Guest post by Stephen Berry from Affordable Auckland
I am backing the Government’s unusual step to join with Auckland Council in fighting an attempt by residents in Three Kings to block a 1500-unit housing development in the Three Kings quarry.
One of the leading causes of house price inflation in Auckland is Nimbys and their desire to interfere in other people’s business. Well done to the Government and the Council for sticking to their guns.
More than seventy public and local board meetings have been held since 2008 to consult on a plan change allowing the development to take place and two third of the 237 submissions received on it were favourable. This is more than enough time and money to spend consulting on an issue which really should just be a simple question of property rights. Does this development violate the rights of its neighbours? Is it a genuine impact or an invalid moan about property values; the sort that are artificially inflated by stopping other people enjoying their own property.
The appeal to the Environment Court seeking to block the development is being led by South Epsom Planning Group and Three Kings United. The two Not-In-My-Backyard groups want the development to be restricted to low-rise housing, which would see fewer than 1000 house built, instead of the proposed 1500 apartments and townhouses.
This case demonstrates again why urgent overhaul of the Resource Management Act is needed. It needs to be real reform; not the half-hearted attempt currently before Parliament. Construction in Auckland should not be held hostage by activist busybodies when it really is not any of their business.
For a truly affordable housing market to develop in Auckland, we need to completely re-think the way planning rules work. The left want to centrally plan intensification while the right want to centrally plan sprawl. Both forms of central planning are fiscally bankrupt. It’s time to move to a system of individual choice which safeguards the property rights of neighbours.
Stephen Berry is Affordable Auckland’s Mayoral & Albany candidate
He placed third in the last mayoral election.