Have your say: Auckland councillor who suggested creation of trailer parks would help fix city's housing shortage accused of being in 'la-la land'

Have your say: Auckland councillor who suggested creation of trailer parks would help fix city's housing shortage accused of being in 'la-la land'

An Auckland councillor has suggested the city create trailer parks to help fix a housing shortage that if not addressed could be in the hundreds of thousands within 30 years, Radio New Zealand reports.

George Wood's suggestion at yesterday's council meeting was rubbished by other councillors, who said Wood was in la-la land if he thought trailer parks would help fix the city's property squeeze which has seen prices rise while the property market in the rest of the country remained stagnant.

“I think trailer parks is an extreme kind of example, but it’s something that we may have to look at because housing for families, and especially for young people is such an important aspect of our way of life," Wood said on Radio NZ.

Radio New Zealand reported the Auckland council saying the shortage was as much as 10,000 homes, which left unchecked would rise into the hundreds of thousands in 30 years.

Councillor Cathy Casey rubbished the trailer park idea:

“It’s not a solution, so it has to be a joke. Anybody that can imagine that a transit camp is a solution to a housing problem is in la-la land, because a transit camp is not an appropriate environment to bring up kids," Casey said.

Your view?

Is Wood in la-la land?

Is the Auckland housing market at the point where trailer parks would prove popular, even as a temporary fix while more houses are built?

What confidence does this give you that the Auckland Council is taking seriously the issue of housing affordability in their city?

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There is a scientific correlation between trailer parks and tornados.

 There is a scientific correlation between trailer parks and greed also.

According to papers made public on Tuesday, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee sought "exceptional" fees for the panel, above the usual range of $360-$655 a day for a chairman and $270-$415 for members.

He suggested a rate of $1400 for Sir John and $1000 for the other members, which State Services Minister Tony Ryall approved.


"I do not believe the proposed nominees will undertake the role for fees within the ranges established in the Cabinet Fees Framework," Mr Brownlee said on April 11.

Yesterday, Sir John, a former judge, told Radio NZ $1400 was a "very reasonable fee".


What will we see next, a shanty town on the Domain or perhaps on the park at Okahu bay.  It's a wonder that Hone Harawira and his happy throng are not planning this.

Trailer parks work well in Queensland where they house many oldies and those with housing difficulties.

The difference is they wake up in the morning to blue skies and it is WARM !

I don't think caravan parks is a realistic idea in our damp cold climate.

There is already one out at Mangere I believe which I doubt is something we should be planning on copying anywhere.

Transportable low cost factory built homes as they are made in the US makes a lot more sense.

The biggest issue may well be low cost land availability.

Yep lets see Mr Woods spend a month in the one in Ranui in West Auckland and see how he goes.

Wood is not in lala land..but he fails to appreciate that any trailer park development in Auckland would be a slum in the making thanks to useless council and slack layout planning..Expect every trailer toilet to be sited next to the neighbours bedroom window and just 3 feet away.....that's what he can expect.

As for Casey...what a joke....maybe she is unable to see a problem with kids being raised in high rise apartments...she'll think differently if some kid biffs an old tv down on her head.

Scrap Urban limits and Council RMA fee rorts, get the land costs way down and sort  out  this Unaffordable housing nonsense for goodness sake

Fully agree with you.  The land shortage is totally contrived to suit the property speculators by corrupt local bodies, - who knows who - influence and the old boy network.  

Very few people are are not housed by one means or another, so it would take a relatively small release of land to satisfy demand and return to a free, honest, market.  

The favourite excuse offered being urban sprall is completely spurious. If they were seriously worried about this they would not permit the proliferation of lifestyle blocks at the urban fringe and only permit efficient well planned subdivisions into normal sized sections. ( and I dont mean the miserable sub 550 square meter sites that we are developing now.)  

Proportionately land is plentiful and cheap in NZ (the average, but over priced, value of NZ farm land is $17,000 per HA or  $1,700 per 1000 m2 site)

I think that would require a caring honest political leader... aint going to happen in our life time...

Forcibly purchase the investment property of those owning more than two houses in Auckland. Do not pay current so-called market rates or asking prices - aim for around 50% at the very most. Then make all those many thousands of properties available at very affordable prices to FHB who would otherwise be unable to afford a home of their own. And for those who still cannot afford to buy, let them become tenants at rental rates so low it will make wannabe slumlords weep bitter, angry tears..

