Thursday, April 25, 2013

There's got to be a better way than using schools, churches and golf clubs for building housing on.

The headline in the NZ Herald about the possibility of using large tracts of land in Auckland, currently used for schools, churches, golf clubs and some luxury large sized homes for infill housing has to be seen as extreme in the least. The 'plan' does say that such proposals are at the outer limit of meeting the needs for extra housing for the people of Auckland in the not too distant future. We shall hear the outcry from a wide cross-section of groups, ranging from 'educationalists to the rich and influential. For a start, we know that the latter group will have their day and win in court, but other groups will not fare so well under the 'proposals.'
Maybe these early 'flagging's have been put out there, just to stimulate debate. OK, bring it on, but maybe we should be looking at another more sensible solution to the ever expanding (Land and people) needs of Auckland. Do we really want to have about 50% of NZ's population in one city, leaving the remainder of NZ for tourists and animals?
Would it not be far better to finally look at serious attempts to 'grow' the rest of NZ? Most of us, of a certain age, remember attempts by various political parties in the past to implement policies for 'regional development.' Little came of them, once the party proposing them came to power. The reality was and possibly still is for NZers to choose where they live and any Government veering from that is doomed to failure.
That means it will take political courage to pressure people into choosing elsewhere to live other than Auckland and there is precious little evidence that any of our current politicians, at least those who have their noses in 'Welle-trough' to make some tough decisions. Maybe Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland could be seen in that light, but his power is limited to those things 'Auckland.'
How about making it extra attractive for newly arriving immigrants to have an incentive to live elsewhere. How about attracting entrepreneurial capital on positive terms, if it is used in the 'regions?' Maybe a tax holiday or other incentives can help. Perhaps a 'think tank' of people can come up with ideas to entice people from Auckland? I do not mean pushing beneficiaries into regional NZ although to a small extent that is happening. We need jobs in these areas that will in turn attract people out of Auckland.
The ideas proposed in the 'plan' are surely meant to stimulate discussion and for that, it is a good plan. We cannot continue to pour resources merely to chase the tail of traffic, housing and other problems besetting the Queen city.'