Archive | Land use

Stadiums on a never-ending exercycle journey

I was devising a few more ideas at the weekend on how to make this website more relevant, and in passing I pondered just how long was it that I’d written about Mt Smart as a smart alternative to Eden Park for a regional stadium.

When I returned to the story, written in 2006 during a debate over funding for Eden Park, I spotted a typo – the letter ‘a’ missing from ‘road’ – and thought I’d fix it. Then I fixed the links at the foot of the story – all the oldest links on this website were broken in one website upgrade several years ago.

As the story still appeared relevant to the current debate, I’ve reposted it.

Now to elaborate a little on:

  • Where to have a stadium
  • How to boost its use
  • Who should own & operate it.

First, Eden Park:

Neighbours are not going to relent on contesting more use for noisier night-time events. The park could become a vibrant residential precinct without destroying the area’s suburban nature.

Eden Park’s best use is to be turned over to intensive residential, with some business elements.

The neighbourhood has a light industrial precinct round the corner, it has a rail station on its doorstep and it could have light rail on both Dominion & Sandringham Rds.

Kingsland’s business precinct is turning into a thriving city fringe area a couple of hundred metres away and could easily be expanded into the edge of the Eden Park precinct.

Alternative sites:

One proposal, revived late last year, was to build a stadium on the waterfront. Yes, I’ve written about that before too, and also about my feeling that a large stadium would be filled less & less frequently.

Do you build for what might now be a once-in-a-decade crowd of 60,000, or do you create facilities for a wider range of participants, smaller grandstand audiences but frequent use?

One point in favour of a waterfront (or in-water) stadium is that it would support the downtown & waterfront hospitality venues.

I see Mt Smart as the midway point in the region, which could easily have improved public transport, especially rail, on regular commuter routes. It could also become a hub for hospitality & accommodation development mid-region, including an enhanced foreshore for the Manukau Harbour from Onehunga to Otahuhu.

Who should own & operate it?

But, as any stadium needs to earn its keep and none of them will do that from occasional big events, it should have other sports facilities added to it so it becomes a venue for a range of major events as well as a centre for numerous club & fitness activities.

Who would own & operate such a venue?

It could be publicly owned, by the council or a council entity, or by an amalgam of sports groups using it. And as a national venue, it could have Government input to ownership.

One thing Auckland doesn’t need to do is spend another dozen years not mapping out a sensible course for sports venue – and adopting it. There have been plenty of starts, but no finish.

Here’s the original story link, plus a few more:
Lee road-tests Mt Smart with councillor governance fest, and Swney suggests an Amsterdam model

Other links:
7 November 2018: Council committee ignores point of waterfront stadium request: agreement to test feasibility
19 October 2018: Consortium releases waterfront stadium proposal details
28 September 2012: Auckland’s stadiums – round we go again
21 February 2007: Mallard could have done so much more to enlist support for a stadium
3 December 2006: Ah, the stadium. Automatically we say no. Or are we really telling our politicians to think smarter?
28 November 2006: Waterfront out, new governing body for all Auckland stadiums planned
24 November 2006: ARC rejects waterfront stadium unanimously
23 November 2006: Waterfront stadium gets the Auckland City vote
13 October 2006: Council votes behind closed doors for waterfront stadium

Attribution: Bob Dey.

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Industrial sites are selling as Drury South Crossing kicks into second gear

6 of the 11 industrial lots in block 1 of the Drury South Crossing development zone down the Southern Motorway out of Auckland have been sold. 2 more are unavailable, leaving 3 still on the market.

3 of the 13 lots in block 2 have been sold, 2 are unavailable and one is under contract – 7 still available.

The sold lots range from about 1000m² up to 3.44ha.

Image above: Drury South Crossing’s masterplan – housing nearest the motorway, industrial back towards the quarry, commercial in the middle, open space where the creek wends its way through the floodplain.

