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It’s the Plan, it’s the Plan, it’s the Plan

John Palino Mayoral Campaign

Press Release

It’s the Plan, it’s the Plan, it’s the Plan

August 2016

John Palino: It’s the Plan, it’s the Plan, it’s the Plan

Promises to address housing and transport problems will fail unless the Auckland Plan’s ideological intensification-at-all-costs approach to growth is rejected,” said Auckland Mayoral candidate John Palino.

Following the debate on TV3’s The Nation on Saturday, it’s clear the other mayoral candidates still don’t get it.

They think the reason rates have gone up is because the council is inefficient.

They think congestion and housing affordability is worsening because central government isn’t spending enough.

They think somehow they’ll do better.

Well if your problem definition is wrong, you’re not going to solve your problem.

For a start, the council is technically more efficient now than it was at amalgamation. Full time equivalent staff numbers have fallen from 9340 full time equivalents to 9154, while the population has grown from 1.45 million to 1.57 million. That’s a reduction from 6.55 staff per 1000 residents to 5.83.

And transport spending hasn’t fallen – it’s risen. From around $350 million soon after amalgamation to over $500 million in the last annual report, the council is spending more on meeting travel needs than ever before.

The fact of the matter is that the council is not the basketcase many describe. Yes, there is room for further improvement in areas like consenting and procurement, but the number one issue is that officials are being forced to manage a fundamentally flawed plan which cannot under any scenario accommodate Auckland’s growth.

The Auckland Plan which seeks to intensify areas not built for density is the problem. It is the reason homes are not getting built, it is the reason council costs are going up and it is the reason congestion is getting worse.

Infilling doesn’t get the scale needed to build cheap homes. Brownfield land costs ten times more than greenfield land. More homes per hectare on roads designed for single level dwellings will always lead to more congestion. Expanding roads and railways in built-up areas is impossibly expensive.

Mayoral candidates who think they can just walk in and with previous experience magically make council more efficient are kidding themselves and deceiving the people of Auckland.

The only way to cut rates, get homes built and reduce congestion is to completely revise the Auckland Plan which is the root of all major crises facing the city.

A new city in a greenfield area can be consented faster, costs less because greenfield infrastructure costs one-tenth than of brownfield redevelopment, and will allow developers to rapidly build thousands of units.

Under my plan, Aucklanders will have an infinite supply of $300,000 homes, because that’s what it costs to build a home.

I will stop council wasting time and resources on preventing Aucklanders from having the homes and lifestyle they are prepared to pay for. Money will instead go into those projects which get the most homes, roads and stations built. That's where the real savings are.

Says Palino.

© Scoop Media

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