Category Archives: Uncategorized

Addressing Auckland's Acute Housing Crisis

With 800 additional arrivals coming into Auckland every week we are certainly facing a housing crisis…

http://transportblog.co.nz/2016/02/10/aucklands-migration-boom/

That’s 40,000 additional people choosing to live in Auckland 

- 10,000 new homes needed

- 12,000 additional cars coming onto our roads

- 3 or 4 new schools will be needed

- additional hospital capacity needed

- etc….
We are currently building around 9,000 new dwellings per year and with an estimated shortage of 20,0000 homes, we are going to be playing `catch up’ for a number of years.

The most sensible solution is to intensify … build up as well as out (not everyone wants to live in the outer suburbs) 

However we have a well-organized group of NIMBY’s who have a fear of intensification who recently high-jacked a council meeting and forced some of our (weak-kneed) Councillors to vote against the Unitary Plan that provides for greater intensification.

Here is what Dr Sudhvir Singh of Generation Zero says about the subject:

`Auckland urgently needs more housing choices if we are to address our acute housing affordability crisis and provide the kind of living spaces that our diverse and ageing population needs. That’s why the Unitary Plan, a Government requirement which provides the framework for where future development can take place, is so important.

Groups that have always been opposed to a quality compact city, such as Auckland 2040, are once again trying to water down the Unitary Plan through opposition to a few small amendments to the plan’s proposed zoning laws.

These groups, representing a small but well organised number of existing homeowners from certain suburbs, have now chosen to poke holes in the process of agreeing on the plan. But this is just the latest argument they use to disguise the fact that they just don’t want our city to develop at all – a recklessly irresponsible position when we are faced with both a housing affordability crisis and the exciting economic and social stimulus of close to one million new Aucklanders arriving in the next 30 years.’

Click here to read the rest of the article 

Auckland Campgrounds

Auckland campgrounds in 26 regional parks provide Aucklanders with an abundance of summer holiday riches on their doorstep.
None are more affordable than camping at one of the 44 council campgrounds available at the city’s 26 regional parks.

And this summer’s El Nino conditions promise less rain and less heat than average, perfect conditions for camping.

 

However, one councillor warns locals to book early because there will be no ‘pay-on-the-day’ system this year.

 

Councillor Christine Fletcher, Chair of the council’s Parks and Recreational Services Committee, urges Auckland residents and visitors alike to enjoy the outdoors this summer, no matter what their budget is.

 

“You don’t need to travel away to enjoy perfect scenery, pristine beaches and a wide range of free and almost-free leisure activities,” she says. “There’s no better place in the world than Auckland in summer, but you must book to secure your spot.

 

“Our 26 regional parks boast 128 kilometres of coastline, 500 kilometres of walking tracks for all ages and abilities, 44 campgrounds and 21 bach escapes. All are within easy reach of the city and camping prices start at $4 for children and $8 for adults,” says Cr Fletcher.

 

Click here to make a booking (if you are not too late already).

How Liveable is Auckland City?

How liveable is Auckland city?

 

The Economist Intelligence Unit has just given its annual assessment of the world’s most liveable cities in 2014.

 

Using criteria ranging from stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure, it assesses which locations around the world have the most and least enviable living conditions. 

 

According to a number of surveys, Auckland ranks highly on a number of counts ….

 

• 10th: In The Economist Intelligence Unit’s list of the most liveable cities (after Melbourne, Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Adelaide, Sydney, Helsinki and Perth). N.B. It is interesting to note that Australasian cities take FIVE of the top 10 spots. Ed.

 

• 3rd: In the 2014 Mercer Quality of Life survey of liveable cities.

 

• 10th: In Lonely Planet‘s 2014 destination cities.

 

• 36th: In a 2014 survey by ECA International looking at the most expensive cities for expatriates in the Asia Pacific region.

 

 CLICK HERE to view the rest of the results  

 

 All we need to do now is to sort out our traffic congestion issues….!!

 

That would help us to get to number ONE to knock Melbourne of its perch (note that Melbourne has a World-class transport system).

 

New Property Valuations ... What Does this Mean for Our Rates?

With Auckland’s new property valuations showing a 33 % increase in the last 3 years, what does this mean for rates?

 

As we all now know, East Auckland’s property valuations are also up around 30 % and so  the question on many ratepayers’ minds is; “Will there will be a corresponding increase in our rates?”

