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Olly Newland on the Auckland Unitary Plan; 'Buy up land that will have the densest zoning'

Posted in Property
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By Gareth Vaughan

Auckland Council's draft Unitary Plan, which outlines a long-term future of denser living and more high rise apartments for the City of Sails, is the only option there is, according to property investor Olly Newland.

"It's the only option we've got," Newland, also an Authorised Financial Advisor and author, told interest.co.nz.

"We've got a choice for Auckland. We're either static, which doesn't work (because) we'd have to put a fence and barbed wire around the city. Or we shrink, which doesn't work either, or we grow. Now if we're going to grow then we have to grow sensibly otherwise we're going to end up with a town that stretches from Wellington to Whangarei and you can't keep on gobbling up the land."

"So this (Unitary) plan I think is the basis of a very good idea."

And as Auckland Council and the Government argue over the future of Auckland, with the two having formed a working group this week to continue squabbling over their differences, Newland says this is good news for property investors.

"From a property investor's point of view it's going to be a picnic. Because the longer they delay the plan, the more the property speculators out there, and the land bankers, will be climbing into land that's going to be much more valuable in the future. So I think delay is a big mistake. I think they should be getting into it (the Unitary Plan) and making it a firm proposal as quickly as possible."

'It could be quite an interesting bun fight'

Long-term investors, meanwhile, could do worse than buy up property in areas that will be zoned for apartments under the Unitary Plan.

"If you've got a long view, and we're talking a 30 year plan here, you should be buying up land in those areas which are likely to have the densest zoning," Newland says. "But you have to have a very long view and a very deep pocket. You have to have a 10 or 15 year view on things at least, I would think, at the rate things are going."

"But it could be quite an interesting bun fight when the property speculators and the property land bankers get into it. I'm afraid I'm at an age where it's just too late for me, but there's a lot of young people coming up behind me that may take advantage of it."

In a sea change for the city and the way Aucklanders traditionally live, Auckland Council is proposing buildings of up to 18 storeys in so-called metropolitan centres such as Newmarket, Takapuna and New Lynn, eight storeys in town centres such as Avondale, Northcote, Onehunga and Royal Oak, six storeys in the likes of Glenfield, Orewa and Papatoetoe, and four storeys in areas such as Devonport, Mt Albert and Remuera. It wants the majority of future residential home development to take place within the city's existing urban limits. In contrast the Government wants to "smash" Auckland's urban boundary to free up more land for house building in the interests of housing affordability.

However, Newland suggests the bickering between council and government amounts to little more than a battle for control.

"I think there's politics at play here. I think there's a little bit of competition over who is in charge of what. I think the Government would like to think of itself as in charge of the whole thing because it's a big deal, and the Council would like to think it's in charge. So I think there's a little bit of a power play going on there," Newland says.

"The bottom line is we've got to build up whether we like it or not. And if necessary we've got to build satellite cities, if you like, and create Hamilton as a satellite city with a better motorway and railway to it. Maybe that's the answer or a combination of all those things."

"But growth is the only option forward."

'If you want to live in the city you're going to have to live in an apartment'

Asked whether many New Zealanders actually want to live in high rise apartments Newland acknowledges they probably don't.

"I think all New Zealanders would like to live on a quarter acre section with a nice house. But if you want to live in the city you're going to have to put up with living in apartments. Unfortunately the rubbishy apartments that have been put up in the inner city, the dog boxes, have spoilt the impression."

"If you live in a nice apartment, or you have been in nice apartments, they can be very nice ways of living indeed. So I think these dog boxes have spoilt the taste a little bit, but I think most people will have to make up their mind whether they're going to live in apartments for security reasons if nothing else, and economic reasons, or they're going to have to live in the country, as it were."

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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111 Comments

I know I did this yesterday,

I know I did this yesterday, but I can't resist it...
 
we're going to end up with a town that stretches from Wellington to Whangarei
 
800km by SH1 from Whangarei to Wellington. Building only 1km either side of the road gives 1600sq km. Divide into 800 sq m sections gives 2m sections. At 2.3 people per household, that's 4.6m people.
 
So we could double NZ's housing capacity by just building along part of one road (If we went all the way from Cape Reinga to Bluff, we could accommodate 12m people)
 

Ollie is definitely trying to

Ollie is definitely trying to talk up the market. Repeating the nonense about hundreds of km long cities in NZ just proves it. 
 
He wants the supply response to housing demand to be apartments because he knows apartments will not be built quickly enough to cope with that demand.
 
The only possible outcome is further house price rises. Didn't Ollie say house prices in Auckland were going to double?

we're going to end up with a

we're going to end up with a town that stretches from Wellington to Whangarei
 
FFS this argument is so lame. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!!

Even the UK is only 9% developed. that's 91% of the UK still rural or pastoral.

So even IF we ended up with a city that stretched from Auckland to Whangarei (about 4 times the size of LA, like that would ever happen for a start!) , if you have ever glanced at a map of NZ you'd notice that would still leave about 90% of NZ as rural/pastoral/bush.

Seriously, words fail me on just how stupid Aucklands 'green belt' laws are and how it's so f**king obivously the problem!!!!
Grrrrr.

