Archive | Auckland Region

Council gets $300 million infrastructure package, balance sheet-beating deal to come next

Auckland will get $300 million from the Government’s new Housing Infrastructure Fund, which will bring forward construction of 10,500 homes in north-western suburbs Whenuapai & Redhills.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff and Finance Minister Steven Joyce announced the funding package yesterday.

It will enable investment in transport, wastewater & stormwater projects which Auckland Council has earmarked as priority, fast-track initiatives.

Next up, in the next few weeks, is an announcement on overcoming the council’s balance sheet constraints.

In addition to wastewater & stormwater improvements, the $300 million will fund improvements to transport infrastructure, including an extension to Fred Taylor Drive & Northside Drive at Westgate, an update & realignment of Trig Rd, Whenuapai, and a new bridge crossing to the West Harbour ferry terminal.

Mr Goff said: “Over the last several months, I’ve met with the prime minister & other ministers to discuss the Housing Infrastructure Fund. I am pleased Auckland Council has been able to work with the Government to ensure the Government’s wider funding package for infrastructure aligns with Auckland Council’s financial constraints.”

He said Auckland’s bid for funds focused on a small number of highly development-ready areas where funding would accelerate priority projects and unlock housing growth quickly.

“Not only are we accelerating housing delivery, we are creating new centres for employment and increased accessibility across the Auckland region with improvements to Auckland’s transport system.

“Accelerating housing delivery in Auckland is a priority. I welcome the Government’s recognition of the growth challenges facing Auckland and their readiness to work with the council to address issues in our city for the benefit of all New Zealand.”

However, Mr Goff said the city would continue to need billions of dollars of extra investment to keep pace with its unprecedented growth: “Auckland has received most of what it sought from the Housing Infrastructure Fund. In the coming weeks there will be a further important announcement from the Government on new funding options for Auckland that take into account the balance sheet constraints the city faces. We have worked constructively with the Government to find innovative solutions to meet Auckland’s needs.

“The Housing Infrastructure Fund package will help significantly, but with ongoing growth and the pressing need for matching infrastructure, we will need to continue to work together to increase & bring forward investment to tackle Auckland’s housing shortage & growing congestion.”

Attribution: Council release.

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Council agrees to reprioritise land supply schedule

Auckland Council’s planning committee skipped the most pressing part of its business yesterday – decisions on refreshing the overarching Auckland Plan – but did spend time on its future urban land supply strategy.

Committee chair Chris Darby said the Auckland Plan refresh and how the council would consult on it had been deferred until Tuesday 28 March because more preparation was needed.

But the committee discussed in detail the future land supply strategy and agreed to a number of changes to sequencing.

Staff recommended advancing work on some areas and deferring it elsewhere because of infrastructure constraints. The estimate to install bulk infrastructure over the next 30 years is $19.7 billion.

Areas to be brought forward: Warkworth North, Wainui East, Silverdale (business), Red Hills, Puhinui (business), Wesley (Paerata), Opaheke Drury, Drury South.

Areas to be pushed back: Kumeu-Huapai-Riverhead, Whenuapai stage 2, Drury West stage 2, Puhinui (business), Red Hills North, Warkworth North-east & Takanini.

Public consultation on the Auckland Plan is scheduled for the period 29 March-18 April.

East-West link

The planning committee also identified a number of concerns about the East-West link project intended to run through Onehunga.

The Government identified the project as a road of national significance and referred it to a board of inquiry. The NZ Transport Agency’s applications were publicly notified on 22 February and submissions close on 22 March.

  • This is an overly short version of events at yesterday’s committee meeting – being in 2 places at once doesn’t always work. I’ll come back with more detail on the land issues and the East-West link.

Link: 
Committee agenda

Attribution: Council release, agenda.

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Infrastructure frailty puts US financial woes in perspective

Economist & financial commentator John Mauldin put a lot of US financial woes in perspective this week in his column, Thoughts from the frontline, where he highlighted the frailty of the country’s infrastructure and the likelihood that funding will prevent it being maintained or upgraded adequately.

Those infrastructure woes pitch the US into a role of coming from behind. One issue has been recognised but not resolved: funding of its road network has not kept up, the rising proportion of pensioners leaves fewer motorists to pay for it, and improved vehicles reduce the fuel use that taxes are levied on.

Other issues are arising, much the same as in New Zealand, except that more complicated governance structures make resolution harder. After 70 years of suburban development, water supply & waste removal are 2 areas of concern.

From afar, we see a streamlined country that knows how to run its affairs (apart from the temporary question of finding a president). What Mr Mauldin sees – backed up by a report from the independent analysts at the Congressional Budget Office in a report in August on the national budget & economic outlook for the next 10 years – are the likelihood of early recession and rising deficits which won’t go anywhere near covering infrastructure requirements.

Mr Mauldin summarised what is a quite long opinion piece, and I’ve reduced the summary further:

  1. The next president is likely to face a recession early in their term; current monetary & fiscal policy will ensure it’s fairly serious, and the recovery even slower than last time
  2. The fiscal deficit will swell to at least $US1.3 trillion and likely more. That will leave little room for fiscal spending & stimulus, and certainly not much for the usual infrastructure spending that is called for
  3. The state of US infrastructure is appalling. It needs at least $US3.6 trillion worth of repairs, and that does not even include what we need to do to prepare us for the 21st century. We have dug ourselves a very deep hole of massive failures on infrastructure upkeep, and we are continuing to dig
  4. His solution on where to find the money
  5. Necessary tax & regulatory reforms, and then he notes: “If we do none of the above but stumble along doing what we have been doing, the investment environment is going to be exceedingly stressful; and pension funds & insurance companies are going to have massive difficulties staying in business, not to mention meeting the needs of tens of millions of retirees”.

Same issues apply to Auckland

Some of that warning could equally be applied to Auckland, which is still spending less on infrastructure upgrades than it should, although the advent of the super-city has streamlined the ability to make that provision.

Auckland is also going down a new route of escalating suburban housing development, led by a government that wasn’t awake soon enough to the bottlenecks being created by insufficient land supply around the region. Those bottlenecks occurred as the regional council was responsible for monitoring land use and contested urban conversions while having no power to implement alternatives – such as the present move to intensification.

Changing land use was primarily in the hands of territorial councils until the super-city took over in 2010, and those councils had very different – and competing – intentions. As residential development is promoted ahead of all other uses, some of those pre-merger intentions should be kept in place, such as providing more local jobs and encouraging business clusters outside the centre.

At the moment, the helter-skelter rush to lay out new suburbs requires infrastructure to be in place, at greater cost/residence than more intensive development, and with long-term maintenance costs that are likely to be much higher.

