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Watson wants problems not solutions


Affordable Auckland Albany candidate Stephen Berry believes a decision by Auckland Council to limit consultation on the Oruarangi Rd Special Housing Area to landowners within the vicinity is entirely appropriate. “Development should be done in a manner which respects the property rights of neighbours and not be blocked if that can be satisfied. The solution to Auckland’s housing issues does not lie in allowing construction to be bogged down in costly delays caused by activist moaners.”

Albany Councillor John Watson has teamed up with Eden-Albert Councillor Cathy Casey to object to the notification process. “It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and moan which is why this pair have made a career from it. How about finding solutions to a problem which is disenfranchising a generation of young people and the poor from the housing market? Isn’t Ms. Casey concerned with the plight of the homeless in this city?”

Mr. Berry is not a cheerleader for the Special Housing Area process. “It’s a band aid which does not deal with the fundamentals causing the shortage of housing in Auckland. While it’s great that construction within the SHA’s gets fast-tracked through the resource consent process, it still involves the insipid process of government picking winners and favourites. It would be so much more efficient if the entire city could be treated as a Special Housing Area.”

“The very first thing Council should do to arrest continued growth in property prices is abolish the Metropolitan Urban limit which restricts the spread of residential property. “The boundary has created an artificial land shortage in an city with plenty. Land two kilometres within the boundary is seven times the value of land two kilometres outside the boundary. Normal healthy market behaviours have been distorted by heavy handed regulation. After the boundary has been removed the Council needs to review all its planning rules and the costs imposed by regulations; streamlining or abolishing them where they fail to protect the property rights of neighbouring land owners.”

“Perhaps the Albany councillor would like to put forward some proposals of his own instead of finding petty reasons to oppose steps that go in the right direction.”


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