Latest QV figures show housing values are falling in Auckland while the rate of growth is slowing in the rest of the country

Latest QV figures show housing values are falling in Auckland while the rate of growth is slowing in the rest of the country

Average property values are continuing to decline in Auckland and the rate of growth is slowing in the rest of the country, according to the latest monthly figures from Quotable Value (QV).

The average value of residential property in Auckland has fallen for four months in a row, although the decline is slow and steady rather than dramatic.

It has dropped from $1,050,647 in November to $1,039,917 in March (-$10,730), or a drop of just over 1%.

And the average value in Auckland is now down 1.5% compared to where it was in March last year.

The decline has affected all districts within the city except Rodney, where the average value in March was up 0.3% compared to a year ago.

The biggest declines have been in Auckland's more expensive districts such as coastal North Shore, where the average value is down 4.1% compared to a year ago, followed by North Harbour down 3.2%, Gulf Islands down 2.9% and Manukau's eastern suburbs down 2%.

Dunedin the most buoyant main centre

Around the rest of the country average values are still mostly rising, however the rate at which they are rising is slowing, suggesting housing markets in other centres are now following Auckland and starting to ease.

Dunedin remains the most buoyant main centre, with the average value there up 13.3% in March compared to a year earlier, followed by the Wellington region 8.4%, Hamilton 4.5%, and Tauranga 3.7%. Values were almost flat in Christchurch with just 0.6% growth compared to a year ago (see the table below for the figures for all districts throughout the country).

"Our latest figures show that value growth continues to slow overall, with the national annual growth rate dropping from 7.3% in March last year to a current rate of 2.6%," QV General Manager David Nagel said.

Affordability constraints are a key factor behind this slowdown, particularly in areas such as [the former] Auckland City, which has an average value of $1,230,817.

"The strongest value growth is generally being seen in areas such as Rotorua and the Hawke's Bay," Nagel said.

QV House Price Index - March 2019
Territorial authority Average current value $ 12 month change% 3 month change %
Auckland region 1,039,917 -1.5% -0.8%
Wellington region 702,896 8.4% 2.2%
Total New Zealand 686,523 2.6% 0.5%
       