Just as Auckland Council has worked out the costs & requirements of a steady growth in infrastructure, it is being pressured to meet hasty new demands based on an old model that the US is demonstrating has high risks when demography & funding systems militate against the “forever onward” approach.

US economy “running at stall speed”

Back to the US, where Mr Mauldin argues that the economy “is running at stall speed, and any shock that comes from outside the US – from Europe or Japan or China – or from an actual honest-to-God initiation of interest rate hikes by the Fed, which would force a repricing of bonds & equities, could set off a recession that would become self-reinforcing”.

One of those potential external disrupters is Deutsche Bank – in trouble, at the heart of the international financial system, not to be bailed out according to German president Angela Merkel, requiring a rescue according to Mr Mauldin.

“Pay attention to Deutsche Bank,” he wrote. “The bank is deeply connected with the entire global banking market, and just as Lehman Brothers triggered a rolling wave of panic, Deutsche Bank has a similar potential. Even though Merkel swears she is not going to bail out Deutsche Bank, she will have no choice. They will probably have to wipe out shareholders and maybe even some subordinated debt, but they cannot let the bank itself go under, because it is at the centre of a massive financial spiderweb. Which means that the German central bank will have to be at the centre of the rescue, and it gets its capital from the ECB (European Central Bank). Watch how quickly Italy, Spain & the rest of Europe demand that the ECB bail out their banks, too. So the last thing Germany will want to do is bail out Deutsche Bank.”

Projections are for escalating debt, no answers

The Congressional Budget Office, in its report on the state of US public finances, said: “The deficit under current law is projected to be larger this year, but smaller over the 2017–26 period, than the office projected in March. Since January, the office has reduced its projections of gdp growth & interest rates over the coming decade.”

It stated the obvious, that growing deficits projected through the next 10 years would drive up public debt, and it’s projecting the federal deficit will reach 4.6% of gdp by 2026, pushed upward by the continued growth in spending on social security, Medicare & net interest. It said these costs would outstrip growth in revenues, resulting in larger deficits & increasing debt.

In the Congressional Budget Office’s projections, federal outlays rise by $US2.4 trillion/year (or about 60% percent) from 2016-26: “Relative to the size of the economy, outlays remain near 21% of gdp for the next few years – higher than their average of 20.2% over the past 50 years. Later in the coming decade, the growth in outlays would exceed growth in the economy and, by 2026, outlays would rise to 23.1% of gdp. That increase reflects significant growth in mandatory spending & interest payments, offset somewhat by a decline, in relation to the size of the economy, in discretionary spending.”

The office said that, if current laws generally remained unchanged, revenues would gradually rise – by $US1.7 trillion, or about 50%, from 2016-26 – increasing from 17.8% of gdp in 2016 to 18.5% by 2026. They’ve averaged 17.4% of gdp over the last 50 years.

“As deficits accumulate in the office’s baseline, debt held by the public rises from 77% of gdp ($US14 trillion) at the end of 2016 to 86% of gdp ($US23 trillion) by 2026. At that level, debt held by the public, measured as a percentage of gdp, would be more than twice the average over the past 5 decades.”

In sum

In short, the rising infrastructure debt is not matched by an ability to pay, and the US Government is not producing ways to resolve what will become a critical failure at the heart of the international financial system.

Its effects will be widespread, right down to the number of wars the US can fight. A symptom at the moment is the level of interest rates, seen mostly from the perspective of a financial system struggling to get traction. The finance world has been promoting ever-lower interest rates, which support higher asset prices.

There is another side to this, not mentioned by Mr Mauldin or in the Congressional Budget Office report, and that’s the preference of governments to get interest rates down – and exchange rates rebalanced in their favour – when their repayments are high.

New Zealand’s Reserve Bank has been bleating that our exchange rate is too high, but it’s not going to beat the requirements of more powerful nations on that score.

Links:
John Mauldin, Thoughts from the frontline, 2 October 2016: Start moving some dirt
Congressional Budget Office
Congressional Budget Office, 23 August 2016: An update to the budget & economic outlook: 2016-26

Attribution: John Mauldin, Congressional Budget Office.

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East-West project enters preliminaries phase

The NZ Transport Agency & Auckland Transport said on Friday they’d take the preferred option for the East-West route through Auckland’s industrial suburbs to the next stage.

The project, now called East West Connections, is one of the 2 agencies’ top 3 transport priorities for Auckland.

NZ Transport Agency highway manager Brett Gliddon said the agency would start gathering the necessary planning approvals & consents to protect the route between Onehunga & Mt Wellington, following a wide range of feedback received in July on the preferred approach.

The project is intended to improve connections into & out of Onehunga-Penrose and also speed up bus travel times between Mangere, Otahuhu & Sylvia Park.

“A team of consultants has now been engaged to start the planning & consent phase of this key project. People will also have more opportunities to provide further input & feedback as the design is developed.”

The transport agency plans to apply to the Environmental Protection Authority for the notice of requirement to obtain the necessary land & approvals for the project later in 2016.

The agency & Auckland Transport also intend to start work in early 2016 on a package of improvements aimed at providing some early benefits to freight & public transport users on both the motorway & local road network.

Auckland Transport spokesperson Andrew Scoggins said this would include upgrades needed for the introduction of the new South Auckland public transport network, incorporating an upgraded Mangere town centre bus station and new bus stops in the Otahuhu town centre.

“Auckland Transport & the NZ Transport Agency will also begin improving journeys for drivers moving around busy Onehunga local roads, starting with 4-laning a section of Neilson St.”

The South-western Motorway will be widened to 4 lanes in each direction between Queenstown Rd & Neilson St, and bus shoulder lanes will be added all the way to Kirkbride Rd towards the airport.

Links: NZTA, East West Connections project
Auckland Transport, East West Connections

Earlier stories:
19 June 2015: Foreshore highway the new east-west preferred scheme
17 June 2015: Propbd on Q W16Jun15 – 5 sell at Colliers, 6 units sell at Barfoots, east-west link back on table
6 October 2014: Selwood says new east-west connection proposal leaves long-term strategy unclear
3 October 2014: East-west “connections” feedback sought – with no closing date

Attribution: NZTA & Auckland Transport releases.

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Propbd on Q W16Dec15 – infrastructure: Public transport rise continues, expressway section opens

Public transport use keeps rising 
Third Waikato Expressway section opens

Public transport use keeps rising 

Public transport use in Auckland has grown by 8.1% in the last year to 81.2 million passenger trips.

Mayor Len Brown said yesterday rail patronage had increased by 22.6% to 15.1 million trips for the 12 months to November: “At current growth rates, the patronage target set by the Government for funding of the city rail link will be achieved at the end of next year, 3 years ahead of schedule. The Government’s target is 20 million trips/year.”