Even now, a decade after initial development planning began, Drury is a place you pass on State Highway 1 at speed. In the background is a quarry carved out of the hillside, in the foreground there were cows. This was rural Auckland, and its transformation into a major urban hub has begun.

Stevenson Group Ltd, best known as a trucking company but also the owner & operator of infrastructure necessities such as quarries & concrete supplies, has gone through the long processes of rezoning and designing the future for Drury South’s 361ha, getting the land rezoned in 2013 for a mix of industrial & business development, and this month enters a marketing phase.

The company has done one thing that politicians around the region largely failed to do over the last 2 decades: produce a supply of large-lot industrial land. That & efficient access are keys to Auckland’s prosperity.

Drury South Crossing will serve a multitude of needs:

  • an industrial hub
  • a portion for residential development, plus some commercial
  • improvement of water flows & water quality
  • new jobs in South Auckland
  • the incentive for numerous new transport links – an improved road to Pukekohe, the Mill Rd connection up through Manukau, a new railway station, an industrial base with good access to ports, central Auckland and to the regions immediately to the south.

To focus on the development, Stevenson has sold its quarry business to Fulton Hogan Ltd (although the Huntly quarry has been pulled from the transaction following Commerce Commission concerns). It’s also sold the 50ha residential development site, nearest the motorway, to Classic Group, which will build about 800 houses on it (starting price point $580,000, midpoint $680,000). The first homes should be available this year.

An impetus for swathes of housing development

Since it got the land rezoned, Stevenson’s project has also been the impetus for large swathes of residential development on nearby farmland. Kiwi Property Group Ltd bought 51ha to create a town centre, Karaka & Drury Ltd (Charles Ma) has begun work on 2 residential developments at Drury, the first for 68ha and the second for 85ha, set to yield about 2700 homes plus a village centre, and Fulton Hogan has acquired land for about 2000 homes.

Across the motorway & further north, the Hugh Green Group is preparing 97ha to take 2000 homes in its Park Estate subdivision, and has just opened it up to expressions of interest.

The mix localises industrial jobs

Drury South Crossing chief executive Stephen Hughes.

Stephen Hughes, chief executive of Stevenson’s Drury South Crossing project, expects some staff at businesses in its industrial subdivision will bike to work along cycleways from these new suburbs. Within 13km of this new business hub, the population is anticipated to grow to 60,000.

Among the unusual features of Drury South Crossing – given the extra word in its name to signify its role at the heart of new transport links – 90ha of passive amenity & waterspace has been set aside to manage the floodplain, where the borders of creeks feeding into the Hingaia Stream will be greatly enhanced.

One big change enabling all this development was the completion of Auckland Council’s unitary plan in 2016, providing for far more intensification in existing suburbs and marking greenfields as future urban zones, effectively dismantling the rural:urban boundaries established in the 1990s.

Mr Hughes said without that change, Stevenson wouldn’t have secured the political support to develop outside the MUL (the metropolitan urban limits). The second change allowing Drury (and other centres) to forge ahead was the last government’s scheme for special housing areas. Although few houses were developed quickly, those areas were earmarked for housing and development is starting to occur.

From State Highway 1 across to the Stevenson quarry – the space between will be filled with houses nearest the motorway, some commercial further back, industrial towards the quarry. Those scratches on the photo are power lines – Transpower will have a site in the precinct.

Meanwhile, the Stevenson focus is on the industrial land, broken into large blocks and, in the case of blocks 1 & 2, broken down into smaller lots and already selling.

Block 3 has about 20ha at the moment, and some buyers are looking for that amount of land: “There are 3 requests for a block that size we’re in discussions on,” Mr Hughes said in December.

Potential occupants of those bigger sites are both manufacturers & distributors, and logistics companies that will service the upper North Island from this base.

Drury South Crossing is expected to create over 5000 jobs directly and 10,000 more indirectly in the Auckland region. Economic analysis by Market Economics Ltd puts the direct financial contribution into local gdp at $800 million/year, plus $2.3billion/year into regional gdp. The construction phase alone is expected to contribute $700 million to gdp.