Well, fail your words right

Well, fail your words right back and move down here, or bugger off to Aussie like most smart Kiwis eventually do. Or even just to move Tauranga. Seriously, Auckowloon is not worth stressing about. Let it await the next Rangitoto without you and your whanau hanging around as human shields.

Some 15 years since I first

Some 15 years since I first arrived in Auckland, Ranui's Metcalfe Rd and Alabany's Onewa Rd are still roughly the western and northern boundaries of the "suburbs", roughly.
 
So basically, for the last 15 years, Auckland has NOT grown sideways (Flat Bush, Henderson Heights and a few other comparatively small exceptions withstanding).
 
How a city could reasonably expect to double in size over 40 years and NOT grow sideways is beyond me. It has been trying really hard NOT to grow for such a long time now.

Aucklanders are basically hostages of hard-right financial banksters, land banksters and the chardonnay socialists.
 
But that's their problem, after all.

I see a lot of comment along

I see a lot of comment along the lines of 'We will have to live in high rises"  Thats a very black and white view which obscures the discussion.  Actually we need both high rises and traditional housing.  If we now build a mass of high rises, it will still be that most people live in individual houses.  At least for the next century or so.  All those individual houses are not going to go away.  Nobody is going to make anybody live highrise. 
People need to have the choice.  I think groups of high rises around the stations are a very attractive option for many.  And for practical purposes we have not really had the choice of that up until now.

Wind your clock back.. your

Wind your clock back.. your ancestors were they immigrants also ????

What a small-minded, nasty,

What a small-minded, nasty, ignorant person.
Have a look at these international surveys and then go away:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_most_livable_cities
 

... and those surveys , which

... and those surveys , which correctly ranked our queen city as one of the most liveable cities in the world , were conducted when Bernard Hickey lived there ...... casting his pall of gloom and woe .....
 
Imagine how much higher ranked Auckland must be since he's tootled off to Wellington !

Not too sure why anyone would

Not too sure why anyone would invest in Wellington given that it is highly prone to Earthquake and sits directly on a major fault line. I am sure the insurance costs are going to be fairly exorbitant. Wellingtonians should just sell their Wellington property and just rent, and buy investment properties in Auckland.

  erm,  the survey you

 
erm,  the survey you reference is for expats who have additional benefit packages for living in said city. Auckland is great if you are rich.  Pity the other 95% of Aucklanders, who have to live on local wages.
There is very little benefit of additional people from other places (immigration) to residents of a country.
 
 
 

Those Surveys are for

Those Surveys are for companies to figure out how the highly paid should be renumerated for living in Armpitistan or Auckland.
Rod Oram:
"In recent years Auckland has ranked fifth and Wellington 12th in the annual global quality of city life rankings by Mercer, a US consultancy.
But Auckland, more than Wellington, faces a challenge. Fast population growth over the past decade has strained infrastructure, boosted house prices and reduced the quality of life in the Auckland region. Addressing such issues goes right to the heart of the long-term strategies of the region’s councils for obvious economic and social reasons.
Auckland’s ambition to become a truly international metropolis depends in part on maintaining the quality of life, which in turn requires bold vision, sound strategies, good regulatory processes and citizen commitment. Clearly, the RMA is a critical tool to help achieve those goals, which in turn will then help attract migrants, and help keep existing residents here. On present forecasts, the region could have a population of around 2m by 2050, a 65% rise from current levels, suggesting the challenges will be formidable."
http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/0705/RMA__Oram_Paper_May_2007.pdf

As an addendum, he also has a useful set of figures of growth from 1990 - 2004: population 21%; economy 54%; industrial production 32%; road freight 46%; car traffic 57%; energy consumption 42%; CO2 emissions 49%; household waste 35%. If we are to have sustainability with capitalism we clearly need to disconnect economic growth from resource use growth and that is going to involve a very significant change in the way this market system works.
.......................................
Its is elitist crap to only see good things : the new this and new that and ignore the effects on the base of the pyramid.
 

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A:link { }

On other government policy issues, SWG recommendations include:
- A much more strategic and integrated approach to policy generally.
- Serious consideration of the impact of the level and variability of immigration on national saving, and the impact that this might have on the living standards of New Zealanders. There are indications that our high immigration rate has pushed up government spending, house prices and business borrowing.
- Improving data on household and business saving.
http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A:link { }

http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/mi-jarrett-comm.pdf

The larger minded ones have

The larger minded ones have buggered offshore years ago.

Remain half arsed? An eternal

Remain half arsed? An eternal optimist, aren't you.

I thought it was well on its way to quarter if not eighth-arsedness.

Not sure I agree with Ollie

Not sure I agree with Ollie regarding purchasing land in the high density areas, you'll make your money eventually but in the short term there are better options.  The supply of houses and land in the leafy coastal suburbs, not marked for intensification, is not changing but the demand is there and increasing.  Better to buy a house and land in these suburbs now as the supply of these won't change whereas the supply of apartments is definitely going up. 

Olly is thinking 'long view'

Olly is thinking 'long view' and Happy is thinking 'short term'. both accurately IMHO.
But whats the view on long term.  Say 100 years.