Auckland Transport released the latest figures at its board meeting yesterday and confirmed the popularity of the new electric trains for their comfort & reliability.

Electric trains started on the Western line in late July and patronage there has leapt 20%.

“It’s also pleasing to see that, despite the fact Pukekohe has yet to see electric trains, patronage on that line jumped a staggering 53%. At this rate of growth we will reach train service capacity next year, making the construction of the city rail link a matter of urgent priority.

“Another milestone is rail reliability and, in November, we achieved the best results on record. Across the network, service delivery (reliability) was 98.9% and punctuality was 95.1% compared to a 12-month average of 96.3% & 85.2%. This proves that when you provide an efficient modern public transport system, Aucklanders get out of their cars and use it regularly.”

Bus services rose 4.8% to 60.4 million passenger trips, ferry services10.5% to 5.7 million trips.

Third Waikato Expressway section opens

The $250 million 16km Cambridge section of the $2.1 billion Waikato Expressway was officially opened yesterday after 2 years of construction and 6 months ahead of schedule.

The Cambridge section, from the Tamahere interchange to just south of Cambridge, is one of 7 that make up the 102km expressway, one of the Government’s prioritised road of national significance.

The expressway has a 10-year construction timetable, with full completion scheduled for 2019. Cambridge is the third section completed, after Te Rapa & Ngaruawahia.

Link: NZ Transport Agency, Waikato Expressway

Attribution: Council, NZTA & ministerial releases.

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Modelling agreement crucial to alignment on transport

The Government-council alignment agreement on Auckland transport signed on Thursday is an historic advance, but is still written defensively enough for the Government to find a way out.

Auckland mayor Len Brown, Finance Minister Bill English & Transport Minister Simon Bridges signed the terms of reference on Thursday for the Auckland transport alignment project, which Mr Brown hailed as an historic milestone in the relationship between the 2 government levels: “The signing marks a new dawn in our relationship with the Government, ending decades of disagreement & time-wasting. It signals a new & improved way of working with central government on the planning & funding of Auckland transport infrastructure.”

An easy out lies in the fourth of the 5 background clauses: “The Government needs to be confident that investment in Auckland’s transport system will address the region’s transport challenges and provide value for money before it will consider providing Auckland with additional funding or funding tools.”

The terms of reference, a non-contractual document, then go on to say the Government & council have agreed to work together to identify an aligned strategic approach for the development of Auckland’s transport system that delivers the best possible outcomes for Auckland & New Zealand.

One factor that can make a huge difference to outcome is how cost & benefit are measured. When the economics of the city rail link were being worked out, Auckland Council & Auckland Transport worked to a formula which would take account of influences on the area surrounding stations, while the Ministry of Transport & Treasury stuck with the long used Government model, which ignored those kinds of impact.

The second major factor is the discount rate – one leg of that equation is the time it takes for cashflow to meet the cost of a project. If the wider benefits are ignored, the timeframe will be longer – too long to make the Government cut for a non-road project.

Back in 2010-11 there were 2 separate reviews of the initial rail link costing, one by the Government and one by a range of parties brought in by Auckland Council & its partners.

The first of Auckland's new electric trains.

The first of Auckland’s new electric trains.

When ARTA (the old regional transport authority, pre-Auckland Transport) presented the rail link proposal in early 2010, it showed a cost:benefit ratio of 1:1.3-1.6 for the link. The completed report released at the end of 2010 gave ratios of 1:1.1 at an 8% discount rate (the standard), 1:1.6 at a 6% discount rate and 1:2.4 at a 4% discount rate. That report said lower discount rates should be considered because the NZ Transport Agency used lower rates in its modelling for the roads of national significance. Including the net value added from increased cbd productivity, the cost:benefit ratio rose to 1:3.5 at an 8% discount rate and to 1:4.7 at a 6% discount rate.

The council-Auckland Transport review out in May 2011 came up with a cost:benefit ratio ranging from 1:1.1-2.3 (including wider economic benefits).

The review by the Ministry of Transport & Treasury screwed the cost:benefit ratio down to 1:0.4 “when wider economic benefits currently not included in the NZ Transport Agency’s assessment manual are added”.

The 2010 council-Auckland Transport report said 400,000m² of new office construction in the cbd could be supported over the next 30 years without a rail link, but with it the figure rose to 780,000m². On top of that, the extra 64,000m² of retail space in the cbd could be almost doubled to 112,000m². Without the link, 21,000 more cbd homes could be supported, but that figure would rise to 31,000 with the link in place. The biggest change would come in the provision of hotel rooms, rising from 1161 to 4684.

The strip from Newmarket Broadway along Khyber Pass Rd, through Newton Gully to the intersection of Great North, Karangahape & Ponsonby Rds is an excellent gauge of what might or might not be included in the modelling. Auckland University decided in 2012 to open a new campus on the old Lion Brewery site and is well advanced in setting it up. New apartment buildings & offices are also appearing along the strip, and more can be expected as the campus settles in. Newton through to Basque Park, and the Great North Rd ridge are being more intensively redeveloped, a process the university campus can be expected to accelerate, especially with the Government’s support for new high-tech business sectors.

Khyber Pass has Newmarket rail station at one end and Grafton station in the middle. The rail link will add a Karangahape Rd station at Pitt St, and Mt Eden station will be upgraded. Development can also be expected to intensify around those stations.

The Great North Rd interchange on the western ring route.

The Great North Rd interchange on the western ring route.

The stated purpose of the alignment project is to improve alignment over the way Auckland’s transport system should develop, “including testing whether better returns from transport investment can be achieved”.

Council chief executive Stephen Town will be pivotal in securing agreement on the model, and is well placed to achieve that – he was regional director of the NZ Transport Agency for Auckland & Northland for 3 years before joining the council in January 2014.

The project will be led by the Secretary for Transport and Mr Town. It will assess alternative packages of interventions and recommend an aligned strategic approach, including preferred indicative package(s), for the long-term development of Auckland’s land transport system.

The project won’t replace the statutory decision-making responsibilities of Auckland Transport regarding the activities within the Auckland regional land transport plan or the NZ Transport Agency regarding the national land transport programme.

The project separates issues from the direct political impasses of the past, putting governance & implementation in the hands of senior executives, with Government numerical domination because of the organisations involved.

The governance group of 6 (4 Government, 2 council) is the Secretary for Transport, Deputy Secretary Treasury, the State Services Commission deputy commissioner for Auckland and the chief executives of Auckland Council, the NZ Transport Agency & Auckland Transport.