Far North 445,772 3.3% 3.8%
Whangarei 545,988 5.5% -3.1%
Kaipara 531,486 1.9% -3.4%
Auckland - Rodney 953,096 0.3% 0.2%
Rodney - Hibiscus Coast 928,429 0.9% -0.1%
Rodney - North 977,895 -0.2% 0.4%
Auckland - North Shore 1,197,945 -3.1% -1.2%
North Shore - Coastal 1,363,259 -4.1% -1.5%
North Shore - Onewa 963,355 -0.8% -0.6%
North Shore - North Harbour 1,180,331 -3.2% -1.2%
Auckland - Waitakere 814,078 -1.3% -1.1%
Auckland - City 1,230,817 -1.1% -0.2%
Auckland City - Central 1,086,907 -0.8% 0.4%
Auckland_City - East 1,541,614 -1.6% -0.4%
Auckland City - South 1,093,500 -0.4% -0.2%
Auckland City - Islands 1,124,220 -2.9% -3.6%
Auckland - Manukau 892,867 -1.1% -1.5%
Manukau - East 1,136,097 -2.0% -1.8%
Manukau - Central 695,800 -0.5% -1.7%
Manukau - North West 776,746 -0.3% -1.0%
Auckland - Papakura 691,235 -1.7% -1.4%
Auckland - Franklin 671,797 -0.5% -0.3%
Thames Coromandel 766,163 6.3% 3.1%
Hauraki 417,735 7.8% 0.1%
Waikato 487,847 3.2% 0.2%
Matamata Piako 476,847 8.1% 3.8%
Hamilton 580,285 4.5% 1.6%
Hamilton - North East 722,263 3.3% 1.3%
Hamilton - Central & North West 535,166 3.7% 1.3%
Hamilton - South East 535,462 6.7% 2.0%
Hamilton - South West 519,467 4.1% 1.8%
Waipa 569,756 6.3% 1.1%
Otorohanga 354,723 18.0% 20.2%
South Waikato 251,559 10.0% 0.1%
Waitomo 224,766 14.6% 1.1%
Taupo 515,362 9.3% 4.8%
Western BOP 647,838 1.6% -1.0%
Tauranga 733,102 3.7% 1.7%
Rotorua 472,566 12.6% 7.0%
Whakatane 479,987 12.6% 4.7%
Kawerau 243,974 24.2% -0.5%
Opotiki N/A N/A N/A
Gisborne 340,288 11.2% 4.8%
Wairoa 198,838 22.4% 0.1%
Hastings 512,277 12.1% 2.7%
Napier 554,560 11.5% 5.3%
Central Hawke's Bay 379,225 15.6% 5.7%
New Plymouth 461,516 4.6% 0.8%
Stratford 269,917 5.1% -2.0%
South Taranaki 237,001 7.1% 1.1%
Ruapehu 206,836 12.6% -0.1%
Whanganui 271,100 11.8% -2.0%
Rangitikei 232,178 15.3% 4.8%
Manawatu 359,435 8.9% -2.9%
Palmerston North 435,696 13.6% 2.4%
Tararua 227,761 21.7% 3.0%
Horowhenua 339,382 10.4% 0.5%
Kapiti Coast 586,842 6.8% 1.7%
Porirua 597,865 8.9% 1.1%
Upper Hutt 542,220 12.3% 2.9%
Hutt 576,086 8.2% 3.0%
Wellington City 828,645 7.9% 1.9%
Wellington - Central & South 822,272 7.2% 2.0%
Wellington - East 890,622 8.6% 2.4%
Wellington - North 758,244 9.7% 1.8%
Wellington - West 937,822 5.7% 1.5%
Masterton 377,865 12.3% 1.2%
Carterton 425,136 11.6% 1.8%
South Wairarapa 514,326 6.7% 2.3%
Tasman 598,826 6.4% 1.6%
Nelson 616,634 8.9% 2.5%
Marlborough 474,902 4.5% 0.8%
Kaikoura 429,578 -2.9% 1.2%
Buller 191,552 4.8% 0.7%
Grey 214,667 0.6% 1.9%
Westland 262,053 6.9% 6.5%
Hurunui 393,966 4.5% 2.2%
Waimakariri 447,897 1.9% 0.0%
Christchurch 497,298 0.6% 0.1%
Christchurch - East 375,247 1.1% -0.1%
Christchurch - Hills 680,774 1.8% 1.4%
Christchurch - Central & North 586,830 0.9% 0.8%
Christchurch - Southwest 471,969 -0.4% -0.7%
Christchurch - Banks Peninsula 520,303 2.6% -0.8%
Selwyn 553,369 0.6% -0.4%
Ashburton 352,740 0.4% -1.4%
Timaru 369,222 3.6% 1.2%
MacKenzie 511,505 -2.2% -1.0%
Waimate 243,800 4.0% 0.8%
Waitaki 322,392 6.1% 4.6%
Central Otago 520,476 8.8% 2.7%
Queenstown Lakes 1,200,185 7.1% 0.6%
Dunedin 451,199 13.3% 3.7%
Dunedin - Central & North 466,662 13.0% 3.4%
Dunedin - Peninsular & Coastal 412,228 12.4% 2.4%
Dunedin - South 432,127 15.1% 4.2%
Dunedin - Taieri 467,822 12.5% 4.0%
Clutha 230,718 8.1% 7.4%
Southland 316,302 12.7% 9.2%
Gore 235,331 4.5% 0.7%
Invercargill 290,571 11.0% 1.5%
Main Urban Areas 792,687 1.4% 0.2%

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62 Comments

Steady/flat -> slowly but steadily falling -> ?

--> snowballing. Like Melbourne is now. You only have to look across the ditch to see what is coming.

lock in a RB cut now, they will need to make sure we dont follow aussie

The start of the current housing slump in Aussie occurred when the RBA dropped their rate to 1.5 and the entire market took it as a signal of no confidence.

Look at our housing prices to start slumping after RBNZ cuts.

Auckland's price falls are minuscule - coming after the huge price rises recorded through 2013-2016.........

My magnifying glass was no use: I needed a microscope to see them.

TTP (-:

Agent TTP, FHB's need not use a microscope to spot the tens of thousands of hard earned $$ saved in interest costs. Simply by waiting.....

Its empowering for them to watch those term deposits grow while they patiently wait.

Since late-2016, NZ has witnessed a textbook soft-landing of the housing market. No collapse; no crisis - despite the cravings of some people here.

House-owners have done well. Even without house price increases, healthy returns are being made by landlords.......... I’m told that even modest 3bdrm houses in Auckland can rent for $600/$700 per week. That’s tens of thousands of dollars of revenue in landlords pockets each year.

Conversely, if you live in the house you own, you will save tens of thousands of dollars each year through avoiding rent.