BDeep articles aimed at giving you context

  • This is the first of the new BDeep focus articles in The Bob Dey Property Reporton development around the region.

You’ll see a different style of presentation here – pieces of information, not a single long, complete article. So, over time, you’ll be able to build up a picture of areas around the region, putting development in context.

Today’s piece hardly scratches the surface of Drury South’s context. With regular contributions, you’ll see the gaps filled in.

Link: Drury South Crossing

Some of the earlier stories:
16 October 2018: Fulton Hogan drops Huntly quarry from Stevenson purchase, Commerce Commission happy
22 September 2017: Kiwi Property settles second Drury site purchase
10 September 2017: Second round for Auranga precinct confirms Drury as major growth centre
2 July 2014: Report indicates acute shortage of industrial land likely, but key land advocates don’t press for specific measures
30 June 2014: Report says business land supply “at best” meets 5-year demand
30 August 2013: Drury South industrial area plan change & MUL extension approved

Attribution: Company releases, interview, website.

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Auckland readymix production up 9.7% from year ago, plateauing nationally

Ready-mixed concrete production in Auckland rose 2.6% in 2018 to a new record 1.5 million mᶟ, but slipped 0.4% nationally after 6 years of growth.

Statistics NZ’s construction statistics manager, Melissa McKenzie, said on Friday readymix production in the Auckland metropolitan area rose 2.9% in 2018 to just over 1 million mᶟ.

For the December quarter, Auckland metropolitan production rose 9.7%, from 249,000 mᶟ in 2017 to 273,100 mᶟ.

Production rose in Canterbury after the 2011 & 2012 earthquakes, but has fallen in the last 3 years, dropping 9.7% in 2018 to 648,000mᶟ. In Christchurch City, readymix production fell 12.8% last year to 472,000mᶟ.

The slight decline in national production for the year was negligible – from 4.118 million mᶟ to 4.102 million mᶟ. In the December quarter, production nationally fell 2.9%, from 1.09 million mᶟ to 1.058 million mᶟ a year earlier. Seasonally adjusted, it was a 3.4% fall from the September quarter.

Link: Ready-mixed concrete secondary production (SEP): December 2018 quarter – Infoshare tables

Attribution: Statistics NZ release & charts.

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Orakei Pt apartment building shift knocked back in 11-10 council vote

The developer of the Orakei Point apartment & mixed use precinct beside the Orakei railway station has been turned down – sort of – in an 11-10 council committee vote over a proposed 15.75m shift in position of the Peninsula apartment building.

The “sort of” above arises because the majority vote was against accepting the private plan change application for notification. Without a follow-up recommendation, the proposal was left in abeyance, and there was no subsequent proposal to adopt the plan change request (which would require the council to take it forward), or to reject it, or to deal with it as if it was a resource consent application.

Instead, committee chair Chris Darby resolved that the committee should defer a decision on the application to its next meeting.

Orakei Point Trustee Ltd (headed by Kerry Knight) has 5.9ha of partially redeveloped land on the Hobson Bay side of the small peninsula between Hobson Bay & the Orakei Basin, and in earlier development proposals it was this company’s & previous developer Tony Gapes’ intention to take development over the railway tracks, incorporating a station in the new structure, but neither Auckland Transport nor KiwiRail wanted that, citing maintenance as their major obstacle.

The development masterplan has been put in place with the section of it over the tracks eliminated, although it could be revived. KiwiRail was also keen to get a 5m gap between the tracks & development, but was turned down on that score when the masterplan was signed off.

Orakei Point Trustee Ltd’s new proposal is to rezone 413m² from open space–informal recreation to business–mixed use, enabling the 32-apartment Peninsula building to be moved 15.75m westward. The building would have up to 9 floors as stage 1 of a larger development.

But members of Auckland Council’s planning committee focused on encroachment by the repositioned building on open space – which is privately owned – around the edge of the Orakei Point peninsula.