The steering group of 5 (3 Government, 2 council) is made up of a senior manager from each of the Ministry of Transport, Treasury, Auckland Council, the NZ Transport Agency & Auckland Transport, supported by a project manager.

The Secretary for Transport and Auckland Council chief executive will act as ‘executive chairs’ of the governance group.

The governance group will agree a project plan & scope, funding arrangements, approach & timeframes, then deliver a strategic approach to developing Auckland’s transport system over 3 10-year bands from 2018.

The project will include consideration of:

  • likely long-term changes in demand for travel
  • all land transport interventions, including roads, rail, public transport, personal mobility services, walking, cycling, technology, network optimisation & demand management (including pricing for demand management purposes)
  • alternative combinations of these interventions and their broad timing & scale
  • costs & benefits
  • the nature, scale & timing of any funding gap for the recommended strategic approach & its alternatives.

The project may identify further work needed to successfully implement the recommended strategic approach.

Existing plans to 2017-18 – including the national land transport programme, long-term plan, regional land transport plan and regional public transport plan – are out of scope.

The work will be undertaken in 3 broad phases, with the following deliverables at the end of each phase:

  • an overview of the context (including the impact of technology), problem definition, desired outcomes & measures
  • initial advice reporting on the testing & evaluation of the broad intervention packages, seeking feedback to inform the next deliverable
  • a final report detailing the best performing intervention packages, a preferred strategic approach and recommendations including necessary changes to achieve implementation.

Timing of the 2 early deliverables is to be identified in the project plan. The final report will be presented to the parties in about a year.

That’s all to agree an approach. Assuming they agree, they must then implement a co-ordinated package of transport changes, which may include consideration of changes to statutory & strategic documents such as the 2018 Government policy statement, the Auckland Plan & Auckland Council’s long-term plan, funding mechanisms, governance arrangements &/or legislation.

“Ideally,” the document says, “changes that are not dependent on any legislative processes should be in place in time to inform development of the 2018 regional land transport plan & national land transport programme.”

The steering group will commission external advice & peer review throughout the delivery of the project, and may engage with external stakeholders to receive feedback.

Earlier stories:
28 August 2015: Council & government sign transport alignment terms
9 September 2013: Auckland Transport puts rail link delay cost at $100 million/year
1 June 2011: Government says “not yet” for cbd rail loop, mayor says “all go”
25 November 2010: CBD rail loop business case unveiled

Attribution: Alignment document, earlier rail link analyses.

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NZIER port report says reclaim or lose business

An NZIER report on Waitemata Harbour reclamation has found the council-owned Ports of Auckland Ltd will lose business to other ports unless it creates more multi-cargo space.

The report by the NZ Institute of Economic Research, released yesterday, says the Fergusson container terminal should reach capacity by 2035.

Auckland Council commissioned the study to inform council decision-making on the draft rule on port reclamation provided for in the proposed unitary plan, which the council notified in September 2013.

NZIER chief executive Laurence Kubiak said yesterday: “Our study has assessed how long the port of Auckland can operate within its current footprint, and considered whether there are external constraints on port expansion and what the impact might be of the central wharves’ development plans on port operations. We were not asked to consider or form a view on the long-term location of the port or the scope of port operations.

“Our key finding is that ultimately, Ports of Auckland will need more multi-cargo wharf space to grow or some of its business will go to competing ports.

“The port has 2 very different port operations. The first is the relatively modern Fergusson container terminal and the second is the multi-cargo wharves located adjacent to Queens Wharf. Our findings show that the container terminal can grow on its current footprint for about 20 years, but this is sensitive to the growth assumption modelled.”

The report’s author, Nick Allison, said the capacity of the multi-cargo wharves was coming under increasing pressure: “They are used to land cargoes that aren’t typically carried by containers, such as building materials, vegetables, wheat, vehicles & other goods used by households in Auckland & elsewhere in New Zealand.

“The ships are getting much larger and wharves weren’t built to manage such vessels. The situation is further aggravated by the rapid increase in the number and increased size of cruise ships.”

NZ Council for Infrastructure Development chief executive Stephen Selwood said: “If the council wants a competitive port providing jobs, an acceptable return on investment, higher exports to reduce Auckland’s dependency on consumption and more cruise ships bringing high wealth tourists into downtown Auckland, it must allow the port to grow.

“That growth is not going to happen tomorrow, but Ports of Auckland will need to initiate the consenting process within the life of the first unitary plan if it is to have any chance of meeting the council’s targets.”

The council has demanding objectives for the port company to aim for, including a 12%/year return on equity, and regional aims of 6%/year increases in exports & 5%/year increases in economic growth for the next 30 years. Mr Selwood said both these economic targets depended on the port’s performance.

Links: NZIER study suggests that Ports of Auckland will face constraints in the future
NZIER port report 4 February 2015.pdf

Attribution: Ports & NZIER release, study.

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Bob Dey Property Report diary, week 8-14 December 2014

Rail link farce takes a new turn

The farce of Auckland’s city rail link takes a new turn on Tuesday, when the mayor has called an extraordinary meeting of the governing body to change the proposed timetable for construction.

It’s a farce for many reasons, not least because of the long-running poor Auckland-Wellington relations. Helped by a nonsensical economic analysis (tougher than the one used for the roads of national significance), the Government at first opposed developing the rail loop, then relented, but still only wanting a later timetable.

Outside the Christchurch rebuild, the rail loop is plainly the biggest infrastructure project in the country, but neither Auckland nor Wellington has come up with any sort of funding scheme. Opponents are quick to dismiss it, while road congestion grows and no other practical alternative is put forward.

Continuing the farce, critics refer to the project as a cbd matter because it links Britomart round to Mt Eden, when it’s again plain that, just because that’s where the network will be joined, doesn’t mean that’s the only area that would benefit.

It has the potential to change areas around the new stations, and also around old ones as focal points for development. It has the potential to bring new vigour to many parts of the urban landscape: it’s not just about a transport mechanism, it’s about place.

The farce continues because the political debate is not about how to get things done, how to ensure the city keeps moving, but about who is in charge, when those in charge ought to be fronting as leaders.

Coinciding with this petty game, the unitary plan hearing moves on in a week to the topic of urban growth, another topic where the debate is excessively shrill.

On Wednesday, the council’s hearings committee is to appoint commissioners to consider a range of regional & district resource consents for the rail link project, which Auckland Transport is to lodge in 3 separate packages so they can be dealt with in stages.

While these issues are important regionally, the further farce of Auckland Council’s budget & long-term plan rejig has highlighted the poor governance structure the Government provided for the super-city, especially the lack of power held by the local boards.

