Really good article. Isn't the key point here that both sides need to recognise there's a trade-off here between their views which can't be avoided. So we need to discuss and debate the extent to which we are willing to make trade-offs.
When it comes to tobacco it seems like society has made this trade-off in such a way that's broadly accepted - although it took a long time. This required massive research but also using that research cleverly and not avoiding tricky liberty trade-off discussions.
We should be asking questions around the extent to which we would see gains for any restrictions so we can balance those up.
Hey, do you have more recent population projections that those we’ve discussed above?
The most recent population projections are on the Stats NZ website: http://stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/estimates_and_projections.aspx
These show how strongly Auckland dominates New Zealand’s projected population growth over the next 30 years. Of the 1.2m growth projected for the whole country, 732k is projected to be in Auckland (62%).
Broken down by age and the contrast is even more stark: working age (15-64) population growth in NZ over the next 30 years is projected to be 444k, of which 417k (94%) is in Auckland. Just think about the implications of essentially net zero growth in working age population throughout the rest of NZ over the next 30 years.
Also - over the past 3 years Auckland has grown much faster than the medium growth projections that the above numbers are based on. In fact, Auckland has grown faster than the high population growth forecasts.
Geography is really important here. People living on the isthmus can generally reach 3 or 4 times the number of jobs within a 30-45 min commute than those at the urban periphery.
This is due to a the large number of jobs in the central area (around 100,000 or four times the next biggest employment centre) and geography making it quite tricky to get to the isthmus from outside it.
Focusing a lot of growth in outer areas, especially into current rural areas, means residents in these areas face longer and longer commutes or have access to fewer jobs. A lot of research suggests the number of jobs you can reach within a reasonable commute has a huge impact on your productivity.
Decentralised employment isn't a realistic answer. It goes against all trends occurring around the world towards greater centralization to take advantage of agglomeration.
"City Limits" by the Grattan Institute is an excellent book on all these issues.
(Personal viewpoints above)
I bought a bike for myself and my 11 year old daughter the weekend after the #PinkPath was opened. I figured that combined with the Nelson St cycleway I would essentially have a cycleway from my house to my work.
However I haven't really biked to work as much as I had expected, I think largely because of the really annoying hills at the city end of the NW cycleway. Both the Newton onramp hill and then the grind up Ian McKinnon Drive. Both are really frustrating as you immediately drop back down. It would be great for them to be levelled out somehow.
Makes you realise how hilly central Auckland is.
Sorry Steve I should have been clearer. What I meant is that the net migration gain (immigrants minus emigrants) has risen dramatically in the past few years compared to what happened during most of the 2006-2013 period.
Interestingly house prices still increased a lot between 2006 and 2o13 even though the net migration gain was relatively low.
I think there are two separate questions around limiting Auckland's growth: "should you?" and "could you?" There is a really interesting discussion to be had I the first question: essentially a trade off between the benefits of agglomeration and the benefits of making better use of underutilised infrastructure.
The 2nd question is also interesting. My broad take is that if the massively higher house prices (and rent) in Auckland aren't putting people off, it's hard to know what would. The benefits of being in Auckland clearly outweigh that cost to the people choosing to live here.
Less net migration. More emigration (remember the brain drain of hundreds a week leaving for Australia).
Obviously I can't say much on this topic, given I work for Council.
Just one point on immigration, yes there has been a big spike in the last couple of years but that seems to be largely driven by fewer NZers leaving for overseas and more returning. Can't do much about that.
Before 2013 we had actually seen a number of years of below expected population growth, mainly due to less migration.
Best outcome is that the current flag wins, but only just. Therefore the narrative can focus on there being a general appetite for changing the flag, but not to this design.
This may mean I vote for the new flag. Even though I hate it.
Some potentially useful process information. The Independent Hearings Panel needs to report back its recommendations to the Council in June (I think). The Council then can choose to accept or reject those recommendations.
The recommendations that are accepted can only be challenged in the High Court on points of law. The recommendations that are rejected are open to Environment Court appeals.
I obviously need to be careful what I say about this given I work for the Council, but thanks for the analysis Russell – very interesting. I always enjoy reading Simon Wilson’s articles on Auckland and the Council, it’s obvious that he attends enough Council meetings and talks to enough people to make insightful comments about what’s going on.
I think one key point highlighted by a number of these issues is that local government decisions often don’t fall neatly into a left/right dichotomy. Some do (e.g. the size of the Uniform Annual General Charge) but many don’t. The Unitary Plan in particular comes to mind, but others like the City Rail Link don’t lend themselves to a left/right division.
It will be interesting going forward in the future to see whether the current type of Council stays in place or whether you see more of a shift to how the old Auckland City Council tended to operate.