to preach this stuff on Interest Co I wonder?

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

way off beam. Forget 'market

way off beam.

Forget 'market distortions' - the market is a man-made construct ,entirely a red herring.

And wrong. I have NEVER preached economic efficiency. It's an exponential-growth-overcome nonsense. Energy efficiency, yes.

Oil Companies?  How can you be so misguided - or is that, disingenuous? I've not bought Shell since the hanging of Ken Sarowiri. I joined the IHPVA 25 years ago. They'd see me as 'the enemy'.

Isn't it interesting to see how, when you start from a pre-held point of view (as you and your creationist mate do) you end up getting more and more twisted, as you try to cram your jigsaw pieces harder and harder into a space that resembles them less and less?

You end up having to assert that a finite sphere is infinite - total nonsense.

Note the interchange with 'Kate' on another thread, where I stood back, and - dispassionately - reasoned that the defence-of-the-environment approach was doomed, and why. Always try and stand back, dump the baggage, and work things through from first principles, Hugh.

I'll tell you when the next series of these start up:

http://www.physics.otago.ac.nz/nx/eman/eman-410-seminar-series-downloads.html

Put it this way - if you saw deckchairs a'sliding, and thought the deck was a'tilting, who would you go see to find out what was happening. The ship's purser? What would he know?

You really dont get it do

You really dont get it do you...the old way, which is how you think things should have worked no longer apply....So called Lifestyle blocks where ppl drive to work in Range Rovers become worthless when oil is expensive and scarce.  Then there is the damage done to an economy when there is in-sufficient cheap energy and the on going effects....

In terms of own decisions, that is exactly what's happening, ppl are making ill-informed decisons and then not fessing up to the responsibility of their own failures...

"being paid" now it seems you are sinking the philbest's level,  knid of thought you could do better.....

Sustainabliity is about not using or degrading resources, your built it anywhere is just that.

There is no actual or provable positive link between economic efficiency and allowing ppl to make their own decisions. An individual can make a perfectly logival and rational decison to improve his or her circumstances at the expense of someone else, NZ or economic efficiency....there is no such thing as rational markets, its a neo-classical model failure.

Besides all this you seem to assume that if we remove limits there will be cheap land made available in large quantitt. This is absurd it simply wont happen.  It will be held by the present owners and sold off in small lots to maintain the price.....so all your campaigning achives nothing except line the pockets of land owners just beyond the fringe....your claim that you want affordable property for first time buyers is frankly un-believeable hogwash.

 

HOUSTON - IMPORTANT TOTAL

HOUSTON - IMPORTANT TOTAL ENERGY CONFERENCE 2012

PDK - I have just recieved advice from Tory Gattis of Houston Strategies www.houstonstrategies.com , that they are having a TOTAL ENERGY CONFERENCE 18 - 18 October 2012, which will be the largest (it would have to be if its Houston) tradeshow of its kind in the country. They are expecting in excess of 7,500 attendees it would appear.

This will involve all forms of energy - conventional and unconventional.

You might like to alert all your contacts within and outside of Local Government to this important Conference. Lets hope the direct Auckland / Houston flights are in place by then.

I hope you can get there yourself. PhilBest and I will go on a "rescue mission" to Houston to get you back out of the place if need be. Im just concerned that once you get there, you mightn't want to come back home again !!!

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

The info you need is already

The info you need is already there on the Internet, more than enough....why expend CO2 to go look?

Besides which, PDW is in effect doing it in the real world....with like you, picking up real bruises as he goes along....something you seemed to consider valuable. 

Not come home? I really doubt it, Houston has nothing to offer...its too far commited to and is using too much fossil energy to be able to change its ways...America is looking at one huge depression....I wouldnt want to be there.

regards

Hm, looks interesting. Sure,

Hm, looks interesting. Sure, you can get the trade-show profferings on the 'net, but if there was a serious conference.....    I buy my LED's loose in hundreds at a time, and do it via the 'net (these guys send what they say they will, turns up less than a week after order, tracked all the way:       http://www.besthongkong.com/

I suspect it looks more like a 'chance to plug', but I'll find out more. Thanks Hugh.

Steven - sure, I agree about flying, do my stuff in the real world:

www.youtube.com/user/powerdownkiwi

, and prefer skyping - but.....:

I'm one of the few here who has a genuine carbon-sink which more than covers my carbon emissions. Hugh may be interested to know, that I opted out of getting $ from it, too.

Go well (just don't go shell.....)