Local boards around the region have had their plans for all sorts of programmes, amenities & facilities curtailed and the sums they’ve been able to allocate for economic development programmes are pitifully small. I notice on the agenda for the Hibiscus & Bays board that, at the Stanmore Bay Leisure Centre, not just upgrade plans but even appropriate maintenance looks in question.

The diary is updated weekly and contains main Auckland Council agenda items, hearings & submission closing dates, plus auctions, economic & property-related events, property- & finance-related bills before Parliament and securities information.

All Auckland Council agendas can now be reached via http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/. You can view the agenda headings separately from content, and click through to the content you want to see instead of having to open a whole large document. I’ve provided direct links to some agenda items (the number on each of these items is the position on the agenda).

You can also check full local board agendas through http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/.

Auckland Council

Council-controlled organisations:

Auckland Council Property Ltd, Wednesday 17 December at 9.30am, Bledisloe House, level 9
Waterfront Auckland, Tuesday 16 December at 8.30am, Pier 21 building, 11 Westhaven Drive

Governing body:

Extraordinary meeting, Tuesday 9 December at 1.30pm, Town Hall:
10 Draft long-term Plan 2015-25 amended CRL assumption
Recommendation   
Story, 5 December 2014: Mayor proposes 3-year delay for city rail link construction

Governing body, Thursday 18 December at 9.30 am, Town Hall

Committees:

Audit & risk committee, Tuesday 16 December at 1.30pm, 135 Albert St, level 26

Finance & performance committee, Thursday 11 December at 9.30am, Town Hall:
9 Disposal recommendation report
Property information for 10-22 Totara Avenue, New Lynn
Property information for 2/187 Flat Bush School Rd, Flat Bush
Property information for 17 Galway St, Onehunga
10 Value of properties presented by Auckland Council Property Ltd in 2014

Hearings committee, Wednesday 10 December at 10am, 135 Albert St, level 26:
7 Pukekohe West school & early childhood education centre notice of requirement – appointment of hearing commissioners
8 Glenvar Ridge Rd & Long Bay primary school, notices of requirement & resource consent applications, appointment of hearing commissioners
9 Southern Corridor, NZ Transport Agency improvements project, resource consent & notices of requirement, appointment of commissioners
10 City rail link project, resource consent applications, appointment of independent commissioners
11 Remuera, King’s School, 258 Remuera Rd, resource consent application for demolition of Hanna block, appointment of independent commissioners
12 Hobsonville, 1-2 Squadron Drive, resource consent application to vary conditions of consent for a retirement village, appointment of independent commissioners
13 District & regional plans, appeal status report (also appeals in confidential agenda)
14 Special housing area hearing panels, process to appoint local elected members, update
15 Whenuapai special housing area, urgent decision 17 November to appoint local elected member to territorial authority panel, noted

Parks, recreation & sport committee, Tuesday 9 December at 9.30am, 135 Albert St, level 26
Regulatory & bylaws committee, Tuesday 16 December at 9.30am, 135 Albert St, level 26
Tenders & procurement committee, Wednesday 10 December at 8.30am, 135 Albert St, level 26

Unitary plan committee, Wednesday 10 December at 1.30pm, 135 Albert St, level 26:
Unitary plan submissions, airport, earthworks & air quality, council position for mediation & hearings (in confidential agenda)

Forums, panels & boards:

Local boards have several common (but specific to each board) programmes under way – they are finalising their board plans, considering the integrated bylaws review & Implementation programme, and will have opportunities for input on the council’s long-term plan review.

The governing body & local boards held long-term plan workshops in October. Following budget committee decisions in early November, local boards were to hold workshops to develop local consultation material & supporting information, for agreement in business meetings between 1-10 December.

Auckland city centre advisory board, Wednesday 17 December at 3pm, 135 Albert St, level 26

Council hearings:

Albany, 181, 185 & 193A Gills Rd, no detail, hearing was to have been on 10, 11 & 15 December – deferred until further notice

Ardmore, 949 Old Wairoa Rd & 965-973 Papakura-Clevedon Rd, application by Cabra Investments Ltd (Ian Boocock, Lloyd Barker & Jeremy Dillon) for 153-lot residential subdivision, hearing Monday-Tuesday 15-16 December at 9.30am

Bylaw hearing, trading & events in public places, Monday 15 December at 9am; public deliberations Friday 19 December at 9.30am, Town Hall

Bylaw hearing, signage, Friday 12 December at 9am, Civic Administration Building

Epsom, 50-56 Pah Rd, application by CHT Trust for a 20-bed resthome & hospital wing as an extension to the St John’s Hospital; planner Amber Buckley has recommended consent;  hearing Tuesday 16 December at 9.30am

Greenlane, 9-23 Marewa Rd, no detail, Wednesday 17 December at 9.30am

Paremoremo, 17 Chatham Avenue, no detail, Wednesday 17 December at 9.30am

Snells Beach, 47-61 Dawson Rd, private plan change 179 application by Manikum Enterprises Ltd (Julie Lim & Kar Loon Sneah) to rezone the site from low to medium-intensity residential; the concept plan shows provision for 75 new lots, but 3 options to rezone 7.86ha on the south-western edge of the settlement, opposite the primary school; hearing Thursday-Friday 11-12 December at 9.30am, Orewa ex-council chamber (Proposed (Private) Plan Change 179 – Dawson Road, Snells Beach) – no longer listed for hearing on the council website

Takanini, 192 Airfield Rd, no detail, Thursday 18 December at 10.30am

Unitary plan hearings:

Hearings at 205 Queen St at 9.30am: The hearing schedule was updated on Friday and can be found here. The last hearing date for the year is Friday 19 December. The hearing panel resumes on Monday 12 January with prehearing meetings.