Give it 100 years and the

Give it 100 years and the entire planet will mainly consist of elderly folk waiting to die. Just like in Japan right now.
 
A good recipe for ever-falling prices.

Blink and you missed

Blink and you missed it...Olly aint too keen on "static" is he..wonder why...static does not demand a fence and barbed wire..if the place were left as is, the growth would throttle itself very quickly...ppl and business would move out...but there's no capital gain in that is there!...just the threat of land investments going tits up.

These are discussions based

These are discussions based on an increase in population - what if we build it ... and they don't come?

The populating on Earth is

The populating on Earth is estimated to peak at somewhere between 9 and 10G people in 2060. More and more of those will be elderly and not really in a "land" buying spree mood.
 
From that point on, there will be more and more land per every human on earth.

That interpolation of the pop

That interpolation of the pop growth misses the fundimental point of peak crude oil, ie fossil energy is about now.  So to feed 7billion today we consume 10 to 30 calories of fossil fuel energy for every one calorie of food. By 2030 fossil fuels will be in steep decline as will many other minerals needed for industrialised agriculture.  Therefore the agricultural output will have dropped severly, so population will decline...its set to starve....cant see that being quietly done myself.
With AGW by about 2150 there will be all of the planet left for what species are left after we exit.
regards

Without spending too much

Without spending too much time arguing about how steep the "other side" of the population Bell Curve is going to be, I think we can both agree that residential land scarcity won't be a major issue in 50 years' time, and that the prices are more likely than not to be heading south. So thousands of new apartment buildings in Auckland are probably not the best way forward.

Once again... if you actually

Once again... if you actually look at the Unitary Plan there's tons of traditional free standing house suburbs that have same or less dense zoning. No one will be forced to live in an apartment. It's not the USSR.
 
Even if something is zoned for higher density it does not mean it will happen - there's a whole lot of other factors. Look at Kitchener Street and Elliot Street.  These have been zoned for NZ's tallest buildings for decades and are STILL empty sites. Look at new development in Newmarket. It's single level where it's zoned for 15-21m heights.
 
The short affordable housing impact of the unitary plan will not be from stacks of apartments being built - there's a whole lot of rules to ensure they are nice that will prevent most from being feasible in the short term - if people don't want to live in apartments they won't get built. If they do buy them then obviously they want to live in them.

 

So, to pay 6-7k per m2 gross

So, to pay 6-7k per m2 gross (in today's NZ money) of new built apartments to have noisy neighbours over and below you, not to have a garden, not to even get a car park let alone a workshop. You'll need many more fresh off the plane immigrants in order to make that cost proposition viable.
 
So, most of those 100s of thousands of needed apartments will simply not be built.

I think the council should

I think the council should knock down the grotty, shoe box, badly built non earth quake proof apartments and go after the people who build these.  It should be a criminal offence.  If we are going to build apartments we need proper apartments with descent balconies, strong and robust to withstand earth quakes.  If this is achieved then apartment living could be ok. Additionally ideally freehold apartments with no or extremly low service fees. We need some decent money spent on a train system to cover the whole of Auckland so nobody has to use the cars. Every day the traffic gets worse and we keep building more roads that don't fix the problem.

By apartments that are

By apartments that are non-earthquake proof presumably you mean the old historic brick ones? The people who built these will be long dead - they are from the early part of the 20th century.
 
The modern 'shoebox' apartments are ugly - but tend to be earthquake proof and quite well built. There are some that leaked at top of Hobson St which are being reclad - but they weren't 'shoebox' ones. They're big ones.
 
...and what exactly should be a criminal offence? Building buildings that comply with every relevant building regulation?

So this new Unitary Plan will

So this new Unitary Plan will actually drive up the price of property as speculators buy land that is rezoned. Brilliant.

Yes - the price of upzoned

Yes - the price of upzoned land might be more - although as it's upzoned it has more dwellings to split the land cost amongst. So land may be more expensive, but dwellings are cheaper. According to the DBH report "higher densities =  more affordable housing"

I too am starting to suspect

I too am starting to suspect that the Auckland failure to grow, spread (upward or sideways) and urbanise isn't an accidental failure at all, but a pre-concieved plan of the better moneyed among the baby boomers and their ilk.
 
Same with the ongoing high levels of "business immigration".

"Come and live in New

"Come and live in New Plymouth"... aren't they the same lot that played rugby in Inglewood? 
No thanks, I'll be safer in the big smoke! 

It's not whining and moaning

It's not whining and moaning man, it's a democractic discussion about the nature of our largest and most economically important city ... which is growing rapidly beyond New Zealands own short sighted expectations, causing a pressure on the people and the economy, which the whole country will not be able to bear for too long.

There will stil be loads of

There will stil be loads of 1/4 acre sections in Auckland. There still is in Greenhithe where I live. This is my land bank and as a bonus it is flat.
As 1/4 acre size becomes a rarity I pick 1/4 acre sections will become prime land as it is a good size (history tells us this, not too small, not too large) and people wanting to move out of apartments due to congestion, noise etc will want a single dwelling as a 'quiet' change.
I would never want to live in an apartment as I enjoy space, but I can see a need for these if it leads to cheaper housing as you get more people per sq. meter etc.
 