Either is a nice place to be. Borrowing money from banks for housing at today’s ultra-low interest rates means people are winning at the expense of those with term deposits.

TTP

"Borrowing money from banks for housing at today’s ultra-low interest rates means people are winning at the expense of those with term deposits"

Yup Agent TTP, you keep on telling yourself these things. Only those who can't save themselves defend their habits with the same weak counter arguments.

With a backdrop of a now weakening economy and global outlook, zero debt is best for now. Asset prices are going to be cheaper tomorrow. It's all about timing now.

Just rolled over a TD that had been on a one year term. It returned 2.31% after tax. The RBNZ inflation calculator had inflation over the same period at 1.89% so my TD's real return was 0.42%. I rolled over for a very similar interest rate. I suppose I should be happy my money is maintaining its buying power but the reality long term is that I need to take on more risk, work longer or accept a retirement based mainly on capital withdrawals. The asset market crash I've been waiting for is proving very elusive. I know what the DGMs feel like.

Ex Expat, I can understand if you regret not having negotiated a longer dated TD at a higher rate (like I did) you'd be returning a lot higher than 2.31% after tax. The rates have since dropped a lot. I think your original idea to add on an extra bedroom, take in boarders (tax free) is a sound one. Why aren't you doing this? What's changed? You repost the latest Corelogic valuation weekly and you rollover your term deposits year after year. My money's on you be scared to put your initiative into action. It all seems just talk and no do.

The plan was never to rely on TDs long term. I was parking it for a possible private equity investment but the economy hasn't turned to cactus yet. One year TDs with different banks and maturity dates is the holding pattern.

We are going ahead with the boarding plan and are currently working on plans to reconfigure the house to suit (extra bathroom and a separate house entrance). We are also making sure we provide a boarding service as opposed to a rental service, as the latter would be taxable and we don't want to configure the house incorrectly e.g. putting in a lockable dividing door, as I understand making an area into a unique space for a person is renting. We also need to keep ahead of the Council with any rates impact. I expect we will end up boarding international students, hopefully young enough to keep in check.

Ex Expat, sounds like a good plan. Somes years back we hosted International Students for about five years. As a side earner, it was good tax free money, but it did came with its own dose of unexpected hassles. Now that we have kids in their late teens we concentrate on our own rather than someone else's. If you need the money then I guess it's your deal.

When boarding one or two (from the fact sheet) "If your income is less than the weekly standard cost allowed, you don’t need to show this income in your return, keep records of related costs, or pay tax on the income you receive from boarders.

The housing market is more like the guy clinging desperately to a rock to prevent himself falling off the cliff. One by one his fingers are giving out on him

I Guess $15000 lost on average over the last year ($300 per week) may seem like much to you.

Maybe when it reaches $50000 or $100000 you may take some notice.

The fact that prices are falling during the supposed peak selling season I thought may have started ringing the alarm bells for such a seasoned observer like yourself...

Should have gone to specsavers!!!!

Should have gone to specsavers!!!! :-)

I think it might be a significant amount to a highly leveraged FHB. If you bought with a year ago with a 10% deposit, you just lost 15% of your equity. How will that impact the decision making of new FHBs?

It's probably also quite significant for an investor who bought a year ago, running a negatively geared rental. Again you may have lost a chunk of equity, while also losing money week on week.

Well if prices had just fallen by 15% then hopefully FHB would realize its time to go in hard.

Time to go in hard is just before/as they hit bottom.. not while they are accelerating downwards.

Really just as they start to go up as you don't know it is the bottom otherwise.

Indeed Mr tothepoint and if you consider the B & T data as the most accurate reflection of current median sales prices - until REINZ release then Auckland has now slipped into second place as the most unaffordable Australasian city.

Are New Zealand cities cheap compared to Australia?

Here's some numbers and they're just numbers.
Barfoot Auckland median selling price March 2019 NZ$836,000 (2nd Place)
Corelogic Sydney median selling price March 2019 AU$888,117 or NZ $929,059 (1st Place)
Corelogic Melbourne median selling price March 2019 AU$729,000 or NZ$762,675 (3rd Place)
REINZ Wellington region median sales price February NZ$640,000 (4th place)
Corelogic Brisbane median selling price March 2019 AU$538,849 or NZ$563,766 (5th Place)

So with Auckland in second place now and Wellington 4th at what point do people consider cashing up and making the move over the Tasman for cheaper properties? Auckland for Melbourne perhaps to reduce the mortgage or maybe Wellington to Brissy to escape the wind? This is all starting to look quite interesting.