The outcome of the 11-10 committee vote was not to reject the application for a private plan change enabling the repositioning, but not to accept it.

Aftera half-hour lunch break, committee chair Chris Darby opted to defer a decision until the committee’s next meeting instead of pursuing his immediate post-vote intention to move the plan change be rejected.

The open space belt around the peninsula’s edge was set aside to provide public access to the Hobson Bay walkway & cycleway, and to landscape the edge. However, principal planner Bruce Young said in his report to the committee the council’s parks & recreation policy staff no longer supported acquiring that land for access to the walkway, preferring a route along Orakei & Ngapipi Rds.

Council central south planning manager Celia Davison said the new area for the building was privately owned open space: “They want to move the zoning because they believe it would give a better outcome. Our open space team are not interested in that piece of land… The designation is quite a long way from rail. They want to move the building to give better distance between rail & their building.”

On the basis of the building occupying that open space, the Orakei Local Board opposed the change. The board’s former chair, Desley Simpson, in her second term as Orakei ward councillor, was concerned that the development could detrimentally affect rail in future, and told staff a lot of information was missing from their report.

Cllr Wayne Walker raised his regular concern about climate change impacts, although principal planner Mr Young said the new site was “not significantly lower” than the previous one. Cllr Walker, like Cllr Simpson, said he had “real concerns about the futureproofing of our transport network”.

Cllr Mike Lee commented: “The unitary plan & the masterplan, I was under the impression settled the controversy and a sound planning decision was made to protect that coastal edge, and that was part of the delay. Now after all that expense the owner has decided they want to encroach on that public open space [as above, it’s not public]. Obviously the owner wasn’t required to make a reserve contribution. Can we have some background into the idea of this requirement that the edge be open space?”

Ms Davison said she’d find out.

There was a lot more debate on both this plan change & one for Warkworth North around the politicians’ role. I’ll return to that in a further story.

Earlier story:
1 September 2018: Equinox wins consent for Peninsula at Orakei Bay Village

Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda.

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Council opts for slower course of accepting rather than adopting Warkworth North plan change

Auckland Council’s planning committee opted on Tuesday for the slower course of accepting a plan change for a potential 1200 houses at Warkworth rather than adopting it. Under the second option, the council would have picked up the plan change and guided it through its regulatory processes.

The difference is a matter of timing. In this case, the slower process means the developer, Turnstone Capital LP (Mark Francis, chief executive of NZX-listed Augusta Capital Ltd), may miss the next earthworks season, pushing housing availability back a year.

The committee also went into a long round of debate on issues not really relevant to this decision, which I may return to later.

Image above: Warkworth’s future urban zone is in yellow, the Warkworth North structure plan area is outlined or coloured in purple, and the Turnstone plan change area is hached.

The cause of council planners’ concern, reflected in the committee debate, was that the council has its own Warkworth North structure plan also going through the hoops, and the planners want that in place first, rather than find differences requiring a variation. The difference in timing is only a matter of months, but in terms of conditions for starting construction could end up being a year.

Council plans & places general manager John Duguid said structure planning was nearing a conclusion for 4 areas around Warkworth, including the north: “We are close to a timeframe for consultation in the next couple of weeks, back to the committee as a final structure plan in May or June for the whole of Warkworth.

“To release all of that land at the same time would be at a significant cost. The decision was made to release the land in the north first, east & south later, in the second & third decades.”

The entire Warkworth future urban area covers about 1000ha, mostly in rural uses, which will be rezoned to residential & business zones.

The estimate is that Turnstone’s 99ha up for rezoning (out of a total 125ha site) could take 1000-1200 new dwellings, 13ha of light industry & a new 3000m² neighbourhood centre.

It’s just over 2 years since the Auckland unitary plan was made partly operative. Since that event in October 2016, the council has been progressively making more of it operative, as appeals are resolved. The unitary plan covers the whole region, covering the area which until 2010 contained 4 cities & 3 districts, each with its own district plan. In addition, the regional council had a regional policy statement, which is also now incorporated in the unitary plan.