Apartments may appear cheaper

Apartments may appear cheaper but if you compare by per sqm. eg I just bought a 45sqm apartment with a carpark for $200k for my daughter in Mt Eden for her University as she wanted to live by herself. Looks cheap compared to a $1.6m traditional villa, typically on 150sqm and dirt of 695sqm. If we take 695sqm as a minimum calculation, per sqm that works out to $2,302 and compare with the apartment which costs $3,942 per sqm. It is therefore still more affordable to buy a standalone villa in Mt Eden at $1.6 million compared to apartment in Mt Eden at $200k.
Therefore when statisticians compare affordability what are they actually comparing for affordability? Definitely not a apples to apples comparative. It looks like they are comparing pigeon holes in other locations compared with standalone properties in Auckland without considering the per sqm cost.

So if you reckon the $1.6m

So if you reckon the $1.6m villa is more affordable than the $200K apartment why did you buy the apartment???

Bob, The rent is higher in

Bob, The rent is higher in that small apartment. Daughter wants to shift out next year. The current rent is $320 a week from the tenant. That is positive cashflow. Who pays a decent rent on a $1.6m villa. You would be lucky to get 2% rent yield. This small apartment gets a 8% rental yield which means when daughter moves in she can rent together with her friend at the same $320 a week rent. Poor thing has to find a job and surprise she has already got a part time job and is saving towards her moving out and being independent. And yes I will have to pay tax on the rental income from the property.

That's right - buying an 8%

That's right - buying an 8% return is cheaper than a 2% return.
 
So it's not really "... still more affordable to buy a standalone villa in Mt Eden at $1.6 million compared to apartment in Mt Eden at $200k."  ?

But per sqm you are paying a

But per sqm you are paying a higher rent as a tenant and per sqm the villa is cheaper to buy if you were a purchaser that wants to own. Therefore it follows that it is still cheaper to buy a villa at $1.6m if you are going to share with 7 other people rather than rent a smaller apartment or even to buy a smaller apartment to live yourself.
Of course the house might be very cramped but you have the garden to wander around it.

Resale of a apartment is

Resale of a apartment is difficult because the banks require a higher LVR on apartments. 45sqm is the minimum at the moment that allows for a 80:20 LVR. There are higher risks with apartments, bodycorp fees, earthquake levies, leaking sealants, higher maintenance, noise control, the smell of pee in the corridors. When I did a property bag on the property there was 1000 pages to get through on the property. Most of which was due to noise control. But my 18 year old daughter loves it. A place  of her own, independence.
However, given that this apartment is in Mt Eden, the resale history looks promising doubling every 10 years which is not the trend of CBD apartments. Might to be due to the school zones.
 

Council should ensure rules

Council should ensure rules to apartments must come with a decent size balcony or they will never be seen a quality apartments even if they are built well. Even if you live in an apartment you should still be able to sit outside plus ones with balconies are more sort after and in demand than ones without.    I for one would not by an apartment if there is no decent size balcony.  Developers that cut corners by not building balconies only appeal to a small minority of people.

Gareth ... well done with

Gareth ... well done with those questions, flushing out Olly's views.
 
Readers / viewers can draw their own conclusions.
 
Hugh Pavletich

So Hugh, you obviously agree

So Hugh, you obviously agree with Olly's views then?

Big Daddy ... No ...   Check

Big Daddy ... No ...
 
Check out the archival material on my website www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org .
 
Hugh Pavletich

Olly

Live in the Country as an

Live in the Country as an option? The new plan is clearly stopping all subdivision in the rural zoned areas - so no more bare lifestlye blocks to be made.
Supply and demand will rule - to buy a country residence will cost a fortune under the new plan - thanks Lenn 

It is not elitist crap to say

It is not elitist crap to say Auckland is a great city.
And its not only good for the elites - ask Tyler Brule haha.
Everyone wants to live here - sth africans, chinese, brits  indians - look at them line up for entry.
Some people are never happy wherever they are - and always think the grass is greener etc. and many of them hang out on this site - get a life - go have a swim at Takapuna beach - its free.
SK.

As is Murawai.

As is Murawai.

The surf in Piha is fantastic

The surf in Piha is fantastic and the waters so cool and refreshing. Only half an hour out of Auckland. Auckland is a very convenient place with easy access to the most amazing scenery and beaches beaches everywhere

So let me take a wild stab in

So let me take a wild stab in the dark here, Mr Kimy
a) English is not your first language
b) You deal in real estate

Pretty wild stab. Wrong on

Pretty wild stab. Wrong on both counts. Nah just your average salaried New Zealander in my 50s contemplating retirement. Started investing in investment property about 10 years ago and built up a portfolio of 12 properties. Struggled when in 2006 right up to 2010 when interest rates hit a high of 10%. It was then that I figured out why New Zealanders are so poor. Our government and reserve bank sets policies detrimental to most New Zealanders. That high interest rates do not make New Zealanders richer. I had to push up rents and burn equity to survive which is why I understand that our farmers burn equity when interest rates rises to far.  Anyone that says high interest rates is good for New Zealand has rocks in their head.

So now interest rates are at

So now interest rates are at record lows are New Zeslanders getting richer?

