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Pavletich Response To Muriel Newman Online

HUGH PAVLETICH RESPONSE TO NEWMAN ARTICLE
Newman Weekly: Private Property Rights.and Wrongs!
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0603/S00147.htm

Good one Muriel – even if I disagree with some of your points ! As I see it, the Resource Management Act simply needs refinement. The Acts architects Rt Hon Geoffery Palmer ( Labour ) and Hon Simon Upton ( National ) had the right “intent’ – its just that the Act has not been effective in withstanding ( what should have been readily foreseen ) ideological capture problems.

It will be interesting to see the response you get.

Wendell Cox and I are very happy with the response to the Demographia Surveys www.demographia.com on both sides of the Tasman – and elsewhere. It has succeeded in “reigniting” the housing debate, following the issue stalling with the Australian Productivity Commission exercise a few years ago. You will note that we have deliberately taken a “facts based” approach to this issue –with the objective of encouraging as widespread discussion and support as possible. It seems to be working.

You will note that we have posted some of the New Zealand progress to date on the Demographia website, just below the Survey. This will be constantly updated. For example, the CHRANZ / Motu Report is, as I see it, extremely important – and something that we all need to see built on. People such as Professor Ed Glaeser of Harvard University have been hugely influential in this important area of “urban economics” – influencing our local people such as Arthur Grimes and Andrew Aitken of Motu Research. I am most impressed with Arthur’s deep interest and disciplined commitment to this issue and look forward to his and his teams’ future work.

My views ( too many at times – I am sure ! ) are pretty much covered within the letter to Mayor Bob Harvey ( on the Demographia website as well with the rest of the NZ material ). There is general agreement with those I deal with, that we do not have people in Australasia with the required urban economics skills – and I outline some of the reasons ( I certainly don’t know them all ) within this letter in how this came about. In my experience, most economists simply don’t have a clue about “supply” within the urban environment. I can assure you there is a rapid “reawakening” going on – and I will be looking forward to the soon to be released reports from an Australian Think Tank and others from two major Australian property organizations, due for release within the next couple of months.

This is pretty extraordinary when one considers for a moment, that our urban areas are the “powerhouses”of a modern economy. It would be fair to say that at this stage, we pretty much don’t have a clue about the costs in environmental, economic and social terms of “strangling” them.

Again – you will note within my letter to Bob Harvey – that the suggestion is made that we need to get research underway in New Zealand on (a) the current and historic median multiple affordability levels of all our local authority areas (b) significant urban areas peripheral raw urban / true rural land pricing and (c) new housing costs pricing differences between Australia and New Zealand. It would be much appreciated if you could consider encouraging this as well.

With these facts based “tools”we then have something that’s meaningful to progress these issues.

There is an extremely helpful momentum building within the Australian industry groups and in addition to this, the community groups such as SOS ( Save Our Suburbs ) and the anti green wedge people in Australia. I do wish we had these types of community groups here in New Zealand. It is hoped too that New Zealand industry groups will follow the lead of their Australian counterparts before too long. Michael Duffy of the ABC Counterpoint and SMH is doing sterling work. His interviews on Counterpoint ( transcripts / audio available from website ) since Christmas with Bob Bruegmann ( author Sprawl – A Compact History ) www.robertbruegmann.com , Joel Kotkin ( author The City – A Global History ) and the Patrick Troy / Peter Newman lively debate – have been enormously helpful. Michael told me this week that the last exercise with Newman and Troy generated the second highest public response the Counterpoint programme has ever had !

New Zealand simply cannot afford to lag Australia on this issue. In fact we must make a concerted effort to ensure we have a “competitive advantage” – otherwise we will continue being a “skills nursery” for Australia. There is simply no need for this to be the case. We could reverse this if we had the political will to do so.

My friend Joel Kotkin www.joelkotkin.com had a very successful visit to Australia recently – and has been invited back November this year. I need to get on this week to see if we can get him to New Zealand at the same time – so if you have any suggestions, please let me know. You are probably aware that my good friend and co author of the Demographia Survey Wendell Cox is in Australia and New Zealand August / September and is the keynote speaker at the September Auckland Resource Management Law Association Conference – and will be available to speak to other groups whilst in both countries.

In conclusion – I trust you are aware that Measure 37 is back on track ( following a State Supreme Court ruling ) in Oregon USA.

This email has been bcced to a good number of others interested in these issues.

The tide is turning !

Best regards,
Hugh Pavletich
Co author – Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
www.demographia.com

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