Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


New Zealand Lifestyle Blocks: Planners Sprawl in Overdrive

NZ LIFESTYLE BLOCKS:

PLANNERS SPRAWL IN OVERDRIVE

Hugh Pavletich

Performance Urban Planning

Christchurch

New Zealand

26 July 2014

It seems there is a massive boom in ultra-low density urban development, commonly referred to as lifestyle blocks, if The New Zealand Herald article by Nikki Preston … Ride-ons cut new figures in auctions is any guide. Ms Preston reports …

“Heavy-duty mowers are quickest growing sales item on Trade Me.”

“Forget Mustangs, fishing gear or big-screen TVs - ride-on mowers are becoming the ultimate boys' toy.”

“The grass-cutting machine is one the fastest-growing categories in sales on auction site Trade Me in the past year.”

“Spokesman Jeff Hunkin said online bidders had purchased about 4500 ride-on mowers over the past year compared to 3500 last year.”

" ‘We expect that to keep growing at about 25 per cent a year’ he said.”

“The biggest month-on-month sales increase over the past year was in March where Trade Me saw 62 per cent growth on the previous March.”

“The category is up 24 per cent in sales for the year ended June 2014, compared to the previous year.”

“Other categories averaged between 2 and 5 per cent growth a year.”

“He put the impressive growth for both new and second-hand ride-ons down to an increasing number of people owning lifestyle blocks with lawns large enough to warrant one.”

As explained back in 2007 within New Zealand Lifestyle Block Mythology , New Zealand has a land area of 268,680 square kilometres and (now) small population of 4.545 million .

New Zealand is much the same land area as the United Kingdom with its population 63.5 million ).

Today there is likely less than 1,900 square kilometres or about 0.70% of our total land area “serviced urban area”.

But there is more to it than that.

What are commonly referred to as lifestyle blocks are in reality “ultra-low density urban development”.

These lifestyle blocks are generally created as people … and families in particular … flee the urban planners artificially created excessive land values within the serviced urban areas.

Preference always trumps policy.

As eminent Hoover Institution economist Dr Thomas Sowell has made clear “We have spent the past few decades replacing what works with what feels good.”

In early 2012, Gerald Piddock of The NZ Farmer with Issues on both sides of the fence , reported on research by Robbie Andrew and John Dymond of Landcare Research. Mr Piddock reported …

“The work by Landcare researchers Robbie Andrew and John Dymond showed lifestyle block numbers now numbered 175,000, an increase of 75,000 over the past 13 years and covered an area of 873,000 hectares.”

“Lifestyle blocks occupied 148,000ha (17 per cent) of high-class land, which was defined as land that could be used intensively to produce a wide variety of crops. That is 10 per cent of New Zealand's total area of high-class land.”

The Trade Me report on the massive sales lift of ride-on mowers, suggest that the serviced urban flight to ultra-low density urban development / lifestyle blocks is accelerating.

While in Australia, due to urban planners meddling with housing markets … and too … policies such as negative gearing, Land Value Tax and others, there has also been an explosion in “bubble development” apartments.

The “Melbourne Mess” is illustrated within a recent MacroBusiness Australia article Victoria to legislate against shoe-box apartments .

The MacroBusiness Australia graphs (subscription wall Whats behind Australia's apartment shift ) illustrate the serious disruption to normal housing supply … as artificially inflated land values create a gross oversupply of apartment building and a gross under-supply of conventional (real demand) stand-alone affordable detached housing …

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/07/whats-behind-australias-apartment-shift/screenhunter_3343-jul-17-08-13/

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/07/whats-behind-australias-apartment-shift/screenhunter_3344-jul-17-08-16/

Ill-informed urban planners meddling in land supply and failing to ensure infrastructure is financed properly, unnecessarily impose huge costs on society.

In the case of New Zealand, about $NZ400 billion of excessive bubble housing market value, as explained within New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable .

The situation is mirrored in Australia … but only worse … due to its more complex governance structure and additional policy distortions.

Alain Bertaud, former Principal Urban Planner with the World Bank, is on a three City lecture in New Zealand this week … with the support of The New Zealand Initiative; Price Waterhouse Cooper; New Zealand Institute of Economic Research; NZ Treasury; Victoria University of Wellington and others. …

New Zealand Initiative Events

Guest Lecture: Alain Bertaud - Markets, urban planning and local democracy - Tue 29 Jul, 1.30 p.m.-3.00 p.m. at Ground Floor, Reserve Bank Museum, 2 The Terrace — The Treasury - New Zealand

As part of a widespread community ( such as New Zealand Taxpayers' Union and many others ) and institutional initiatives in New Zealand (including but not limited to the recently released final Productivity Commission Regulatory institutions and practices report ), Mr Bertaud’s focus is to discuss the importance of inculcating simple and clearly understood performance measures and disciplines in to the Local Government sector.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Fossils: Ancient Penguins Lived Alongside Dinosaurs?

Penguins are much older than previously thought and their evolution probably dates back to the days of the dinosaurs, according to research on the fossilised leg bone and toes of a giant ancient penguin found in rocks near Waipara, North Canterbury. More>>

No Voda/Sky: Commission Declines Clearance For Merger

The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance for the proposed merger of Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Power: IEA Report On New Zealand's Energy System

Outside of its largely low-carbon power sector, managing the economy’s energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions while still remaining competitive and growing remains a challenge. More>>

ALSO:

NASA: Seven Earth-Size Planets Around A Single Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news