Schedule until Christmas:
Heritage, hearing, Monday-Tuesday 8-9 December
Airport, prehearing, Thursday 11 December
Coastal marine zone, mediation, Monday-Wednesday 8-10 December, Monday-Thursday 15-18 December
Urban growth, hearing, Monday-Friday 15-19 December
Air quality, expert conference Wednesday 17 December, mediation Thursday-Friday 18-19 December
Links: Unitary plan hearings panel
Updated hearing schedule

Submissions:

Skypath, Auckland Harbour Bridge, application by Woodward Infrastructure Ltd (an Infratil Ltd company) to construct a combined pedestrian/cycle pathway between the eastern (southbound) bridge clip-on lane; submissions close Friday 23 January

Birkenhead, 24 Waratah St, application by Valiant Homes Ltd to construct 3 additional dwellings, submissions close Friday 12 December

Downtown framework, submissions close Friday 12 December

Remuera, 93-97 Green Lane East & 55 Ohinerau St, application by BP Oil NZ Ltd to construct a petrol station, carwash & shop, submissions close Friday 16 January

Auctions:

Barfoot & Thompson, auctions, Wednesdays, mortgagee at 9am, others at 10.30am & 1.30pm, 34 Shortland St
Bayleys, residential auction, Wednesday 10 December at 11am, 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue
City Sales, apartments auction, Wednesday 10 December at 12.30pm, 445 Karangahape Rd
Colliers, commercial auction, Tuesday 16 December at 11am, SAP House, 151 Queen St
NAI Harcourts, commercial auction, Thursday 18 December at 11am, 18 Emily Place
Ray White City Apartments, auctions, Thursdays at 12.30pm, 2 Lorne St

Economy:

Accommodation survey, October, Wednesday 10 December
Agricultural production statistics, June (provisional), Tuesday 16 December
Balance of payments & international investment position, September quarter, Wednesday 17 December
Electronic card transactions, November, Tuesday 9 December
Food price index, November, Thursday 11 December
Gross domestic product, September quarter, Thursday 18 December
Local authority statistics, September quarter, tables, Friday 12 December
Manufacturing, economic survey, September quarter, Monday 8 December
Migration, international travel, November, Friday 19 December
Reserve Bank, official cashrate announcement & monetary policy statement, Thursday 11 December
Trade, overseas merchandise, November, Tuesday 23 December (rescheduled from 7 January)
Trade, overseas trade indexes, September quarter (provisional), Monday 1 December
Trade, wholesale trade survey, September quarter, Friday 5 December
Treasury, half-year economic & fiscal update, Tuesday 16 December at 1pm
US Federal Reserve, open market committee, Tuesday-Wednesday 16-17 December

Events:

Green property summit, Thursday 26 March, Crowne Plaza Hotel, organised by NZ Green Building Council & Property Council

NZ hotel industry conference, Thursday 4 June 2015, Langham Hotel

Property Council, annual conference, Tuesday-Thursday 25-27 August 2015, Adelaide

Shanghai Hospitality Design & Engineering Expo, 30 March-2 April 2015 (formerly known as Expo Build China), to be held concurrently with Hotelex Shanghai

Parliament, sittings & submissions:

Parliament is in session for its last week of the year this week. It will resume on 10 February. Bills concerning property on the order papers for Tuesday 9 December:

Government orders of the day:

2 Ngati Koroki Kahukura Claims Settlement Bill, committee stage, third reading, business committee determination
3 Ngati Haua Claims Settlement Bill, committee stage, third reading, business committee determination
6 Commerce (Cartels & Other Matters) Amendment Bill, committee stage
16 Judicature Modernisation Bill, second reading
21 Housing Corp Amendment Bill, second reading
25 Reserves & Other Lands Disposal Bill, second reading
27 Insolvency Practitioners Bill, committee stage
28 Construction Contracts Amendment Bill, committee stage
29 Spending Cap (People’s Veto) Bill, second reading
32 Nga Rohe Moana o Nga Hapu o Ngati Porou Bill, first reading

Private & local orders:

Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill, Su’a William Sio, second reading

Members’ orders of the day:

7 Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, Phil Twyford, first reading
12 Overseas Investment (Owning our Own Rural Land) Amendment Bill, Phil Goff, first reading
13 Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 3), Alfred Ngaro, first reading
Link: Provisional order paper for Tuesday 9 December

Submissions:

Inquiry into the 2014 general election, public consultation closes 31 March
Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill, submissions close Wednesday 17 December
Standards & Accreditation Bill, submissions close Thursday 15 January
Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill, submissions close Wednesday 17 December

Securities – NZ:

Kiwi Income Property Trust, corporatisation meeting notice & prospectus out to unit & noteholders, Friday 28 November; notes conversion announcement date, Monday 8 December; notes cease trading, and special unitholder meeting on corporatisation at 10am, Monday 15 December
Pyne Gould Corp Ltd, annual meeting, Wednesday 17 December at 2pm, Mercure Hotel, 8 Customs St East

You can help fill in the gaps – Got an event you want to tell the world about? Click the email tab – [email protected].

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Updated: Propbd on Q Th04Dec14 – council on infrastructure, housing bond, plans, 4 apartment & commercial auctions

One sale at Ray White auction
One sells & 8 pass in at NAI Harcourts auction
Major topics before council yesterday
Big auction day
Apartments all passed in at Bayleys
50% sell rate at Total Property auction
5 units sell at Barfoots
Birkenhead property sells at Colliers auction

2pm:
One sale at Ray White auction

A Heritage Farmers apartment was sold under the hammer at Ray White City Apartments’ auction today, but the other 3 units on the list were passed in. Auction results:

Sebel, 85 Customs St West, unit 209, auction postponed, Damian Piggin & Daniel Horrobin
Heritage Farmers, 35 Hobson St, unit 610, sold for $137,500 + gst, Estee Zeng & Damian Piggin
City Life, 171 Queen St, unit 1606, passed in at $330,000, Dusan Valenta
Oxford, 13 Mount St, unit 8L, no bid, Ricky Yang
Hobson Gardens, 205 Hobson St, unit 10C, passed in at vendor bid of $650,000, Victor Liu

One sells & 8 pass in at NAI Harcourts auction

The first property up for sale at NAI Harcourts’ auction at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron today was sold under the hammer at a 4.5% yield on an under-rented building, but that was the end of the good run as the remaining 8 properties were passed in. Almost all of them required a vendor bid to get things started and 4 finished with the vendor’s indicator as the last bid. Auction results:

Otara, 133 Bairds Rd, sold for $502,000, Peter King-Turner & Vincent Cheong
Waiheke Island, Surfdale, 8 Miami Avenue, passed in at second vendor bid, $1 million, Andrew Bruce & Rob Meister
Albany, 75K Corinthian Drive, passed in at $370,000, Dave Lane
Albany, 215 Rosedale Rd, unit L, passed in at $730,000, Dave Lane
Howick, 113 Meadowland Drive, unit E, passed in at $350,000 vendor bid, Nicolas Ching
Mt Roskill, 46 Carr Rd, passed in at second vendor bid, $800,000, James Lee & Nick Mi
Papatoetoe, 13-15 St George St, passed in at $775,000, Nicolas Ching
Waimauku, 5-19 Factory Rd, passed in at $2.75 million vendor bid, David Savery
Eden Terrace, 18 St Benedicts St, passed in at $625,000, Fiona Li & Mike Ponsonby

9.45am:
Major topics before council yesterday

2 Auckland Council committees had major decisions to work through yesterday – frequently with last-minute reports to base those decisions on – and also had a couple of easier decisions to endorse.