Now that most of the unitary plan is in place, developers can be more certain about what’s allowed, and Mr Duguid said a stream of private plan changes enabling development was expected.

Planning committee agenda, 5 February
9, Auckland unitary plan (operative in part) – Privateplan change request from Turnstone Capital LP – Warkworth North
Attachment A – Request part 1 S32 report & appendix 1 planning maps & precinct provisions (78 pages)
Attachment B – Request part 2 appendices 2 – 22 (1239 pages)
FULSS – Future urban area sequencing Warkworth

Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda.

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Corrected: Whenuapai plan change delayed another 6 months as council committee agrees to recommended variation

Published & corrected 8 February 2019 (the Simpson Grierson lawyers mentioned below were the Defence Force’s, not the council’s):
I’ve long been under the impression that the Air Force, as the Navy does with its dinghy, would take its C130 transport plane out for a drive once/month to use the fuel allocation, and the plane would glide back to base using Greville Rd at Albany as the guide.

But there’s more to the airbase than using suburban arterials as a map to guide the plane home. Although the base’s P3 Orions will be replaced by Boeing P8-A Poseidons, to be based from 2023 at Ohakea in the Manawatu (where the State Highways 1 & 3 intersections at Bulls & Sanson are probably good roadmarkers to guide the planes home), in the meantime the Whenuapai planes make a lot of noise from time to time.

The Defence Force produced noise evidence the day before the hearing began last May on plan change 5, to rezone 360ha beside the airbase at Whenuapai, then produced updated evidence on noise contours in November.

When the council’s planners proposed in December either withdrawing plan change 5 altogether, or varying it to take account of the new noise contour research, the QC acting for subdivider submitters Cabra Developments Ltd & Neil Construction Ltd, Russell Bartlett, said in a 21 December letter to the council the Defence Force’s original evidence “had exaggerated the noise effects of engine testing”, but in any case the hearing panel had the skills “to bring policy considerations into the necessary decision-making”.

The Defence Force’s legal advisors at Simpson Grierson, Padraig McNamara & Sarah Mitchell, told the council on 18 January the short way to resolution could be for the hearing commissioners to confirm amended contours & zoning.

The council’s planners responded with a report identifying 4 options, preferring option B (to initiate the variation, based on the noisiest week). That goes against the Simpson Grierson advice, which noted that the testers felt the noisiest week was an outlier and the busiest week represented a more appropriate worst case.

The whole plan change 5 area comprises 360ha. Plan change 5 proposes rezoning 113ha of it to light industrial & the 274ha balance to a range of residential zones, anticipated to enable development of 6400 houses on land currently used for horticulture, rural production & lifestyle blocks.

The proposed plan change variation would restrict development of 410 housing lots until 2023 because they’d be within contours where the noise level would be deemed unacceptable.

The council’s north-west planning team leader, Eryn Shields, said in his report to Tuesday’s council committee meeting that the Defence Force had decommissioned taxiway D at Whenuapai because its surface was in poor condition (and the move to Ohakea relatively imminent), but that taxiway was more central than taxiway F, which was still in use & closer to the future boundary housing considered to be most affected.

The council planners’ preferred option would enable an additional 14ha to be zoned mixed housing urban, providing 370 more houses than under the present variation 5, and more land could be zoned for medium to high density once the Ohakea move has occurred.

Mr Shields said opting for the variation would delay a hearing decision by about 6 months, until late August.

To committee members’ suggestions that the zoning decision could wait until the Defence Force provided more certainty on its moves, Mr Shields said: “We can’t be paralysed, we have to act.“

Mr Shields told Cllr John Watson, who’d said a no-complaints covenant would prevent future residents complaining about noise: “We don’t consider that’s an appropriate way to manage the noise. We continue not to support them [the Defence Force position on covenants].”

Independent Maori Statutory Board members Tau Henare & Liane Ngamene baulked at the suggestion that the final decision on the variation be left to “a sub-group” of the committee.