Question: QVs are updated monthly correct? and on what data?

Also, how often does RVs get updated?

RV frequency depends on the TLA involved but typically triennially. And bears no necessary relationship to sell or buy prices, as it's primarily for rating apportionment.

Auckland downturn 1.5% for year is hardly the imminent bubble burst collapse foreseen by a number of commentators April last year. A post Christmas last three months 0.8% doesn't indicate a collapse either.
I am expecting some seasonal downturn over the next six months and no doubt. However given the drivers of continuing low interest rates, signals of a likely OCR cut, despite SNZ issues with exact numbers, continuing high level of immigration, and increasing numbers of FHB, I don't see a bubble burst. On the downside there is reducing level of investor activity due to Government anti-landlord sentiment.
As for KiwiBuild having a significant influence on supply - it is a joke. With HUD latest figures showing 58 KiiwBuilds now occupied, claims of 1,000 houses (one could assumed occupied) by July is ridiculous.

None of you points really matter when sales numbers are so low and inventories are so high.

The relevant point is there are not enough buyers at the prices being asked and an OCR cut wont change that because the bank's stress tests are so stringent.

The pressure for those that really want or need to sell is rising and that can only mean further price drops.

The question is, when does the interest rate used by banks for assessment of serviceability going to be revised down. The big 4 use 8% and TSB 7%. Rate was always 3-4% above prevailing rates, this stemmed from the 1990s when rates were typically 10%, so a 30-40% margin added. Even if tacked on 50% would now be assessing serviceability at 6%, what to me seems more appropriate given the post GFC world.

Reasonable question, but you are wrong as to where these serviceability tests originate. Essentially they come from the regulators (in both Australia and New Zealand). They have required at least a +2% premium for this test, and banks themselves decide if they will make the test with a higher rate. It's a resilience check of the borrower.

In an unstable economic environment (internationally at least) I wouldn't expect either the regulators, or the bank credit gurus to be re-setting these individual stress tests lower, and certainly not in the shadow of the Hayne Report.

Given that the big 4 banks in NZ are owned by parent banks in Australia and subject to APRA. The Australian parent banks may apply this to their NZ bank subsidiaries.

From APRA's APG223 "Residential Mortgage Lending" - issued February 2017.

32. Good practice would apply a buffer over the loan’s interest rate to assess the serviceability of the borrower (interest rate buffer). This approach would seek to ensure that potential increases in interest rates do not adversely impact on a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan. The buffer would reflect the potential for interest rates to change over several years. APRA expects that ADI serviceability policies should incorporate an interest rate buffer of at least two percentage points. A prudent ADI would use a buffer comfortably above this level.

33. In addition, a prudent ADI would use the interest rate buffer in conjunction with an interest rate floor, to ensure that the interest rate buffer used is adequate when the ADI is operating in a low interest rate environment. Prudent serviceability policies should incorporate a minimum floor assessment interest rate of at least seven per cent. Again, a prudent ADI would implement a minimum floor rate comfortably above this level.

34. APRA expects ADIs to fully apply interest rate buffers and floor rates to both a borrower’s new and existing debt commitments. APRA expects ADIs to make sufficient enquiries on existing debt commitments, including consideration of the current interest rate, remaining term, outstanding balance and amount available for redraw of the existing loan facility, as well as any evidence of delinquency. ADIs using a proxy to estimate the application of interest rate buffers and floor rates to the servicing cost of existing debt commitments would, to be prudent, ensure that such a proxy is sufficiently conservative in a range of situations, updating the methodology to reflect prevailing interest rates.

@theglc An OCR cut would help as it increases the attractiveness of property and more FHB will take the plunge, more existing owners will look to climb and more properties will make mathematical sense to investors to purchase. The current sensible lending criteria will mitigate any gains and i doubt a single cut can turn the market around but it should further lengthen but soften the correction.

Yes printer..keep driving on tires that are slowly defalting..what damage could be done?

And yet, that mere 1.5% drop in house values means that if you brought an $800k Auckland home one year ago, with 15% deposit, at the prevailing 1yr fix rate of 4.33% on a 25y mortgage.

Your house is worth $12k less
Your equity is up a mere $3,400.

You've been paying ~$860/week in mortgage payments as opposed to ~$600/week in rent.
If you'd stayed renting and put the difference in the bank you'd have an extra $13,500 in the bank.

Now add on what you've had to pay in rates, insurance, maintenance. You would have been better off by about $12-15k to stay renting.