The easy ones were notification of a private plan change and approval of 2 local board area plans and a centre plan.

The plan change:

The area plans:

And the centre plan:

More complicated issues before the Auckland development committee were:

  • a housing bond guarantee proposal to enable development of 200 houses by community housing groups (agreed – more on that in a separate story later today), and
  • the next tranche of special housing areas under the Government-council housing accord, some of which were going to be controversial.

3 submitters on the housing areas were lined up for a late afternoon end to the day’s meetings. They were heard in the confidential section of the agenda, where the committee’s deliberations on the housing areas was to be discussed.

A cost of servicing residential growth study was to have been presented to the development committee but – much to the chagrin of Cllrs Dick Quax & Christine Fletcher, who have asked numerous questions about housing development – this report was deferred to the New Year because some parts of it weren’t completed.

The committee also had a year-end monitoring report on the housing accord. I wrote about that on its release a week ago.

The development committee had public input from Mill Rd corridor development, Redoubt Rd environmental action group chairman David Price on Mill Rd corridor development, which the committee decided needed a more comprehensive inquiry. It will be referred to the open agenda of the infrastructure committee’s February meeting – it’s been discussed behind closed doors before.

The infrastructure committee had comprehensive reports on stormwater and from Watercare & Auckland Transport yesterday. The volume of material to digest means it will be a few days before that story appears.

Links:
28 November 2014: Housing accord beats target by 20% in first year
Housing accord, final report for first year
Auckland Council, housing accord

Big auction day

Wednesday was a big day for auctions in Auckland, headed in commercial property by Bayleys’ year-end Total Property offering. Colliers had one property for auction yesterday but has a longer auction list for next Thursday.

NAI Harcourts has 8 commercial properties up for auction at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron at 11am this morning.

In the apartments sector, Bayleys had no success with 5 units offered late yesterday. Barfoot & Thompson sold all 5 apartments under the hammer in the morning, with another handful up for sale later which I need to check.

Apartments all passed in at Bayleys

None of the 5 cbd apartments taken to auction at Bayleys yesterday was sold. Auction results:

CBD Victoria Quarter, 30 Drake St, unit 3, passed in at vendor bid of $2.5 million, sales agents Trent Quinton & Julie Prince
CBD Learning Quarter, 96 Symonds St, unit 1209 (12C), no bid, Aled Luffman & James Mairs
CBD Learning Quarter, 6 Princes St, unit 10C, passed in at $800,000, Steph Weldon & Robbie Robson
Grafton, 38 Whitaker Place, unit 8, no bid, Julie Prince & Diane Jackson
CBD Queen St valley, 28-36 Wellesley St, unit 5B, no bid, Diane Jackson & Julie Prince

50% sell rate at Total Property auction

In a big Total Property commercial auction at Bayleys yesterday, 16 properties were sold under the hammer, 4 sold prior, 2 were offered together then individually but didn’t sell, and 2 were withdrawn – a 50% sell rate on what was offered. Auction results:

Remuera, 1 Wootton Rd, sold for $2.31 million, sales agents Shane Snijder & Robert Ashton
Epsom, 567 Manukau Rd, sold for $750,000, Ben Wallace & Brendan Graves
Pokeno, 39 Great South Rd, sold for $816,000, Shane Snijder & Peter Migounoff
Manukau, 46 Eugenia Rise, sold for $1.023 million, Tony Chaudhary & Janak Darji
Parnell, 8 Augustus Terrace, sold for $1.342 million, Matt Lee & James Chan
Mt Eden, 660 Dominion Rd, passed in at $1.71 million, Millie Liang
Pukekohe, 83 King St, passed in at $860,000, Peter Migounoff & Graeme Moore
Takapuna, 473 Lake Rd, sold for $800,000, Damian Stephen & Eddie Zhong
Albany, 52 Oteha Valley Rd, unit F, sold for $560,000, Damian Stephen & Ediie Zhong
Panmure, 8 Basin View Lane, sold for $258,000, Tony Chaudhary & Janak Darji
East Tamaki, 386 Ti Rakau Drive, sold for $2.82 million, Tony Chaudhary & Shane Snijder
Northcote, 50 Lake Rd, sold for $1.41 million, Dean Gilbert-Smith & Simon Aldridge
Howick, 180 Moore St, no bid, passed in on a vendor’s bid of $1.4 million, Tony Chaudhary & Shane Snijder
Penrose, 176-178 Station Rd, sold for $1.23 million, Mark Pittaway
Ponsonby, 1 Jervois Rd, units Q & R, sold prior for $400,000, Damian Stephen & Quinn Ngo
Warkworth, 6 Morrison Drive, sold for $1.905 million, Duncan Napier & Steve Orr
East Tamaki, corner Harris Rd & Nandina Avenue, passed in at $1.725 million, Shane Snijder & John Bolton
East Tamaki, 21 Stonedon Drive, passed in at $1.57 million, Mark Pittaway & John Bolton
Paihia, Dolphin Motel, 69 Williams Rd, passed in at vendor bid of $900,000, Paul Dixon & Chester Rendell
Otahuhu, 32-34 Great South Rd, passed in at vendor bid of $2.1 million, Dave Stanley & Ben Bayley
CBD Queen St valley, 9B Victoria St East, sold for $725,000, Quinn Ngo & Matt Lee
St Johns, 23 Hannigan Drive, unit 6, sold prior for $336,000, Millie Liang & James Valintine
Albany, 234 Bush Rd, unit C, passed in at $655,000, Alex Strever
Otahuhu, 59-81 Station Rd, no bid, Ben Bayley & Dave Stanley
Royal Oak, 772-776 Manukau Rd, sold for $795,000, Ranjan Unka & Quinn Ngo
Henderson, 11 & 13 The Concourse, passed in at $1.25 million, Grant Miller & Mike Adams
Manurewa, 327 Great South Rd, sold for $1.55 million, Katie Wu & Roy Rudolph
Papakura, 41A Elliot St, sold prior for $502,000, Dave Stanley & Nick Bayley
Huapai, 326 Main Rd, no bid, Angela Little & Grant Miller
Wairau Valley, 96 Wairau Rd, sold for $1.155 million, Rosemary Wakeman & Trevor Duffin
Henderson, 11 The Concourse, passed in at $525,000, Grant Miller & Max Adams
Henderson, 13 The Concourse, no bid, Grant Miller & Mike Adams
Airport Oaks, 62 Ascot Rd, passed in at $2.36 million, Jamsheed Sidhwa & Luke Carran
Morningside, 7 Taylors Rd, unit E, withdrawn, Clint Barber
Morningside, 7 Taylors Rd, unit J, withdrawn, Clint Barber
Takapuna, 106-108 Hurstmere Rd, unit B, passed in at $1.36 million, Simon Aldridge & Damian Stephen
Wairau Valley, 4D Target Court, sold prior for $575,000, Ranjan Unka & Matt Mimmack
Otahuhu, 47 Huia Rd, passed in at $800,000, Simon Andrews & Nick Bayley
Wairau Valley, 18 Link Drive, unit 18, no bid, Trevor Duffin & John Algie
Takanini, 100 Takanini School Rd, no bid, Peter Migounoff & Piyush Kumar
CBD Victoria Quarter, 210 Victoria St West, unit 58, no bid, passed in at vendor’s bid of $350,000, Paul Dixon & Samantha Ferguson
Kelston, 17 Cartwright Rd, units 3 & 4, no bid, Derek Presland & Paul Dixon
Highland Park, 17 Aviemore Drive, units N & M, withdrawn, Geoff Wyatt
Albany, 33 Triton Drive, unit J, withdrawn, Adam Curtis & Rosemary Wakeman