But that’s what happened. The council planners will complete their work, present it to the sub-group for approval and the variation to the plan change will proceed to public notification & submissions.

The variation’s intent is to change the proposed zoning of about 120ha adjoining the NZ Defence Force airbase at Whenuapai, within the 65dB Ldn noise boundary, or between the 57-65dB Ldn noise boundaries, based on the additional noise data the NZ Defence Force provided the day before the hearing began. The noise data relates to noise effects from engine testing at the Whenuapai airbase.

The hearing on plan change 5 to the Auckland unitary plan began on 4 May 2018, continued on 7 & 10 May and was to have resumed in August, but was postponed.

The commissioners made a site visit in June and chair Robert Scott issued a long list of questions to council planners on:

  • aircraft noise
  • infrastructure funding mechanisms
  • transport infrastructure requirements
  • indicative open space
  • zoning (and potential further intensification) of land bounded by Trig Rd, Upper Harbour Drive & Hobsonville Rd because of its proximity to the Westgate & NorthWest shopping centres
  • the reasons for a lower intensity single house zone at the coastal management area boundary, in addition to coastal setbacks, and
  • out-of-scope submissions on seeking to be added to the plan change, and a light industry zone.

The parties haven’t been back to the hearing room since Mr Scott sent his list, so the answers to all those questions are also awaited.

Original plan change 5 documents
Committee meeting, 5 February 2019 documents:
8, Auckland unitary plan (operative in part) – proposed plan change 5 Whenuapai 3 precinct – next steps 
Plan change 5 area    
Proposed Whenuapai 3 precinct plan 3   
Whenuapai Airbase engine testing locations    
Engine testing scenario 7    
Engine testing scenario 5    
Engine testing scenarios 6 & 8    
Correspondence from Cabra Developments Ltd, Neil Construction Ltd & NZ Defence Force
Plan change 5 variation livestream

Attribution: Council committee agenda & meeting in room where microphones didn’t always work.

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Looking inside the consent figures – hospitality v office, intensification v standalone

Building consents for the retail & hospitality sector climbed while consents for office buildings tumbled in 2018, Statistics NZ’s December construction figures show.

[To read the earlier story on the headline figures, go here: Home consents hit 14-year high]

But when you combine the 2 sectors’ consent figures, consented activity is in a straight line – about $2 billion/year.

Standalones down but suburbia steady

Likewise in residential, standalone homes’ share of new-build consents has been declining (down 3.6% for the year), but the share of the market held by suburban townhouses & flats has risen by 4%.

Although there’s been an overall shift to more intensive living spaces, the combined suburban share of the market has stayed at 83.5% over the last 2 years.

While I noticed more people in the retirement village sector raising the argument in 2018 that their sector aided the overall market by freeing up large homes occupied by just 1-2 elderly people, that argument was less valid last year. The retirement village share of newbuilds slipped 0.8% while apartments’ share picked up 0.4%. I can see in those 2 shifts, plus the rise in townhouse occupancy, the acceptance of intensification is growing, but 2 more market changes are still some way off.

Those 2 changes are the extension of apartment buildings into suburban centres, combined with a shift of the elderly into tighter spaces while retaining their independence. That resolve, in turn, is likely to lead to more amenities in suburban centres.

Residential statistics continue below the segment of this story on the non-residential market.

Non-residential consents continue upward drive

Non-residential comparisons can be difficult, as floorspace & value don’t always march in unison.

The value of non-residential building consents has risen 69% from 2013 to 2018, with some steep steps up along the way – $4.2 billion in 2013, up $900 million then $800 million in the next 2 years, a slowdown (up $100 million to $6 billion) in 2016, and then driving upwards to $6.5 billion in 2017, $7.1 billion in 2018.

While the rises in value were very big in 2014-15 – up 21.5% then 15.9% – the increase in consented floor area in those 2 years was much lower at 13.9% in 2014, 5.7% in 2015.

