Monday, 13 June 2005

Building the slums of tomorrow

The trial intensification project at Talbot Park in Glen Innes could be a sign of things to come. Picture / Dean Purcell
Picture / Herald

Glen Innes residents are protesting the imposition of "high-density housing [says the Herald] fearing it will be a social disaster, bring more crime and reduce private property values. "
Public concern about intensification within a 10-minute walk of Glen Innes town centre comes amid controversy over a regional masterplan to squeeze half a million Aucklanders into mostly apartments and terraced homes by 2050.
I criticise the thinking behind that 'regional master plan' here as bringing East Germany to East Auckland in the name of trying to banish the car. Let me stress, there is nothing necessarily wrong with either high-density or low-density housing if done well (Georgian London and rural New England, for example, are very nice places to live): what is wrong is planners imposing their own choices on an unwilling public and on unwilling property owners; particularly when the model the ARC planners insist on imposing is a failed East European model that will ensure only that we are building the high-density slums of tomorrow.

What's wrong with leaving people free to choose for themselves the way they want to live, and free to build their choice on their own property (with all the necessary common law protections involved)? To do that we will need to get rid of the RMA, and of the country's planners. To paraphrase Voltaire, it will be a great day when the last planner is strangled with the guts of the last city councillor.


  1. What rubbish from the Herald, you and Bhatnagar.

    "Residents in the predominantly state housing suburb of Glen Innes are aghast at plans for high-density housing, fearing it will be a social disaster, bring more crime and reduce private property values."

    If you rely on govt handouts you forfeit the right to complain about such things. It ain't houses turning communities into ghettos, its the welfare queens and other losers who live there. If you don't want to live in crappy high density( and I don't see who is forcing you to), get off your fat ass and get a job.

    Another arrow hits the mark :-/

  2. Ruth you said, " What rubbish from the Herald, you and Bhatnagar."

    You know, you really should read properly before you comment.

    As I said in my own article to which I linked, this high-denisty intensification of parts of Auckland is a direct result of the ARC's 'Plan Change 6' which is an attempt to force people out of cars, and is a heavy-handed planning measure that has that as its only goal. As a consequence the ARC are insisting on a) high-density intensification of selected parts of Auckland, with MINIMUM densities and MINIMUM heights for any new development on those sites; and b) making rural Auckland a virtual National park, with resource consent required for damn near everything.

    Although HOusing NZ has a lot of existin ghouses here, AFAIK the high-density dwellings being talked about here are not council houses, but private houses, for which Hucker's council planners will now be specifying in great detail how they are to be designed. These are the planners responsible for the 'delightful' Aotea Sqaure, the bunker-like Aotea Centre, and the 'marvellously breezy' QEII Square.

    So in answer to your rant, relying on govt handouts or not is utterly irrelevant - to the extent the ARC and the City Council are successful, Aucklanders ~will~ eventually be forced into crappy high-density housing, and the high-density will be made to be crappy by being built to council designs. Comprende?

    "Another arrow hits the mark."

    I guess not.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.