Archive | Land use

Consents down in short month but annual figure stays above 30,000

Building consents for new homes dropped by 672 from March to 2106 in April, and dropped by 255 compared to April last year, Statistics NZ said today.

Importantly for the Government, the annual rate of consents for new homes stayed above 30,000 – 30,371 for the latest 12 months, down from 30,626 for the year to March, up from 30,162 for the year to February.

In Auckland, the 726 consents for the month were ahead of 699 in April last year but well down from the 800 in February and 942 in March, and the 10,226 for the year were up on the 10,045 to February, 10,199 to March and up 9.3% on the 9353 for the year to April 2016.

Statistics NZ noted that Easter’s occurrence in April would have reduced building consents issued for the month. In addition, when Anzac Day fell on a Tuesday it resulted in another 4-day weekend for many.

You can only use that reasoning so far, though. The value of consents for new homes nationally in March last year (including an Easter break) was $1.021 billion, falling to $948 million in the Easter-less April. The value this March was $1.199 billion, falling to $921 million.

The value of consents for all construction fell from $2.077 billion in March to $1.351 billion in April (last year, $1.505 billion down to $1.430 billion), so one April against the other the fall was 5.5%. For the April year, the value of all construction was up 10.6% to $19.45 billion ($17.589 billion in 2016).

Non-residential consents for the month were down 10.5% to $411 million ($459 million), but for the year were up 9.7% to $6.4 billion ($5.85 billion). Floor area was down 28.8% for the month to 204,000m² (286,000m²), and was down 17% for the year to 2.64 million m² (3.19 million m²).

Home consents by sector, for month & year, previous period in brackets:

Houses: 1487 (1742), (1815), 21,179 (20,098), up 5.4% for the year
Apartments: 228 (25), 2874 (2094), up 37.2%
Retirement village units: 46 (259), 1702 (2139), down 20.4%
Townhouses, flat & units: 345 (335), 4616 (3707), up 24.5%

Around Auckland by ward, this April & last, and the April 2017 year & previous 12 months:

Region: 726 (699), 10,226 (9353)
Rodney: 81 (89), 882 (948)
Albany: 125 (135), 2508 (2316)
North Shore: 25 (17), 494 (528)
Waitakere: 25 (60), 617 (506)
Waitemata & Gulf: 166 (23), 1104 (857)
Whau: 51 (18), 343 (192)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 25 (21), 674 (474)
Orakei: 4 (27), 283 (370)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 31 (26), 417 (463)
Howick: 28 (71), 452 (601)
Manukau: 32 (32), 394 (504)
Manurewa-Papakura: 73 (75), 1106 (890)
Franklin: 60 (105), 952 (704).

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Bike share study next stage in transport change

Auckland Transport & the NZ Transport Agency have begun a feasibility study into how a city centre cycle share scheme could operate. This includes looking at how it could be funded and what sort of bikes would be used as well as the range of new technologies available.

Auckland Transport expects the initial findings of the feasibility study will be available around the end of September. Walking, cycling & road safety manager, Kathryn King said: “If there is a strong case for a cycle share scheme for Auckland, the next step would be for Auckland Transport to talk to potential providers with a view to delivering the scheme in the summer of 2019-20. Budget is set aside for this project, but no cost is yet set as Auckland Transport expects to run a competitive process to appoint a company to undertake the study.

“By the end of next year we will have completed a number of vital links for people travelling into & around the city centre by bike. This, combined with international evidence that cycle share schemes work when they are done right, means that now is the perfect time to begin these investigations.”

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said last week: “Cycle share schemes are an important part of the transport system in more than 700 cities internationally, and they hold real promise here. The Government’s urban cycleways programme is delivering a $333 million programme of cycling infrastructure & initiatives across New Zealand, and cycling is becoming an everyday part of more & more people’s lives.”

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said: “Cycling is on the rise in Auckland. Bikes now make up 9.4% of inbound morning peak traffic on Upper Queen St, which shows just how significant this mode of transport is becoming for Auckland.”

Cycle share feasibility study
Cycle share factsheet (PDF 179KB)

Attribution: Auckland Transport & ministerial releases.