In 2016, the slowdown year, the value of non-residential consents rose 1.7% – and the consented floor area fell 20.4%.

In the last 2 years, the value of non-residential consents has risen 8% then 9%, while consented floor area has increased by 6.8% then 21%.

The value of consents for industrial buildings has declined in 3 of the last 6 years, but has been strengthening – up 41.2% to $662 million in 2017, up 15.9% more to $767 million in 2018.

Consents for farm buildings declined in 2015-16, and have also risen sharply in the last 2 years – up 13.6% to $273 million in 2017, up 39.7% more to $382 million in 2018.

Consents for education buildings jumped 57.8%, from $699 million to $1.1 billion, in 2015, rose to $1.23 billion in 2016 and has stayed just above $1 billion in each of the last 2 years.

2018 was a big year for shops, restaurants & bars, but a poorer one for offices, administration & public transport buildings. The retail & hospitality sector ranged from $730-791 million/year for 4 years then jumped 39.7% to $1.1 billion last year, but the office sector went in reverse – above $1.2 billion in 3 of the 4 years from 2014-17 and $1.17 billion in the other year, but falling 30% in 2018, from $1.23 billion to $859 million.

Combined, however, consents for the hospitality & office sectors have been worth $1.9-2 billion/year for the last 5 years.

The national consent numbers for December & the 2018 year (previous December & year in brackets), percentage change for year:
Total consents for new homes: 2382 (2169), 32,996 (31,087), up 6.1%
Total values for new homes: $995 million ($953 million), up 4.4%; $14.174 billion ($13.454 billion), up 5.4%
Standalone homes: 1492 (1424), 21,125 (21,022), up 0.5%
Standalones’ share of all consents: 62.6% (65.7%), 64% (67.6%)
Apartments: 273 (240), 3551 (3239), up 9.6%
Apartments’ share of all consents: 11.5% (11.1%), 10.8% (10.4%)
Retirement village units: 166 (175), 1829 (1951), down 5.1%
Retirement villages’ share of all consents: 7% (8.1%), 5.5% (6.3%)
Suburban townhouses & flats: 451(330), 6491 (4875), up 36.7%
Suburban townhouses & flats’ share of all consents: 18.9% (15.2%), 19.7% (15.7%)

Residential in Auckland:

Auckland residential consents rose 7% from December 2017 to December 2018, to 938 (876), and 18.4% for the year to 12,862 (10,867).

Consents were up for the year in 10 wards, down in 3 (the extremities & the centre -Rodney, Franklin, Waitemata & Gulf).

Auckland residential consents for December, compared to December 2017, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months, percentage change for year:
Region: 938 (876), 12,862 (10,867), up 18.4%
Rodney: 59 (58), 771 (1054), down 26.9%
Albany: 130 (153), 2473 (2449), up 1%
North Shore: 49 (105), 824 (561), up 46.9%
Waitakere: 55 (35), 928 (529), up 75.4%
Waitemata & Gulf: 106 (6), 958 (1362), down 29.7%
Whau: 24 (33), 622 (331), up 87.9%
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 61 (53), 957 (644), up 48.6%
Orakei: 17 (14), 421 (260), up 61.9%
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 182 (20), 774 (637), up 21.5%
Howick: 47 (42), 818 (614), up 33.2%
Manukau: 67 (225), 996 (655), up 52.1%
Manurewa-Papakura: 83 (94), 1612 (987), up 63.3%
Franklin: 58 (38), 708 (784), down 9.7%

Earlier story:
4 February 2019: Home consents hit 14-year high

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.

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Home consents hit 14-year high

Consents for new homes fell just 4 short of 33,000 last year, up 6.1% on 2017’s 31,087, Statistics NZ said today.

For the month of December, the 2382 consents were up 9.8% from the 2169 a year earlier.

Statistics NZ construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said the consents for the year were the highest tally since the year to June 2004, when 33,251 were issued.

The all-time record was 40,025 new homes consented in the year ended February 1974.