And things are likely to continue along that track for the next couple of years at least.

printer8. Your pessimism shows you clearly missed Twyford's latest buzzfeed about the KiwiBuild 'recalibration' he has underway. Drawing on Mao's gung ho movement for inspiration, our revolutionary housing minister has announced the 'great recalibrated leap forward'. A little red book of the thoughts of Phil is not far away which will explain the sweeping reforms enabling the peasants to wrest land from the hands of the bourgeoisie and flood the market with sections. Think of kiwibuld in terms of Maos long march - it'll get there eventually but most of us will be dead from exhaustion.

The 1.5 percent only becomes a problem when investors and boomers entering retirement start to believe its the new normal and prices are not going to rebound anytime soon. Once you believe this the sooner you sell the better off you are and then with low sales people start undercutting each other to sell and then declines really pickup.

When you take 1.5 percent off net rental yields you are loosing money on your mortgaged portion of your rental and for the equity portion you will lucky to getting more than a td if you sell the house and put it in a bank.

For some time to come, the wise first time buyer will park his/her funds in a term deposit/s. It's plain common sense! Just wait patiently and watch. It's only the beginning of a long adjustment to realistic fundamentals.

Exactly, they have been saving $300 per week over the last year by doing nothing.

I expect the savings over this coming year to accelerate....

A bit different from when people needed to save $300 per week to be at a standstill for their deposit savings. On the upside the required amount for a 10% deposit is going down by $30 per week.

I'm waiting for the leveraged downside to really kick in. Will Auckland step up and be a world beater with falls greater than Sydney?

I agree with you RP that there is a need for values to return to realistic fundamentals - especially for investors who currently are not particularly active.
The KEY point is there going to be either a bubble burst with sudden and significant drop, or a flattish market (with some correction of 5% or so) for some time (e.g. three years).
Given the continuing low interest rates and high immigration, NZRB influence by OCR and LVRs, and stagnant supply issues (including KiwiBuild) etc I prefer the later.
Are 2010 sales levels indicative of a return to normal conditions?

Looks like winter has come early

Brrrrrr

Its not SO bad for home owners. The falling property market likely means interest rates will fall further. For me right now, cash flow is more important than capital value and I can use it to repay more debt.

Provided you have enough equity, and don't need to sell, this is definitely true. Falling prices aren't really that bad if you just own a home you plan to live in for the long term.

But falling prices make a huge difference to anyone highly leveraged or FHB looking to enter the market. Those are the people that will get burned in a falling market.

@Miguel You often want to purchase in a falling market, as prices drop so does the risk of long term under performance. And while Auckland may on aggregate only have fallen 1.5% the granular truth is lots of houses went up and lots went down, some went up a lot and some went down a lot, there will have been some choice bargains had even though the average is pretty flat. I personally have seen several properties sell hundreds of thousands under their 2017 values, ive seen the inverse plenty of times as well.
FHB benefit the most from falling prices and are generally least harmed by any follow on losses as they usually have a very long ownership horizon.
Long term investors tend to feel: 'If you liked the stock at $50, you should love it at $40.'
Traders tend to think: 'don't try to catch a falling knife.'
The people who actually get burned are those whos income is reliant on downsizing, the overextended and those who suffer long term job loss.

lonewolf - to me the comment of the year!
Pity these DGM cant get this into their heads!
I have repeatedly said that as long as FHB can service their loan, any short term drop in the market is of little consequence as people such as yourself are in the market for the long term and ever since Adam and Eve moved into their first cave property prices over the medium term have moved northwards .
It is in the RBNZ interest to maintain relatively stable house prices through adjustments to the OCR and LVRs. A short term correction of 5% or so can be expected and if that eventuates you can be assured that the OCR will remain low.
As a home owner with a mortgage, a take-off in the market is NOT what you will want to see as you can be assured Adrian will be increasing the OCR and indirectly mortgage rates to put the brakes on this.
Enjoy the security and intrinsic values of owning your own home.

You cannot be assured of anything in this environment...and that's pretty clear when you listen to the multitude of economists and fund managers goffering their opinions. They are all confused.

A short term drop in values... maybe..maybe not. But we might just return to normal house to income ratios

Spending 30 years to pay off a 700k house worth $400k is more than "of little consequence."

But I know....NZ is dfrunt... can't happen, property never falls eh...