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Council supports regeneration actions

Auckland Council’s finance & performance committee approved 3 actions yesterday to support urban regeneration, and another likely to result in the transfer of a town centre carpark from Auckland Transport to a supermarket owner.

The 3 regeneration-supporting actions were:

Divestment of 2 areas in the New Lynn town centre totalling 3384m², which Infratil Ltd has first development right on

Sale of council landholdings in central Henderson – with the intention of the local board to recoup at least some of the sale funds – to enable urban renewal & town centre housing

Sale of a number of council landholdings in Onehunga, also to support regeneration and the development of housing, and also with at least some of the sale funds being applied to that, and

Sale of the 19 Anzac Avenue carpark in Browns Bay, most likely to remain a parking lot because a high proportion of users park there to go to the nearby supermarket.

The regeneration proposals are all part of council-controlled Panuku Development Auckland’s task of selling off land the council doesn’t use, and secondly to support Panuku’s programme of transforming town centres.

Onehunga is marked as a “transform” centre and Henderson as an “unlock” centre in Panuku’s priority list of urban renewal around the region.

  • I’ll return to these redevelopment topics in considerably more detail, probably starting in about a week.

Attribution: Council committee meeting.

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Transparency campaign gathers some ears

Transparency campaigner Penny Bright took her message to Auckland Council yet again yesterday.

Yet again, in a campaign that she’s fought for 2 decades, resulting in multiple arrests for her (some of those arrests spitefully contrived but not, subsequently, resulting in convictions), but over the years not too much improvement in transparency.

But it was notable at yesterday’s meeting of the council’s finance & performance committee that fewer ears were deaf to her message, and this time Ms Bright actually had some positive words to say about the opening up of council information.

The need for a change in attitude was reinforced in February with the sentencing on corruption charges of former Rodney District Council & Auckland Transport senior manager Murray Noone to 5 years’ jail, and engineering firm Projenz Holdings Ltd director Stephen Borlase to 5½ years’ jail over roading contracts.

Mr Borlase was found guilty on 8 corruption & bribery charges and Mr Noone was found guilty on 6 charges of accepting the bribes. Projenz also paid for overseas travel for Mr Noone and another senior roading engineer, Barrie George, who was sentenced last September to 10 months’ home detention.

Ms Bright told the committee she wanted to see all council-controlled organisations providing the same details of contracts as Auckland Transport now does, and she wanted subcontracts included.

She told the committee: “The court case proved you have 2 levels of corruption, public to private and private to private where back-end subcontracts are placed.

“The court showed the collaborative model was not working. That must also be reviewed because the proven corruption risk – we have the evidence for that.”

Ms Bright said the Public Records Act had been law since 2005 – created, according to the Government summary, “to support the effective management of records in the public sector… to promote government accountability through reliable recordkeeping, enhance public confidence in the integrity of government records…”

She said more recent guidelines from the Office of the Auditor-general on transparency were very clear and added: “I believe those guidelines have not been enforced.”

She also asked when the council would look at council officers holding private consultancies that dealt with the council.

Council chief financial controller Sue Tindal said the committee would have an opportunity to raise questions about these issues at its second meeting of the week, on Friday, when the quarterly reports of council-controlled organisations are presented.

However, that’s an unnecessarily tortuous process. The council could simply revert to the practice used at the former Waitakere City Council of presenting all details from tenders online when a tender was approved, which wasn’t followed at other councils around the region and wasn’t the practice put in place when Auckland Council was formed in 2010.

Office of the Auditor-general guidelines

Attribution: Council committee meeting, public forum presentation.

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Last preparations start for rail tunnel excavation

Auckland’s city rail link project entered the final stage of preparation works on Albert St last week before tunnel construction works begin.

The top 1.5m of road surface is being removed on the eastern side of Albert St between Wyndham & Swanson Sts before installation of the second half of the temporary steel work required to support the walls of the trench in which the future rail tunnels will be constructed.

Auckland Transport said: “Any utility services that remain in this top portion of the road will be temporarily supported on the steel work to ensure there is no disruption to local residents & businesses.”

In a few weeks, a temporary deck will be constructed over the top of these steel struts, which will provide working room over the top of the trench for excavators & haulage trucks.