 

 

With our rates bills now in the region of $3,000 per year and more, and especially for those on a fixed income, this is a relevant question.

 

Auckland Council’s acting chief financial officer, Kevin Ramsay, said: “The revaluation of Auckland property values is a robust process to determine a valuation – but no one can tell you what the impact’s going going to be on the rates.”

 

CLICK HERE to read the full report from Council

 

Alistair Helm of property consultancy Properazzi said it was important to note that a 30 per cent increase in valuation did not mean a 30 per cent jump in rates – the Council decides how much money it needs from ratepayers to keep the city running and service debt, then it uses the valuations to distribute the pain.

 

CLICK HERE to read more …

 

The Council’s current rates income is a whopping $1.5 Billion, however this does not mean that the Council does’nt need additional money to fund its operations.

 

CLICK HERE to see what Auckland Council’s rates income is according to its Long Term Plan (LTP). 

 

The `Elephant in the Room’ is the ADDITIONAL $10 Billion needed to fund the first stage of upgrading Auckland’s transport infrastructure.

 

CLICK HERE to read some other articles written by My Howick on the subject of providing funding solutions to Auckland’s transport problems. 

 

Feel free to have your say in the comments section below ….

How the Smart Phone Will Change Our World? (as we know it!)

How will the Smart Phone change our World (as we know it)? 

 

Well, the reality is; ” Ït’s already started.” Have you noticed how many people waiting at the bus stop, riding the bus, eating at a cafe, walking along the street towards you are looking downwards at a hand-held device … a smart phone … and this new habit is revolutionizing the way that we Kiwis live.

 

You see, a smart phone is different from a dumb phone in that it has access to the Internet. And once you have Internet access, you have video, audio, radio, apps, and a host of things to extend your reach.

 

This is important, because at a global level, over the next five years, we’ll have an additional five billion people from Africa, China, Indonesia and India, using the Internet via their smart phone – all in regions that have little or no infrastructure in the present.

 

In other words, thanks to a rapidly deployed wireless network and smart phones, economies in those areas will grow quickly because billions of people will have access to radio, television, communication, Internet, texting, GPS, and more – all for the first time.

 

Think of it this way, five billion new consumers will be entering the lower middle class, all with a mobile computer and growing purchasing power. That’s a game-changer!

 

As a nation, are we ready for that? As a business-owner, are you ready for that? We believe that most business people don’t realize the disruptive opportunity this represents.

 

Soon, any business – including yours – will be able to sell to everybody, anywhere. That’s huge…and it’s coming fast. It’s predictable and it’s completely visible. The question is, do you as a business-owner see it?

 

Do our politician see it? I believe that John Key does. Because he as Prime Minister has an aspiration for this country to double the value of its exports by 2025.

 

We at My Community Websites believe that in light of the above, that’s do-able, because all of these 5 Billion rising middle class people will be requiring something that we as a nation are good at producing – protein. Not in raw material form (read `milk powder’) but in specialist high-value products that are not able to be found elsewhere.

 

What about timber products (NOT raw logs). These people are going to need houses … like what we live in… and furniture, made of timber (NOT raw logs). With a `wall of wood’ ready to come on-stream, can we turn some of it into finished timber products? 

 

These new lower middle class people will also be needing some of the other specialized manufactured goods and innovative IT products that we Kiwis are good at producing. They will be sought-after, as long as we are able to create niche products that others are unable to copy.   

 

Are we as a nation ready for these changes, willing to capitalize on them? Because if we are, the pay off will be HUGE!

 

And all because of a humble smart phone!

Free Sports Programme @Howick Recreation Centre

FREE SPORTS PROGRAMME FOR REST OF TERM 8 – 10 YRS

Howick Leisure Centre would like to offer spaces to 18 children ages 8 – 10 years in their Multisports Class on Thursdays 4.45pm – 5.45pm for the rest of the term for free.

 

Auckland Council want to get ‘more people, more active, more often’ so if anyone has a child that would like to try this programme until the rest of the term (6 classes), please get in touch! Multisports focusses on learning a new sport every week to give children the opportunity to try lots of sports.

 

 As we only have 18 spots, please only contact me if the child is keen and can attend for the duration of the programme.

 

Email Amy at amy.yeoman@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz  re your child’s name to register for this free sports programme, starting this week.

