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Land for business development vital for Auckland

Media Statement

4 October 2006

Sufficient land for business development vital for Auckland’s future

Auckland will be starved of jobs and investment unless more land is zoned to provide for future business development, according to the Property Council of New Zealand.

Connal Townsend, National Director of the Property Council said land is a vital part of an economic supply chain, which means it is important that Auckland’s civic and regional leaders provide the land to meet the needs of current and future commercial property developers and investors.

“The containment philosophy proposed in the Auckland Regional Council’s Plan Change 6 is not going to work. If we carry on with the present zoning provisions, Auckland could run out of business land within 10 years. The resulting land-price inflation will only serve to drive investors and job-creators out of Auckland, and young workers, family and whanau would be the major losers.

“The Auckland Regional Council is acutely aware that Auckland is in danger of missing out on economic growth and new jobs unless more land in freed up for development. The Auckland Region Business Land Strategy provides some opportunity to address the looming land crisis. But it will only work if the Metropolitan Urban Limit is moved out to accommodate more greenfields land to accommodate the manufacturing sector; and Plan Change 6 is amended to move away from a rigid adherence to ‘containment’ as a planning philosophy.

“The Property Council understands that the Auckland Regional Council is contemplating amendments to Plan Change 6 to expand the Metropolitan Urban Limit. The Property Council supports amendments that free up the amount of land available.

“Failure to achieve these planning outcomes could result in financial ruin for thousands of working people living in and commuting to the Auckland region. Evidence of a link between land containment and landprice inflation already exists. If the net effect of land containment is an artificial increase in land price, then the Auckland region will suffer the effects of would-be commercial investors and manufacturers going elsewhere in pursuit of more affordable land development options,” Connal Townsend said.

The Auckland Region Business Land Strategy proposes two categories of business sector development –

• Group 1 business sectors (which include manufacturing; transport and storage; construction and wholesale trade) should be discouraged from locating town centres and key transport corridors. Group 1 sectors should be situated in heavy business zones and new greenfield business land;

And

• Group 2 business sectors (which include retail; café/restaurants; finance and insurance; communication services; property and business services; and other service sectors) should be encouraged to locate and intensify in town centres and key transport corridors.

“To accommodate Group 1 business sectors in new greenfields business land, it is essential that the Metropolitan Urban Limit is extended to accommodate that development. The challenge will be to ensure that the Metropolitan Urban Limit is expanded far enough to accommodate Group 1 business sectors at an affordable land price,” Connal Townsend said.

ENDS

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