Alioop, Interest rates cannot

Alioop, Interest rates cannot be looked at a historical context. It must be looked at a relative context. Relative to the rest of the world, our interest rates are too high. We are attracting too much cash deposits in our banks. Too much cash to a bank is toxic. They have to lend that money out otherwise the risk of too much money = high costs. High costs = high risks = more indiscrimate lending = more risk to our banks.
Our Reserve Bank being as blind as bats are unable to contemplete this issue. It is the supply side of money that is creating this lending problem. Interest rates must fall and money supply squeezed. Less money available to our banks = less lending

Well higher interest rates

Well higher interest rates would definatley be good for moi & other savers.
The reason why high interest rates do not make New Zealanders richer is because too many New Zealanders lack the vision to look past residential property for investment.

I am not exactly sure how

I am not exactly sure how savings in the bank equates to actually doing anything but I would suggest you think about alternative investment options. Higher interest rates = Too much cash in a bank = liability to a bank = higher cost to a bank = indiscriminate lending = high risk bank = Cyprus. Also higher interest rates = less taxable profit in business = lower tax to government = no hospitals = no roads = no social welfare = poorer New Zealand.
There is already too much toxic cash deposits in the bank. Our New Zealand banks are literally throwing cash at borrowers. I just got $650k approved to spend as I choose. But I am going to restrict myself to just retiring debt. I won't use that $650k and will do as the Reserve Bank and Wheeler suggests. Do not spend. Not too sure how that equates to a stronger economy. I am still wearing a broken pair of glasses and my office suit jacket pocket is still ripped and stapled together.

Both me and my savings have

Both me and my savings have already done the hard work by actually running businesses and making things. I don't think the interest rates currently on offer adequately compensate for the risk of the bank lending to people with no money of their own to buy property. So maybey I should take it back out and then all the borrowers can try offering other house traders fresh air come settlement time. I wonder how that will work out.

As the Cypriots have found

As the Cypriots have found out and the reserve bank of New Zealand have stated,depositors are unsecured creditors.
What does a bank in nz charge a borrower for an unsecured loan? 20 odd % for credit card balances ?
Again, my deposit is simply an unsecured loan to the bank.
in terms of what I expect is an acceptable return for the use of my money for residential property loan, CPI + 5% at a minimum.

Moaman, the reality is that

Moaman, the reality is that there is too much money floating around. The central banks around the world are printing money and dropping interest rates. There is a time to ramp up savings in a bank and there are times when the money supply becomes a toxic problem. Too much money is highly toxic to a bank. Suggest you invest in something tangible.

take it back out? I am in the

take it back out? I am in the process of this.

I need to join you when TD

I need to join you when TD matures.

Pohutakawa trees are

Pohutakawa trees are protected. No official digging allowed.

I am just another average

I am just another average wage and salary earner that allowed you to make all that money with your smart ideas and running your business. You have done well while others like me struggle to make a decent wage. As we are average people our only recourse is to invest in property to try and make a decent retirement while you spend your proceeds off our hard work, the average wage and salary earner.
 

Kimy. Therein lies the

Kimy. Therein lies the problem with all this; Bernanke is feeding the asset holders free money in the hope that you will spend it, or better, start a biz and employ. It doesn't sound like you are up for it, as an example, or even spend it, if your shirt is threadbare. And really, there are only so many calories, cars, TV's, and various other things that the 1% can consume. Don't worry, as most in your position are like you IMHO. If this is what is happening, then the real economy is arguably dying. This is why there is generally a bearish bias on this site.

Our real economy may be in

Our real economy may be in trouble today but the reality is, population grows. If we wait long enough population grows, the next generation arrives and our real economy starts to kick off again. The beauty about landed property as an investment is scarcity of supple. The reason why banks and most governments rely on property to drive the economy(except our Reserve Bank and our fund managers) and banks are propared to offer higher leverage is due to this scarcity. You can't build more land. The problem with apartments as an investment is that you can build more apartments but if you factor in the earthquake strengthening that is going to have to go into a highrise building it is going to limit how high you can go before it becomes uneconomical which puts a limit on supply. Banks have started to realise that perhaps in Auckland we are not going to see too many high rise building due to, the new earthquake building code.

Everyone wants to live here -

Everyone wants to live here - sth africans, chinese, brits  indians - look at them line up for entry.
........
When you get too many you spoil it for the locals.
"ENZ. Why did you take the big step of emigrating to New Zealand from England? David. We had visited New Zealand on holiday before so it wasn’t as if we were emigrating with blindfolds on. We’re both very keen on sport, and the climate and outdoor culture here are both far better than back home."
"
ENZ. Could you compare Auckland with London please for people who may be considering emigrating to New Zealand?
David. I think there’s a lot less litter – but it’s by no means perfect. Traffic can be pretty busy but it’s nothing like as bad as London. We drive up to the beach at Orewa sometimes – it’s a really nice small town about half an hour north of here on the motorway. You can get there in summer at ten o’clock in the morning and the beach is more-or-less deserted. Anyone who’s tried to get out of London to the coast on a bank-holiday-weekend will appreciate the beauty of that*."
http://www.enz.org/EnglishCoupleEmigratingNewZealand.html
 
A Chinese leader described NZ as "the last paradise"
"
Once Redcliffs was an unprepossessing fishing village, distinguished by a collection of modest fishermen's cottages. Most have now dissapeared, replaced by more luxurious residences, and property values have escalated.

