Published 29 October 2012
The mayor said this week he’d been surprised to learn the residents of Auckland’s isthmus didn’t mow their street berms like everybody else in the region did: “I thought as Kiwis we prided ourselves on mowing our lawns,” he said.
According to the draft council budget, those isthmus people are going to have to mow their berms. I reflected on this & a few other things on Saturday as I mowed the lawn (I’m bermless after the council, for a road-reshaping several years ago, removed the footpath I’d built).
Mowing the lawn was an imposition for which I would normally allow little time though it’s a handy way to learn where the cracks in the ground are, where the ants are building their next nest, where the wasps have decided to live. But yesterday I ambled. I resolved to reclaim my weekends, to venture cautiously toward the 5-day working week instead of the 7 it had become. By the time I’d tested the resolve of the lawnmower against a few hibiscus & feijoa bushes and low-hanging lemon & grapefruit branches – proving that the mower is about as knackered as me – I’d determined that the 5-day week could start, well, nearly immediately, just a few things to be done first.
How do I spend my weekends? Writing the U column, the diaries and a few stories. Are you going to miss them? The liquidation scene has been quietening down and I think I can spend my court & company-check time more productively.
What began in 2001 as a more controlled way of covering property-related comings & goings – companies’ births as well as their demises – turned after a while into full coverage of insolvency in Auckland. The positive side of the equation, the Nu column, never really got going.
The U column peaked at 120 entries in a week but would have had just 25 this week – a week without a court liquidations list. At its peak it was taking me 4 full days to complete the column, apart from trying to give you at least adequate coverage of a myriad other events.
Now the focus reverts to the myriad other property-related events.
You’re seeing more activity in the property sector as it moves into an up cycle and it would be easy for many to say life returns to normal. That, unfortunately, is very likely, which would mean we’ve learnt nothing from the 5 years since the global financial crisis began.
I think I can provide you with a better service with a sharper, more incisive commentary on life in the sector – plans, policies, strategies, consents, transactions – and influences on the sector such as economic shifts both locally & internationally, transaction trends in other markets, investment decisions and impacts on investment.
Is it better to learn that a small non-property company which has been on its knees for the last 5 years has finally gone bust, or that Fonterra’s call for expressions of interest for a new head office, along with law firm Russell McVeagh, closes in a couple of weeks?
So the U column remains in place but won’t be updated. My focus will be on events in the marketplace and influences on them. In particular: how the debate over compact versus sprawl affects you; the affordability debate made sensible; explaining the complexities of leaky, seismic & insurance issues; relating shifts in financing opportunities.
I hope you will stay with me, because these stories will be valuable to your business.
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Attribution: Story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.