Posts by Mark Graham

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  • Hard News: The sphere of influence,

    National do not like challenging questioning, with the exception, I found, of Bill English. The PM came on my show once, I suspect expecting a social chat for 20 minutes and ended up being called to account for a number of things over 45 minutes.

    He never returned and his press secretary ended up ignoring my requests for him to come back. Key, and other Ministers, avoided Morning Report for years.

    And so, it would seem, it is with Collins. If you are questioned then it's an attack and therefore to be avoided or aggressively shouted down. These approaches are not what one would hope for in a participatory democracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Muse: Guilt By Association Copy,

    Like.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The New New News,

    Content rules! But try convincing ad agencies of that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing: the Feudal Model, in reply to Steve Withers,

    The recent Unit Titles Act is a mess. Another fuck up by the current Govt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing: the Feudal Model,

    This whole thing is so complicated. As they say, 'for every complex problem, there's a simple solution. And it's probably wrong."

    I'd say many Aucklanders want medium density housing and you can see the odd one here or there but we're talking a makeover of large swathes of Auckland. It's not going to be easy and I suspect the Vancouver approach to allow specific intensification development on existing central urban sites - their 'Laneways' approach - may be an effective approach and may make for affordable options out there, too.

    The unitary plan had a lot of good thinking in it but the way it was presented on MSM was somewhat misleading, with great grey blocks of high-rise office/apartment blocks, no greenery or urban design features presented. No wonder the nimbys freaked. The main Nimby got shut down swiftly and pointedly by Toderian at his presentation a few weeks ago.

    Of major concern to me is the building sector charged with making all this happen. There are law changes removing council accountability, transference of responsibility to builders through a less-than-robust LBP scheme (http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2576720) - and all this on the cusp of another building boom. Leaky Homes anyone?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing: the Feudal Model,

    Furthermore, regarding a 'Housing Crisis' - as Tim Hazeldine pointed out a year or so ago in the NZ Herald, we're not witnessing people in the streets because they have no house. (I know, I know - there is overcrowding and some people have substandard housing but we've always had that).

    Also, it's basically an Auckland problem (notwithstanding the exceptional circumstances of Chch).

    What we do have is a shortage as we've been building fewer houses than we need - 3500 in Akl last year vs 10,000 needed (and roughly this for about 5 years), and the ones we do build are big, expensive and geared to profitability, not affordability. There is a fundamental market failure at play here - why build cheap housing when you can build expensive housing and make more money?

    This is my site - http://www.buildingguide.co.nz

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing: the Feudal Model,

    Anything with Michael Bassett's name attached needs to be read in the context of neo-liberalism ad absurdum.

    I'm not sure about the MUDs but the housing affordability crisis is real and being played out in many OECD cities including NYC, London, Sydney.

    Land closer to the CBD is bloody expensive. The answer is medium-density dwellings but our district plan doesn't allow too much of it. The unitary plan opens up more but there's a major shift to be done in community mindset, builder skillset and council openness, in doing over existing suburbs.

    Do we want Paris or Houston? I, for one, do not want Houston.

    The recent presentation from Brent Toderian (http://www.toderianurbanworks.com/), a recently deposed Vancouver head of planning for the council (looks like he didn't toady to the developers enough), was insightful and addressed many of these issues.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Who Guards the Guardian?,

    But what about Greenwald's interview with Newsnight? He wiped the floor with her. And justifiably so, at face value.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Another Saturday Night,

    Isn't there an argument for decriminalisation of marijuana here? It seems so much is pushed along by alcohol (please note my avoidance of "...fuelled...").

    When I was lifeguarding at Swimarama in Panmure in the 80s, dope was cool, and alcohol was terrible (though the worst was glue). No P in those days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Strange Tax on Your Internet, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How dare you make Maurice Williamson look silly. He's perfectly capable of that all by himself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

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