“It's a standing joke that we're being taken over by the Americans and British, who have taken advantage of the stronger property markets in their own countires and favourable exchange rates”

“I know an English couple who have summer here and go back to England in the winter”

“What other parts of the city have such nice walks?.....

"
Now infilled in an unplanned sort of way.

It's not elitist crap.   It's

It's not elitist crap.
 
It's Jaffa crap. Jaffas see themselves as "the elite". The rest of the country more correctly views them as little more than speculating parasites.
 
Sydney or Singapore are great cities. So is arguably San Francisco and the bay area. But Auckland? Wtf?
 
Most 1M people cities in Aus have way better beaches. All inner city beaches in Auckland are basically sh*te.
 
Takapuna is on inner Hauraki gulf. It's silty, muddy, smelly, rather tidal and not even that warm 9 out of 12 months in a year. It's essentially rubbish.
 
When I lived in Auckland I had to travel north of Warkworth or west of the Waitakeres to reach anything resembling a decent beach. By then, you're not really in Auckland anymore.
 

Well (Stev-o ) is that you

Well (Stev-o ) is that you Steven..? now you're just being silly, and giving reason for city dwellers to think small town N.Z. has the  mind to match their geographical shortcomings.
Of course a city like Auckland is full of shortcomings including a real lack of communal identity...people  who may live in Auckland but do not feel connected to their city in the way a Cantabrian would.
 This is a reflection of  large numbers of cross cultural demographics, the natural stress created in a modern city to compete on a daily basis, the natural inclination to withdraw or become insular in leisure time.
 There are some excellent  opportunities to be taken in Auckland  , if you can motivate yourself to  go and do what is available.
 For me, I switched from a launch to kyak fishing a few years back (there is that insular thingy again) and I love it to bits ( the kyak), really good fishing, great scenery paddling around( never used to even notice it), still love surfing , and we are in reasonable prox to some good breaks...West,  Piha, Bethels, Murawai,to South West (Port W)...East, Daniels reef, etc.
But, elitist as in the wider population...? no matey, not even close, most are working their asses off just to be where the work is.
Sure I could happily re-locate to small town N.Z. , but for the commerce.
Oddly i think for Joe average Auckland is far to big in Bureaucratic terms, with far too much local body interference in everday lives........where ever can we put some new revenue gathering instruments today...>? 

Hey Christov, there's a few

Hey Christov, there's a few Steven's around, one's just sold me some furniture yesterday. So probably not the Steve you're thinking of. Anyhow, I think you missed my point there. Something can only consitute "elitist crap" if there indeed is some sort of "elite" producing that "crap". I find it very hard to appreciate Aucklanders, average or a bit above, as anything resembling an elite.
 
And I am guessing you're living on the Barrier (hopefully - that's a great place), or more likely Waiheke. Yeah, it's nice too, but both are part of Auckland in name only, primarily as no other possibly more adjacent district council wanted them and they always needed subsidies to make work, especially so the outer islands like GBI.
 
And the kayak's great. I got a tandem a couple of years ago and was thinking about putting the rod on it, but my techniques of both are still subpar and mixing the two would be recipe for too much pain.
 
Auckland surf is not that flash from a national point of view. Better, more reliable waves are to be had in Gizzie or in Dunedin or even in the Bay.
 
And yes, I've been an Auckland battler for 12 years, but have since come to realisation that some battles are better fought elsewhere where gain is more easily attainable, more likely and far less speculative.

gizzie for sure

gizzie for sure Steve-O.....gotta go with that, been a long time since I been down that way, but I think you just tuned me up for it.
As to your Kayak, rod it up , and get out there, the bonus with the tandem or (Cabot) , you can sit sideways legs in the water, best way when you get hooked up to a Kingy, or big ray, or you know what.
 Do rig up a carabina on the full length one side for Anchor or Drogue fishing as I imagine your yak is over 4mt....it's the difference between fishing in comfort and all things becoming awkward.
Give it a lash ...you'll love it..!....................................I hope.

One advantage of Apartment

One advantage of Apartment rental slums is the problem of what to do with the rubbish is solved...just pick any window any night...splat.

Live in the country

Live in the country Gareth.....?surely you mean live in the car during the commuting week.
 Superb, a M'cdonalds at every off ramp to ensure you are fed and toileted, or take the bullet train (as yet unbugeted or imagined for that matter) at some horrendous fee due to inadequate population density.
 Auckland I fear too often gets a little ahead of itself in it's desperate bid to be a big time city, only to get knocked on it's butt through infrastructure shortcomings not matching wild visionaries thinking.
 The Ports of Tauranga , a cute little example of substance vs hype.
While Brown, who clearly has a mindset to make his mark as some kind of genius that happened upon the landscape ,sees Auckland's future like a Southern Singapore, he clearly departs from the attraction for immigration right up to 2000......for family orientated people, and those just fed up living where Auckland seems destined to arrive.
I get to see a lot of cities around the globe, in the past I would not trade places with their citizens on balance of lifestyle vs geography.....I'm starting to feel that way less often when returning ...home. 
It's true other big cities think we're a little hickey, a little slow, a little bit backwash sometimes, but why let that bother us, we know different..why our Politicians are just as corrupt, our Bankers are very bit as devious,our Corporation (F) just as power hungry , our citizens just as disconnected from the processes that shape their daily life and their childrens future........so we are not short on big city qualities.
Enjoy your Easter for now, as in the future you may find it superfluous to your needs.