Agreed rastus; "You cannot be assured of anything in this environment..., "
As long as FHB can meet their mortgage payments - with interest rates likely to remain low in the medium term - there is no issue. As you point out, there is no consensus for the short term and there is definitely no one predicting the long term with any certainty. Yes 35 years ago a Auckland property at $90,000 looked expensive.
The alternative is to keep renting and pay off the landlord's house fro him/her- that is a certainty.

And people never get divorced or lose their jobs or get become ill, necessitating a house sale. Everyone is guaranteed to live in their house forever, so who cares if the price goes down.

Yes, I see its a gloomy weather day up there in Auckland.
Any thing is possible - maybe one needs to stay in bed for ever just in case something happens rather than getting on with life and dealing with uncertainties when and if they come up.

Interesting that prices continue to slide just after the LVR speed limits were lifted. It seems either buyers, lenders (or both) are getting cold feet.

A 3% yoy fall (in real terms) would not be a big issue in a healthy market where prices can be supported by rental returns. But we have 110K property "investors" nationally with negatively geared properties (who can no longer write those losses against other income). How long are they happy to cover those weekly losses in a falling market?

Yes a great observation.

I think people are pinning too much on a OCR rate cut. Will a 0.25 cut reflect in mortgage rates offered by the banks? will they be competing at 3.75% I doubt it.

It will take multiple cuts to effect a big enough change to entice FHBs, and for existing mortgage holders to break their current contract to go onto a new rate.

Still going up overall. Drops in Auckland still not significant enough to worry about as yet. Looking at the long term the current blip will be lost in the continued property price rises. looks like about only a 3% PA increase is going to be the new normal for a few years.

have you been listening to this guy
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/93951/chief-executive-property-insti...
The Chief Executive of The Property Institute is predicting that Auckland median house prices could double by 2026 or 2027.

That would give a median price of around $1.7 million in Auckland, compared to the REINZ's April median of $850,000.

Carlos67

Didn't you sell your house in Auckland in the last few years? Just out of interest, what have you done with the proceeds?

CN

All on term deposits now because the DGM's have messed with my head. Sitting here with my laptop and popcorn waiting for the biggest NZ property crash of all time.

‘You can’t time the market. Buy now.’
What a bunch of bull…hogwash…baloney…malarkey…phooey…poppycock. It’s downright one of the WORST, most DANGEROUS pieces of advice one could utter
.https://www.moneymorning.co.nz/ignore-this-house-buying-strategy-at-your...

"So here’s my humble advice…" hope he's a qualified financial advisor.... financial journalist are best at getting attention not actually knowing what they're taking about.

The market is still on the way up as shown by the price rises in most of the country. The small price reduction in Auckland is due to the over supply of land that the council created 2017 forwards.

Prices in Tasmania continued to rise while Sydney and Melbourne were falling. All that signals is that people are foolishly chasing what they have been told is the next hot property market. Eventually people wake up to the fact that buying over priced houses in woop woop is even worse than buying over priced houses in urban centres.

$250,000 mortgage debt + Sydney house = Launceston house + $250,000 cash. There's a point in the cycle when the worse investment is better if it reduces exposure.

As prices fall does the council adjust their rates demands to match?

There is no direct relationship between your property value and your rates. The council tweak the "Calculation" and your going to be paying more every year regardless of what your property is worth.

Agree with you Carlos67.

Local authorities are the curse of civil society. An absolute menace.

For a start, they're a huge block in sorting out the housing crisis....... Council admin and managerial staff go overboard using every available lever to discourage/obstruct construction projects. That includes charging exorbitant fees for building consents and inspections, as well as resource consents. They are happy to exploit their monopoly power.

Plus, their operational efficiency is diabolical. Further, most are deliberately unhelpful when you have a question to ask and/or important matters to clarify. Notably, they can't think beyond their archaic rule books.

It stuns me just how much Council admin officers and "managers" are paid - relative to the value of the actual "work" they do.

I have far more respect for the Council staff who do the nitty-gritty stuff - e.g. the labourers who dig the drains, maintain the roads and sweep the gutters, and the conscientious and skilful workers who keep our parks and reserves looking so beautiful. I feel my rates are well-spent in such areas.

As for the armchair managers and administrators sitting in Council offices, they're the greatest con ever inflicted on our communities.

TTP

You could apply those points to most corporations, energy companies, institutions and central government. It is a reflection of wider society that our values are indeed arse about face.

We are anything but a civil society. A civil society would have compassion and empathy towards others, would respect the emotional and material needs of every individual as being equally important, would cooperate and share resources to ensure the needs of the community and individual are met, would be more kind and caring towards each other. The so called "savages" of times past would be more civil than we are.