“A lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction throughout these works.

“On the remainder of Albert St between Swanson & Customs Sts, work continues to tie together & brace the 20m-deep piles installed to support the trench walls.

“Excavation also began last week on the third portion of the traffic deck being constructed at the Customs/Albert St intersection. When all 4 sections of the deck are completed in September, they will form a bridge structure that spans the entire intersection, allowing all 4 traffic lanes to be re-established while the rail link tunnels are constructed underneath.”

Auckland Transport, city rail link web page

Attribution: Auckland Transport release.

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Mediation agreement signed for Ryman’s Devonport village

Ryman Healthcare Ltd said on Friday its new Devonport village was set to proceed following mediation talks with objectors.

The Devonport Peninsula Precincts Society appealed against the development to the Environment Court after Auckland Council planning commissioners granted resource consent in January for the village on Ngataringa Rd.

Ryman, the society, the NZ Institute of Architects & Urban Auckland have since been in mediation over the retirement village plans for the 4.2ha site owned by Ngati Whatua Orakei.

Ryman development manager Andrew Mitchell said differences were resolved amicably and all parties had signed an agreement. The resolution requires final approval from the Environment Court.

The 6 buildings of the proposed village were up to 6 storeys high, and Devonport residents opposed bulk & height. The parties haven’t disclosed changes to height or design, or how the increased traffic on Lake Rd will be dealt with.

It’s the first largescale consent on the North Shore considered under Auckland’s new unitary plan, and the society said on its website the factors opponents raised would remain relevant for the other largescale development sites (see map above).

Link: Devonport Peninsula Precincts Society

Attribution: Company release, society website.

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12 years after demolition order scrapped, Hobson St building sells

An office tenancy in the former Canvas City & Wong Doo building at the corner of Hobson & Cook Sts, leased in March, was sold at an auction brought forward at Bayleys yesterday.

The small 2-storey building faced demolition in 2005, when South Korean developer Dae Ju Developments Co Ltd sought council permission to knock it down and extend the Fiore apartment building, already approved, across 2 sites.

Heritage campaigner Allan Matson fought demolition and Auckland City councillors Christine Caughey & Faye Storer led the process to look again at Dae Ju’s application.

Eventually, Fiore was built in 2 stages, with the corner shop refurbished. It was constructed in 1885 with shop space at ground level, living areas behind & bedrooms above. It was sold yesterday by Dae Ju successor KNC Global Management Co Ltd.


Victoria Quarter

166 Hobson St, corner Cook St:
Features: 199m² floor area on 2 levels in refurbished category B historic building, occupied by Global Visas Ltd on new 6-year lease
Rent: $110,000/year net + gst + outgoings, body corp levy $5889/year
Outcome: sold for $1.92 million at a 5.73% yield at auction brought forward
Agents: Sarah Boles & Terry Kim

Earlier stories:
12 March 2017: Fiore corner office space leased
8 September 2013: First use of council heritage fund is for Wong Doo building & Airedale cottages
23 December 2011: Council agrees to compromise allowing development above Wong Doo building
5 April 2011: Council slams demolition bans on Canvas City & Ranchhod buildings
17 May 2009: Dae Ju gets new consent to knock down Canvas City building
17 April 2009: Dae Ju revives Canvas City demolition plan as it puts Elliot Tower on hold & redesigns Star site building
13 December 2006: Dae Ju can knock down Canvas City lean-tos, and escapes hefty bond
21 April 2006: Heritage campaigner battles on to save Canvas City from demolition for new development
5 April 2005: Councillors hold up Hobson St demolition with theme of “heritage capital”

Attribution: Auction.

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West Auckland’s new bus network arrives in June

West Auckland gets its turn at a new bus network, starting on Sunday 11 June.

Auckland Transport said today everything about the network would change, including new bus routes, new route numbers & new timetables.

After consultation at the end of 2014, Auckland Transport tendered for new bus contracts, and new services were introduced for South Auckland, Pukekohe & Waiuku last October.