The residential property market needs to be completely gutted. Do it this way and everyone wins - except the wannabe slumlord types whose brainless greed has totally rooted the NZ economy.

Caravan Parks (like the picture attached to this article) is a very emotive term.

The accomodation they are building in Chch with transportable 3-4 bed, insulated houses for around 150k each is a much different proposition and would fulfil a demand for housing that the traditional single section housing is not supplying.

That is more like the Queensland example mentioned above. They are actually not bad places, with a high degree of pride taken in there appearance.

Developing affordable housing is not that hard except for one thing - Councils.

To build affordable housing means houses have to cost less money.  To cost less money they need to be smaller and denser.  If they are smaller and denser they have less amenity than a 200sqm freestanding house on a 600sqm site with 4 carparks.  If they have less amenity than a 200sqm freestanding house on 600sqm with 4 carparks getting Resource Consent becomes a process between nightmarish and impossible (and that's before they send a bill for their fees and taxes).

Building and selling an affordable house is easy.  Getting planning permission for it is not.

It is interesting George Wood comes up with this, as there is a strong chance he has helped to contribute to the situation.

As a former North Shore District Police Commander and then Mayor, he has been in the driving seat for a long time.

My information is that even further back he was a Browns Bay Borough councillor, and just happened at the same time to be a property investor/developer. It would certainly be interesting to follow the money trail there. I also understand he wasn't the only high ranking Police Officer in that position.

what a f##$en joke! Truly Abysmal.

I guess at least it helps to highlight the mess Councils have got us in

I see $500 000 caravans on 30m2 in the future... woohooo! That'll keep the property investors stoked!

I am very confortable with this idea as long as it's next to George Wood's home..  Trailer trash... noooice!

With this so called housing shortage where are the folk living now? Under bridges? In the park?

I think the whole thing is BS, ten thouand homes short - who comes up with these numbers - that's around 35,000 with no where to live. There may be an affordability problem - and God alone knows how folk on the median  income ($529 week 2010) are able to afford to buy or rent the median house ($350,000 or 13x income) but that's another story.


The housing shortage seems to exist in about 15 suburbs in the whole country does it not....bah..... if we exclude inner city auckland and a couple on the shore....then how bad is the so called shortage anyway?

Have we just realized that Ponsonby is not a birth right.... 



Yeh agree with you kiwidave....where do these figures come from.......3100 just headed off to Australia last month.......so we only need 7000  houses now .....and in 2 months time we wont need any  ......yahoo problem solved.

THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF LAND IN NEW ZEALAND. The UK is roughly  the same size in Square KM's as NZ , and the UK houses 60 million people . We house 4 million .... go figure!

The real problem is that is costs $120,000 to subdivide a section , and 70% of this is administered costs by the local authorities .

Thats the real Rort here, and only the government can sort this mess out , by reigining in the Local councils.   

Boatman - nonsense.

How much above 3000ft in the UK?  How much erosion-prone. How much currently used as dairy land? .

I'd suggest a switch to horticulture - you're a natural at cherry-picking.


Thanks PDK for stating the obvious the UK has


The total area of agricultural land in 2006 was 18.7 million hectares, about 77 per cent of the total land area in the United Kingdom


NZ has



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The total area of farm land in New Zealand in 1996 was 


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16,547,113 hectares


 Englands land is mostly, not eastcoast hill country or westcoast pumice country.

You have missed my point completely. The fact remains , New Zealand is under-populated and does not have a physical land shortage by any stretch of anyone's imagination. The housing shortage ( if it exists) is not due to a land shortage .  And not all the land is used for agricultrual production , as you imply. 

NZ could easily sustain a population of 6 million , one tenth the UK population , and there  is plenty of land for everyone.  

The real problem is that distortions have entered  the market , causing prices to spiral out of control, and  an artificial shortage of sections for development . 