 

Amy Yeoman, Team Leader at the Howick Leisure Centre (563 Pakuranga Road) 5345153

Whitford Bird Garden

The Whitford Bird Garden is not the usual experience. Firstly, every visitor is personally escorted around the venue so that the interesting plants, birds, reptiles and fish can be pointed out. The usual time spent is 1 1/2 hours. There is also a 6 minute DVD of unique interest.

 

 

The Whitford Bird Garden is becoming a popular destination for  both local and international visitors. It contains a variety of rare birds that are very colourful as well as interesting plants, reptiles and fish. 

 

This is an ideal attraction for school parties, coach tours and retirement village outings.

 

 

Group bookings are very welcome. Tea, coffee and juices are avaliabe for $4 per head.

 

There is plenty of parking is available for buses and cars alike.

 

CLICK HERE to view their website  

East Auckland Walkways

Here are some great East Auckland walkways to do over the Summer.

 

1. The Cascade Walkway

Fitness level: It is suitable for most levels of fitness, including MOUNTAIN BIKING. Parts of the path are concrete or gravel but there are parts that are not paved so you need good shoes in winter.

What to expect: 

If you like bird watching, jogging, walking or exploring, this walkway has plenty to offer. Along its 6km stretch you can enjoy the sweet scent of pine trees, rest beside a gentle STREAM, step back in time at the Howick Historical Village or catch a game of sport at Lloyd Elsmore Park, Millhouse and Meadowlands Reserves.

Dogs are welcome along the walkway provided they are kept under control and do not disturb wildlife or other park users. Dogs are not permitted on sport fields or near children’s playgrounds.

Route: The walkway runs from Meadowland Drive to Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga. ENTRY to the walkway is via numerous points including 51 Gosford Drive, 14 Kookabura Place, 127 Millhouse Drive, 47 Kurnell Drive, 74 Whitford Road, 155 Botany Road, 23 Bernie Edwards Place, 42 Headcorn Place, 16 Jay Court and 230 Cascades Road.
2. The Beachlands-Maraetai Walkway

Fitness level: The walkway is wheelchair ACCESSIBLE and suitable for prams but there are some unsealed sections in some parts.

Duration: This WALK takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

What to expect

This is a coastal walkway and cycle path that winds along Auckland’s south-eastern coast. It connects the settlements of Beachlands and Maraetai and OFFERSviews of the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island and the Coromandel Peninsula. This 6km walkway has significant Māori and European history and an array of interesting coastal flora and fauna.

Dogs are allowed either on lead or off leash under control along most of the walkway. Dogs are prohibited from Omana Regional Park, except for around the perimeter walk. Dogs are welcome along the walkway provided they are kept under control and do not disturb wildlife or other park users. Dogs are not permitted on sport fields or near children’s playgrounds.

Route: The walk can be started at either end of the walkway, at Maraetai Park (off Maraetai Drive) or from the end of Second View Ave in Beachlands. Please park at Shelley Bay Toilet Reserve 142-4 Second View Avenue.

Alternatively the walk can be ACCESSED from Omana Esplanade Reserve, Omana Regional Park and Te Puru Park. You can park at Maraetai Park, Te Pene Reserve, Omana Esplanade Reserve, Omana Regional Park, Te Puru Park, Spinnaker Bay (Beachlands end).

 

3. The Pakuranga Rotary Walkway

Fitness level: The 5km walkway is paved and relatively flat, making it suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and a RANGE of fitness levels.

Duration: This walk takes two hours 45 minutes.

What to expect:

This walkway runs around the edge of the water of the Tamaki Estuary and Whakaaranga Creek. You can enjoy, walking, cycling or jogging it. Points of interest include extensive views up and down the Tamaki River, layers of ask, peat and ignimbrite, wetland areas, and features of historical and cultural significance.

Bicycles are permitted but need to share the walkway with pedestrians. If you are riding a bike please give way to people walking and watch out around BLIND corners.

Dogs are welcome along the walkway provided they are kept under control and do not disturb wildlife or other park users. Dogs are not permitted on sport fields or near children’s playgrounds.

Route

You can access from Pigeon Mountain all the way to Pakuranga Road. ENTRY points include Pigeon Mountain, Prince Regent Drive, Estelle Rapallo, Bramley Drive, Fisher Parade and Rotary Reserve at Pakuranga Road.

 

Any of these East Auckland walkways are a great way of getting out and about and for improving your fitness.