Christov says: in the past I

Christov says: in the past I would not trade places with their citizens on balance of lifestyle vs geography .. I'm starting to feel that way less often when returning .. home

Noted

surely you mean live in the

surely you mean live in the car during the commuting week
 
Commuting? Doesn't that imply a destination?
According to todays NZ Herald ..there is no destination .. just the journey
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10874102

Quite right - Mangere and

Quite right - Mangere and Otara are great places.
Particulary enjoy the markets in Otara.
Mangere Bridge getting quite nice these days also.
SK

Everytime I have travelled to

Everytime I have travelled to different cities and I have considered moving permanently  to Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, whenever I come back to Auckland, it feels so great in Auckland that I have never made the move. Sure my wage has been stagnant now for the last 5 years. My preference is still to stay in Auckland. For me it is still a fantastic city to live in.

Damn, everytime I left

Damn, everytime I left Auckland for a proper city I asked myself "why did I waste 12 years of my life living in that worthless p of s". But what was wrong has since been corrected.

Yeah, really cool places if

Yeah, really cool places if getting your face ripped off for wearing the wrong colour teeshirt is your idea of fun. Real nice.

Mangere Bridge getting quite

Mangere Bridge getting quite nice these days also.
 
 
yes it is SK...when the wind is blowing the right way or the tide is full in....the silt just a little uphill from there is sooooo full of industrial discharge even the kawhai that frequent the area are bipolar.....and it still stinks to high heaven on a hot still day.

Don't forget one of NZ's most

Don't forget one of NZ's most gruesome and still unsolved murders happened in Mangere Bridge, with the killer most likely a local, a point most any female will find a huge impediment to achieving SK's level of gushiness.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/5823834/Cold-case-will-never-be-solved

I'm confused. There is only

I'm confused. There is only apartments and the country. No one in their right mind wants to live in suburbia surely? Especially not Auckland suburbia. Ugh, I lived in Lynfield for a year or so back when I was at Auckland uni. Vowed to never live in the burbs ever again. All those families and people movers and lawn mowers and strimmers and old men blowing their leaves all over their neighbours driveways (only for the neighbour to blow them back again later in an endless round of blower-vac wars) - nightmare!

Now I live in an apartment in Sydney CBD and own a lifestyle block north of Auckland. I couldn't do it any other way. Auckland is too insular/parochial/generically asian and remote to ever be considered a viable place to live. I've done my time thanks.
 

Aaaah, one of the 1million

Aaaah, one of the 1million New Zealanders living overseas. Don't forget to pay your student loans. Also please ensure that the Australian government transfers your superannuation back to Kiwisaver when you decide to return to New Zealand. Don't forget you will always be a 2nd class citizen in Aussie. If you lose your job, don't expect any help from Aussie, if there is a flood, don't expect any flood relief from your Aussie mates. Note that we have to plan for your eventual retirement in New Zealand if your Aussie super savings is insufficient because you are not going to get a Aussie assisted pension from the government. Make sure your children are clever and normal because they are not going to get any assistance from special needs classes in Aussie.

StanGoodvibes, If you rent

StanGoodvibes, If you rent out your Auckland property as an investment property don't forget to claim the tax losses on your property in Australia. You have to adjust for depreciation as the ATO allows for depreciation on building of 2.5%. John Key to placate our foolish Reserve Bank and fund management industry removed depreciation on building discouraging brand new investmnent in building.
You also need to file a New Zealand tax return and accumulate future tax losses which can be used in the future for you to work tax free in New Zealand. There is no expiry on when the New Zealand tax losses can be used.
Being in Australia you can take advantage of a double dip opportunity of those tax losses by owning a New Zealand property. It makes tax sense for Australians to own investment properties in New Zealand due to being able to take advantage of the same tax losses twice.

Stan - heads up - sell that

Stan - heads up - sell that piece of "Winterless Northland" s and get a lifestyle block over there in real winterless NSW. Anything north of Port Mac and south of Ballina's good and still affordable imo.

Geez Sore-loser!! You are a

Geez Sore-loser!! You are a bundle of joy!!
I think I'm going to avoid the pending disaster we all live in and bite on that molar - I'm sure my cyanide cap is still in there from my many years in Europe during the 80's. I thought the need for it was over after the fall of the Wall and even the Neonazis resurgence wasn't reason enough - but that's it... you and all your doomster buddies have convinced me...I'm out-of-here...farewell.. adieu et bon courage !!