Auckland Transport said benefits of the new network for the west included:

  • a single, all-day, high-frequency route (to be operated with double-deckers from August) along Great North Rd between New Lynn & the city centre, replacing multiple current routes and improving access to Auckland Zoo & Motat for residents & visitors
  • an all-day service for the first time on the North-western Motorway from Westgate to the city centre
  • frequent all-day service between Westgate, Lincoln Rd, Henderson & New Lynn via Great North Rd
  • more direct & more frequent all-day service between Henderson, Westgate, Hobsonville & Constellation on the North Shore
  • easy-to-understand, more regular local services feeding the rest of the network at New Lynn, Henderson & Westgate.

Link: New network for West Auckland

Attribution: Auckland Transport release.

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4 intensive residential & development properties sell

A mix of 4 properties in the intensive living & residential development sectors were sold at Bayleys auctions this week – an apartment in the 1930s Brooklyn building in the cbd, one of 2 properties in the future urban zone 28km north of the cbd at Dairy Flat, a St Heliers townhouse and a Manurewa section with development consents in place.


Learning Quarter

Brooklyn, 66 Emily Place, unit 14:
Features: one-bedroom apartment in 1930s building
Outgoings: rates $1532/year including gst; body corp levy $4208/year
Outcome: sold for $461,000
Agents: Diane Jackson & Julie Prince

Isthmus east

St Heliers

41C Vale Rd:
Features: 3-bedroom townhouse, 3 bathrooms, courtyard, parking space
Outcome: sold for $1.125 million
Agents: John Howard & Josie Moon


The 2 rural properties marked future urban, one sold and the other passed in.

Dairy Flat

18 Green Rd:
Features: flat 3.38ha in 18 paddocks, 3-bedroom house, 2 bathrooms, double garage
Outcome: passed in
Agents: Graeme Mann & Karen Asquith

20 Green Rd:
Features: 9620m² site, 2 tenanted houses, one of 2 bedrooms, the other of 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms, each with a single garage
Outcome: sold for $1.3 million
Agents: Graeme Mann & Karen Asquith



40 Sturdee Rd:
Features: 809m² section, 3-bedroom house near motorways, health facilities & shopping centres, resource & building consents for development approved
Outcome: sold for $725,000
Agents: Shan Collings & Marlene Dragicevich


220 Great South Rd, unit 1:
Features: 161m² refurbished standalone mainstreet bungalow containing 7 single-level offices
Outcome: passed in
Agents: Piyush Kumar & Peter Migounoff

Attribution: Agency release.

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Bike network addition at New Lynn planned

Auckland Transport is seeking feedback on plans to extend cycleways in New Lynn. An open day will be held on Thursday 11 May from 3-6pm at the New Lynn Memorial Library and consultation will close on Sunday 21 May.

An off-road cycleway is proposed along Seabrook Avenue from the Willerton Avenue intersection, joining up with the existing shared paths on Margan & Rankin Avenues.

The proposal would entail changes at 3 intersections along the cycleway and also to the intersection of Clark St, Rankin & Totara Avenues to improve access & safety for pedestrians & cyclists.

Auckland Transport’s walking, cycling & road safety manager, Kathryn King, said today this route was identified as the first cycleway priority for New Lynn because of the links to New Lynn Train Station, which is the third busiest station in Auckland.

“We have a lot more in store for the area, both in our current programme of work which runs until 2018 and then as part of our planning for 2018-21.”

NZ Transport Agency regional relationships director Ernst Zollner said these additions under the urban cycleways programme would make it easier to access the station and also ultimately link into the Te Whau pathway, the New Lynn-Avondale & Waterview shared paths and the North-western cycleway, which he said was one of the most popular in Auckland.

Whau Local Board chair Tracy Mulholland said: “New Lynn has been undergoing a major revitalisation transforming it into a sustainable urban centre, with high density housing close to the town centre. The completion of New Lynn’s world-class transport interchange in September 2010 was the first step in the area’s regeneration project. This work to begin developing the walking & cycling facilities takes us another step forward as an area.”

The links to New Lynn project has $2 million of funding from the Government, NZ Transport Agency (also Government) & Auckland Transport through the urban cycleways programme.

Link: Cycle network feedback

Attribution: Auckland Transport release.

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