Quest to be the world’s most liveable city….

auckland

This working week has been a short one for Aucklanders who celebrated the city’s Anniversary Day on Monday. Many escaped out of town for the long weekend, but for those who stuck around, there was definitely plenty to do in the City of Sails: Anniversary Day Regatta, International Buskers Festival, Seafood Festival, Laneway Music Festival, really, more festivals than you can shake a stick at.

Auckland residents also received a bit of reading material over the weekend. The February addition of ‘Our Auckland’, turned up in letterboxes across the city, complete with an intro ‘Letter From Len’ , who still seems to be smiling (although I have the feeling it’s probably an old picture they had on file).

A look at the monthly “What’s on in Auckland” guide shows jam-packed February, with event’s, shows and yes, plenty more festivals, but having exciting things to go to, isn’t what makes a city liveable. Good transport, affordable housing and job availability are what really matter and those are just some of the issues that the Council’s ‘Auckland Plan’ aims to tackle:

akl_vision

The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, is now in its final weeks to receive formal submissions.  It’s the rule book that will shape how the city grows and is an integral part of the overall Auckland Plan that will guide the region’s future over the next 30 years.

Some rules which relate to giving further protection to Auckland’s heritage and environment, have already been in effect since 30 September 2013, in the following three areas: Pre- 1944 buildings, Environmental Protection, & Cultural impact assessment.

Public can go to www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/unitaryplan to view the e-plan, read local fact sheets and make a submission by 28 February 2014, before an independent panel will conduct hearings on the formal submissions.

If you’re a visual person, here’s a little video explaining the plan with some fancy graphics:

Anyone who owns a property in Auckland, or is thinking about entering the Auckland property market, really needs to take a look at how the Unitary Plan rules could potentially affect their property. Here is one of the tools online to help you Find out what rules apply to your property.

So, grand plans for a liveable city in 30 years, but what about right now?

The Auckland Economic Quarterly, the newsletter from the Council’s Chief Economist Geoff Cooper, was released today, claiming that it’s the best outlook for Auckland in 7 years. The housing market remains the key driver of growth and hopefully, will continue to be, with the council establishing 11 more Special Housing Areas (SHAs). While it seems to be a positive step forward, it’s likely that we’re still a long way off seeing any significant changes to Auckland’s housing availability or affordability.

Do you know if, or how, the Proposed Unitary Plan will effect your property? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below, or get in touch with us on our facebook page.

Local Body Elections: Tauranga candidates on housing

Tauranga_And_Some_Harbour_Facilites

It’s that time of the electoral cycle where you get a big fat envelope in the mail, with short blurbs about hundreds of people trying to win your vote for everything from the Mayoral office to the local licensing trust.

Who on earth should you vote for? We decided to help you make an informed decision – at least, in an area we are quite passionate about.

We asked Tauranga’s mayoral candidates for their views on the pressing housing issues in their city, ranging from home affordability to whether Auckland’s influence has been positive for the region. We thank them very much for their replies, and should the others get in touch we’ll update this post accordingly.

To ensure accuracy we’ve presented all answers in unabridged form. Enjoy, and hopefully this will help you in your difficult decision-making. Make sure you vote!

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Local Body Elections: Hamilton mayoral candidates on housing

Hamilton city

It’s that time of the electoral cycle where you get a big fat envelope in the mail, with short blurbs about hundreds of people trying to win your vote for everything from the Mayoral office to the local licensing trust.

Who on earth should you vote for? We decided to help you make an informed decision – at least, in an area we are quite passionate about.

We asked Hamilton’s mayoral candidates for their views on the pressing housing issues in their city, ranging from Auckland’s influence to controversial house and garage regulations. Three responded. We thank them very much for their replies, and should the others get in touch we’ll update this post accordingly.

To ensure accuracy we’ve presented all answers in unabridged form. Enjoy, and hopefully this will help you in your difficult decision-making. Make sure you vote!

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Local Body Elections: Christchurch mayoral candidates on housing

Dalziel, Maxwell, LonsdaleIt’s that time of the electoral cycle where you get a big fat envelope in the mail, with short blurbs about hundreds of people trying to win your vote for everything from the Mayoral office to the local licensing trust.

Who on earth should you vote for? We decided to help you make an informed decision – at least, in an area we are quite passionate about.

Christchurch’s housing issues are, for obvious reasons, unique. We emailed some mayoral candidates to find their views on how the rebuild is progressing, the issues around building consents, and much more. Three candidates replied, including the two front runners, and we thank them all for their responses.

To ensure accuracy we’ve presented all answers in unabridged form. Click the links just below or read from start to finish; we’re all about choice here.

Enjoy, and hopefully this will help you in your difficult decision-making. Most of all, make sure you vote!

Are you happy with the administration and progress of the rebuilding effort so far? What would you change about it if elected?

Are you concerned about how the Reserve Bank’s new loan to value ratio restrictions might affect first home buyers in Christchurch?

Do you think the building consent process is going fast enough, and if not how would you address this?

Auckland and Christchurch property prices seem to be growing far quicker than anywhere else. Do you see this as a problem? What would you think should be done to address accelerating house prices?

What would you do, if elected, to help ensure there are enough affordable houses being built?

Does the Council have a role to play in providing housing for those who can’t afford to buy?

Finally, is there any other reason why Cantabrians should vote for you as Mayor?

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Local Body Elections: Wellington mayoral candidates on housing

Wellington candidates who responded

It’s that time of the electoral cycle where you get a big fat envelope in the mail, with short blurbs about hundreds of people trying to win your vote for everything from the Mayoral office to the local licensing trust.

Who on earth should you vote for? We decided to help you make an informed decision – at least, in an area we are quite passionate about.

We asked Wellington’s mayoral candidates for their thoughts on a wide variety of local housing issues; our sincere thanks to those who replied. Should the others get in touch we’ll update this post accordingly.

It makes for a rather long blog, but in the interests of accuracy we’ve presented all answers in unabridged form. Enjoy, and hopefully this will help you in your decision-making. Make sure you vote!

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Local Body Elections: Auckland mayoral candidates on housing

Brown, Minto, Palino

It’s that time of the electoral cycle where you get a big fat envelope in the mail, with short blurbs about hundreds of people trying to win your vote for everything from the Mayoral office to the local licensing trust.

Who on earth should you vote for? We decided to help you make an informed decision – at least, in an area we are quite passionate about.

With that in mind, we emailed as many Auckland mayoral candidates as we could find contact details for, and asked them for their views on the most pressing housing issues facing Auckland.

We were grateful to receive replies from the leading candidates as well as some of the lesser-known office seekers, whose views in a democracy are still worth considering.

It makes for a very long blog, so to go to whatever questions interest you the most just click on the questions below. In the interests of accuracy we’ve presented all answers in unabridged form. Enjoy, and hopefully this will help you in your decision-making. Make sure you vote!

What do you think is causing Auckland property prices to increase?
Are you concerned about how the Reserve Bank’s new loan to value ratio restrictions might affect first home buyers in Auckland?
What is your view on the Auckland Unitary Plan?
Do you think Auckland should build outwards, or upwards?
Do you think the Council has over-regulated the building of new houses?
Do you believe foreign buyers are affecting the property market?
Does the Council have a role to play in providing housing for those who can’t afford to buy?
Finally, is there any other reason why Aucklanders should vote for you as Mayor?

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