There should be a moratorium on local council fees to subdivide for 2 years to free up any backlog. 

green movement summed up nicely here  fyi Boatman

The only difference I can see between the green movement of the environmentalists and the old red movement of the Communists and socialists is the superficial one of the specific reasons for which they want to violate individual liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Reds claimed that the individual could not be left free because the result would be such things as "exploitation," "monopoly," and depressions. The Greens claim that the individual cannot be left free because the result will be such things as destruction of the ozone layer, acid rain, and global warming. Both claim that centralized government control over economic activity is essential. The Reds wanted it for the alleged sake of achieving human prosperity. The Greens want it for the alleged sake of avoiding environmental damage . . . [And in the end,] [b]oth the Reds and the Greens want someone to suffer and die; the one, the capitalists and the rich, for the alleged sake of the wage earners and the poor; the other, a major portion of all mankind, for the alleged sake of the lower animals and inanimate nature

(G Reisman 20-4-2001)  also  http://mises.org/daily/661


I think it is a good idea.... 

I understand that they are popular in America...and that retirees downsize and move to these parks..  They can live in anything from a campervan to a small " movable cabin".

they are not just the "trailer trash " parks that one would imagine..

They can be neat little communities.

I think it is great that people could free up capital by choosing to downsize into a small place, when their needs are little but they still want the capital to do other things.

I congratulate this concillor for at least coming up with some ideas.....   and I think they are a good idea.

Not the answer to all our problems but I reckon there would be a demand for them.... just like there is for units in retirement villages.

That term "trailer trash" originated from America.  But hey you will like it even more if it's built next door to you. 

PDK , I have to disagree. There is no shortage of land for housing in New Zealand. There are thousands , (possibly tens of thousands of sections ) of sub-divisible properties in within Auckland alone. Take my example . My home is on a  6,000m2 section in Chester Ave , Greenhithe , Auckland .

The costs of subdividing this is estimated at $150, 000 and involves a two year battle with councils over consents , etc .

Frankly , as a baby boomer I dont have the energy for this battle and will leave it to my sons to do .


This is worth a read George...>

"Tallest squat in the world becomes emblem of Venezuela housing crisis

About 2,500 squatters occupy Torre de David – a 45-storey Caracas skyscraper built during the oil-rich country's boom years"


"The shanties don't have services either and they're far from everything," says Gregorio Laya, a 36 cook who recently moved in. "Here I step out the door and there is a bus stop that takes me to my job in five minutes. This place is a blessing."

... It's hard to see a Caravan Park on the Fringes of the city delivering that sort of convinence, in an energy constrained world.

We will need the available land close to cities for producing food... beautiful locally grown food!

crap... double post.

Of course a trailer park is a slum in the making - the people who will live there will be those who can't get their feet on the lowest rung of the housing ladder for whichever reason. And those people will frequently fit the same NINJA demographic as the low-end US trailer park communities - No (or low) Income, No (or low paid) Job, No Assets.


My aunt, visiting NZ from the UK (and having lived in St Louis) in the 1970s said "This place is going to turn out like bloody America"


How true....

How ironic!

This guy single-handly turned the North Shore into a trailer park with his infill-housing policy in the late 1990s.

It wasn't long before the roads were gridlocked and sewage seeping into the beaches, and George scratching his head thinking, "well my developer mates never said anything about upgrading the infrastructure.."


I know this sounds crazy, but if there is such a housing shortage in Auckland, why don't they build more houses?

Trailer parks - a giant leap backwards!

Good afternoon Chaps ,

How has everyone been, whilst I have been mouching around the streets of Paree and London town.  Must say, it's awwwfully quiet here  - where are all the people !

When I read the headline of that beloved rascal George Wood, regarding trailer homes,  I thought  "damn fine idea" !

What a great way to keep the "riff raff'" away from our delightful, "olde world" tree-lined neighbourhoods - we can't have the likes of such low life individuals taking over the whole city - as is what seems to be happening !

These trailer parks can be positioned well away from the above such suburbs, whilst giving us more refined folk a better standard of living, being well away from such types. 

Yes, we must "divide and conquer", so by developing such trailer parks, we can put these folk straight into the box marked "trailer trash" :) .... another step to a more gentrified society - I'm sure all the chaps at the Auckland Club would agree.

Must say, I love this idea George  - as most importantly, as it's all about me and my cohorts - remember friends, we are the ones that matter :)

Also we are the ones that are paying your wages !! ....( a pittance that they are :)   

Enjoy your day folks and remember we are in control, in more ways than you realise....

toodle pip