SK... Auckland is not a great

SK... Auckland is not a great place to live if you have to pay auckland property prices and live on local Auckland wages.  It's a simple as that.
Go take as many swims in the sea as you like.  But you still have to pay for transport to get there right?  How are you going to do that when all your money is taken paying a mortgage and food? 
Sure it's a nice place, it's just the quality of life as determined by your displosable income is MUCH better in other places...

Awright-awready!!!... we get

Awright-awready!!!... we get it Sore-loser you don't like Auckland!!! You either dropped your nest egg there...or buried it and lost it... or some Jaffa has cracked your egg...because it's starting to sound as if something is definitely cracked!
Now I don't want to start reciting Humpty Dumpty to help lighten the situation...but lighten up you must.... I'm starting to take great offence and I'm not even a Jaffa ...nor do I live anywhere near the big A !!!
Are you land-locked somewhere with no access to any water? How long have you had Aucklophobia for anyway...it is treatable you know?
I'm not saying you're not entitled to your Aucklophobic fits...you must have your reasons...take a walk, go out in nature, take a dip somewhere...or your'e going to spill your yoke S-l....

15 of the best videos on

15 of the best videos on current world financial problems
 
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-14/top-15-economic-truth-documentaries

15 of the best videos on

15 of the best videos on current world financial problems
 
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-14/top-15-economic-truth-documentaries

A lot of the general publice

A lot of the general publice are so ignorant as to what is really happening, a second much bigger bubble that is going to put USA in to a depression, Watch the videos

Not just a one-off run of the

Not just a one-off run of the mill pyramid scheme, but a veritable pyramid perpetuum mobile! Yeehaa!!

"Colliers International's

"Colliers International's national research director, Alan McMahon, was quoted late last year as saying, "It is not the responsibility of private property developers to provide affordable housing. Their job is to maximise profits."
He said, "The danger is that as new land is released, it will be developed in a style and price point that only enables existing house owners to buy," adding, "Developers will not reduce their prices unless they have to."
Dr Smith seems to be hanging his hopes on the opening up of farm land being that trigger. But in a free market, there is no guarantee the owners of the rezoned land are going to sell, especially not at a bargain-basement price."
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/brian-rudman-on-auckland/news/article.cfm?c_id...

With global warming

With global warming and rising oceans predicted, Nick Smith is right, we need to be pushing further inland and moving south.

That's the beauty of a nice,

That's the beauty of a nice, hefty, juicy land tax. It guarantees most unused or underutilised land gets sold on very quickly.

CNN series on cities

CNN series on cities experiencing growing pains
 
"

Protest with a proposal'
Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
In 1991, some of Xalapa's poorest residents aligned with an urban planning group and devised a remarkable plan designed to give them a sense that they belonged to -- and were respected by -- their community.
At the time, 46 percent of the city's population were low-income construction workers, domestics, drivers and street sellers squatting on land on the outskirts of the city of 350,000, 150 miles east of Mexico City.
The land was virtually useless and lacked paved roads, plumbing and electricity. Further, the relationship between the residents and state and city officials verged on hostility.
But some of the residents formed the Union of Tenants and Housing Applicants and worked with the Center of Housing and Urban Studies, a non-governmental organization. Together, they created "Protest with a Proposal," not only bringing their problems to the attention of the authorities, but also offering a number of solutions.
Over the next few years, 50 of the 80 settlements were accepted as viable entities by the authorities. Sanitary facilities units were installed. Some residents were allowed to purchase land on a state reserve and a model house was built as part of a program to teach the residents to help themselves.
Using information from similar programs in India, a savings and loan program was set up and is run by women in the settlements. Central to the progam is a scheme in which residents pool their savings, in turn helping them finance the purchase of new homes.
The "Protest with a Proposal" model, along with information from participatory planning programs in Brazil, has been adopted elsewhere in Mexico including a project in Mexico City."

 

http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/city.limits/

Levitt Bankruptcy Leaves

Levitt Bankruptcy Leaves Homeowners in the Cold
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=44117288

Discussing Knustler book on

Discussing Knustler book on Leviton.
"As soon as David Kushner stated that the greatest urban planning legacy of Levittown was Alfred Levitt’s allowance for personalization, I realized that this was the connection I had been searching for. It appears that through the evolution of suburbia, we’ve actually designed it in progressively more destructive ways. Most recently, property values in modern suburban developments have been the least able to sustain the economic recession, in comparison to urban neighborhoods.
One characteristic that modern suburbia most has in common with the Levitt’s less successful town in Pennsylvania, is it’s lack of personalization. Personalization is important to the physical, economic, and social sustainability of a place, as I detail in this earlier post: Holy HOA. The ability for people to personalize their own house, can cause them to not only be more committed to maintaining their property, but feel more emotionally connected to their neighborhood and neighbors. It can also enliven the public realm, and be one of the most influential factors in contributing to a neighborhood’s character. When we’re in Chinatown we know it, when we’re in New Orleans’ French Quarter, we know it. When we’re in the Manhattan’s Lower East Side we know it. Residents here have a personality, and they show it. Today, when we’re in a gated community off a belt loop interstate, we could be anywhere in America. And when you’re standing on a street corner in Levittown, PA, you could be on any street corner in the town. Anonymity = unimportant. This is not an unreal correlation to make.
http://helmofthepublicrealm.com/tag/urban-sprawl/