Updated: 5 units sell at Barfoots

5 cbd apartments & suburban units were sold under the hammer at Barfoot & Thompson’s auction yesterday – and the 4 I missed yesterday were all passed in.  Auction results:

St Heliers, 266 St Heliers Rd, unit 1, sold for $680,000, sale agent Steve Hood
Parnell, 27 Birdwood Crescent, unit 29, sold for $616,000, Jill Jackson
Epsom, 4 Owens Rd, unit 10, sold for $542,500, Nicholas Lyus & Julia Nah
CBD Victoria Quarter, 53 Cook St, unit 101, sold for $271,000, Selina Zheng
CBD Learning Quarter, 18 Wakefield St, unit 6H, sold for $640,000, Stephen Shin
Heritage Tower, 22 Nelson St, unit 316, passed in, Livia Li
HarbourCity, 16 Gore St, unit 12D, passed in, Rita Herceg & Alex Allan
The Whitaker, 2 Whitaker Place, unit 3B, passed in, Selina Zheng
33 Mount St, unit 15H, no bid, Tom Wang

Birkenhead property sells at Colliers auction

The one property taken to auction at Colliers International yesterday was sold under the hammer.

Birkenhead, 6 Bank St, sold for $2.05 million, Mike Ryan & Shoneet Chand

Attribution: Council committees, auctions.

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Study finds investment to shape compact city not in plans

An independent review of Auckland’s planning framework by Australian consulting firm SGS Economics & Planning Pty Ltd, released today, identifies a lack of city-shaping infrastructure investment as the principal impediment to achieving a quality compact city.

The report recommends that the productivity benefit from investment, demand management & urban intensification needs to establish the case for expanded co-investment & policy reform by central government.

The review was commissioned by the Council for Infrastructure Development and has been released one week before the close of submissions to Auckland Council on its proposed unitary plan – the detailed planning framework intended to implement the overarching policy document, the Auckland Plan.

Chief executive Stephen Selwood said: “We commissioned this study to gain a better understanding of how successfully programmes, policies & investment plans developed over the past 3 years by Auckland Council are delivering on the Auckland Plan vision to make the city the world’s most liveable.

“SGS found that governance reforms have equipped Auckland with the most evolved metropolitan governance structure of any city in Australasia. Auckland has a united voice on regional issues and has the critical mass to make trajectory shifting decisions in its own right. The Auckland Plan sets out a compelling & demonstrably achievable vision for Auckland’s spatial development.

“However, SGS found that the Auckland Plan objective of a quality compact city was unlikely to be achieved without increased investment in city-shaping infrastructure, identification of the means to fund that investment and policy reform to support road-pricing & value-capture mechanisms.

“On current plans, there simply is not sufficient investment in transport infrastructure to support a transition to an efficient & competitive higher density urban form.

“To reverse many decades of low-density, motor-vehicle-oriented growth will take much more than the city rail link & other projects prioritised in the Auckland Plan.

“This finding helps explain why transport modelling of future land use & transport investment completed last year showed Auckland’s congestion worsening significantly over the course of the next 30 years, even with all proposed investment committed.

“But rather than retracting the compact city vision, SGS calls for analysis of the productivity benefit that is expected from urban transformation. Where the Auckland Plan vision can be shown to boost national productivity, GDP & aggregate tax revenues, there is a strong case for co-investment from central government.

“Increased economic performance more generally also substantiates the case for new funding sources, such as road pricing &d value capture, which are key to achieving the Auckland Plan vision.

“Better understanding of these benefits may also help foster community & local board support, which has so far been an impediment to the scale of intensification proposed.

“We hope this report will stimulate a joint Government & council work programme to identify the productivity dividend that can be achieved through optimal investment in city-shaping infrastructure. In the Council for Infrastructure Development’s view, this requires vast improvement in integrating transport investment & land use development, including more targeted densification to support major investment in public transport, and implementation of road-pricing & value-capture mechanisms.

“While the united Auckland Council is making great progress, stronger alignment & unity of purpose between central government & the council is needed if the productive potential of Auckland is to be truly realised.”

The SGS report concludes: “As we have discussed, the aspirations for urban transformation in Auckland do not seem to be in line with the capacity to fund the required infrastructure. This appears to create an intractable dilemma, potentially leading to a conclusion that land use planning ambitions should somehow be ‘scaled back’ to fit the Auckland & New Zealand communities’ funding capabilities.

“However, this line of thinking ignores the crucial fact that a restructured Auckland is likely to boost national productivity, GDP & aggregate tax revenues. In this context, the question becomes ‘Will the tax dividend from implementing the Auckland Plan, including timely delivery of the requisite city-shaping infrastructure, pay for the additional investment involved?’

“Our recommendation is that the Auckland Plan needs to be interrogated from a productivity perspective, with a view to establishing (or not) the case for expanded co-investment by central government. Such co-investment may facilitate a more aggressive intra-Auckland programme of reform in matters like road pricing & value capture.

“Additional analysis along the following lines is required:

  • Model medium- to long- term national productivity & GVA outcomes, assuming a (current) trend-based pattern of development in metropolitan Auckland
  • Model medium- to long-term national productivity & GVA outcomes assuming timely investment in city-shaping infrastructure & delivery of the Auckland Plan
  • Estimate the tax revenue uplift from any productivity gain offered by a restructured Auckland, and the incidence of these tax receipts
  • If warranted by the foregoing analysis, make a case to central government to share some of its prospective tax revenue uplift from a restructured Auckland in the form of accelerated co-investment in required city-shaping infrastructure.”

Link: SGS review of Auckland urban planning and infrastructure>

Attribution: NZCID release, SGS report.

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