In Auckland, the 12,862 new home consents for 2018 were down slightly from the year to October, when 13,078 homes were consented. That was the highest number since the early 1970s.

Consents were up for the year in 10 of Auckland’s 13 council wards. The largest increase was in Manurewa-Papakura, up from 987 to 1612, a 63% increase.

Consents for houses, typically low over summer, were up 0.5% to 1492 (1424).

Of the more intensive categories, suburban townhouses & flats showed the biggest gains, up 36.7% for the month to 451 (330), and up 33.1% for the year to 6491 (4875).

The value of all residential consents for the month was up 4.4% to $995 million ($953 million), and rose 5.4% for the year to $14.174 billion ($13.454 billion). That included just under $2 billion of alterations & additions in both years – $1.993 billion in 2018 ($1.979 billion), up 0.7%.

The rises in total value of all construction – residential, non-residential & non-building – have been well short in the last 2 years of the big rises (12.4-20.8%/year) over the previous 4 years. Last year’s total was $21.7 billion ($20.35 billion).

  • I’ll post more detail later in the day.

Attribution: Statistics NZ.

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Market Economics finalises Auckland spatial economy model

Market Economics Ltd has finalised the development of an updated spatial economy framework to describe & examine business & residential activity in Auckland.

The company, headed by Doug Fairgray, played a key role in establishing land requirements for urban expansion when Auckland Council was developing its unitary plan.

Senior consultant Rebecca Foy, responsible for developing the company’s models that integrate information about the housing & employment markets, said in a market update: “The updated framework codes all meshblocks according to their primary unitary plan zone type (centres, business areas, special purpose zones, future urban zones, rural zones & residential zones). This tool provides a mechanism to understand spatially how people use the region for residential & business activity.

“The first step to create the framework was to overlay the Auckland unitary plan zoning with meshblocks. This enabled us to classify all meshblocks according to the primary intended activity. Certain activities were given a higher level of significance than others, for example centre zonings were more important than business zonings, which in turn were more important than residential & other activity uses. The cascading priority approach has been adopted to ensure that as much of the business activity that is relevant to assessments of retail activity & impacts, urban form & function, and industrial & commercial land demands can be captured to provide a context for new or adapted land uses.

“This capability allows us to join other spatial information to the framework to understand how many people, households, businesses & employees there are in each location, to compare that activity with other locations within the region, and to look at change over time. We can also calculate standard metrics such as employment & household density and compare them by location & zone type.”

The model can show population & households; businesses & employees by industry; household & employment densities; and retail store types, sales & floorspace estimates.

“Our experience in resource management & policy arenas has shown us that understanding the scale & composition of household & employment activity on the ground is critical to influencing future development. We expect developers & policymakers to be interested in using this tool for a wide range of activities, including understanding competitor centres to place their own performance in the wider context and to understand the potential for retail & other business activity in specific growth areas based upon regional & sub-regional averages.”

Market Economics

Attribution: Company release.

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Council puts building inspection bookings online

Auckland Council has opened a service to book, reschedule & cancel building inspections online.

Customers can check inspection results on a personalised dashboard.

With over 160,000 building inspections/year, managing bookings online will save builders & owners time & money.

The council’s building consents general manager, Ian McCormick, said the system works most smoothly when people book only the inspection they need – not multiple inspections, only to cancel the day before: “Booking multiple unnecessary inspections prevents us from getting through the maximum number of inspections and others miss out or are delayed.

“My advice to customers wanting a next-day inspection is to check the online booking tool in the afternoon or evening the day before, as you will generally find available slots as a result of these cancellations.”

Regulatory committee chair Cllr Linda Cooper welcomed the online innovation: “Customers get a real-time booking confirmation based on inspector availability and sent reminder messages the day before & the day of the inspection to confirm the inspector’s name & approximate time of arrival.

“This is already being well received by the industry and should help speed the process of delivering construction projects as the council deals with the unprecedented building boom.

“It’s also another example of getting more council services online as we progress in 2019.”


Attribution: Council release.

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