Taking advantage of the Auckland Unitary Plan: November 2018

You’ve heard all about how the AUP is great for property owners. Today we are going enlighten you on just how some of you can take advantage! We’re discussing subdivision around an existing minor housing unit (MHU). If you currently have a minor dwelling on your property and you’re not located in the Single House Zone, this could be for you.

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Who are we ‘planning’ for?

Over the last two years I have given an Unitary Plan presentation in almost every nook of the Auckland region. The presentation sets out the changes to that have occurred to our planning system. Ultimately, I outline what may occur on sites and suburbs. There is often a collective gasp when I tell them that some neighbourhoods may have triple the number of dwellings. The crowds are often very uneasy that five level apartment buildings may go up around town centres without required parking. Read more

Bureaucracy vs Brilliance – Is poor culture the problem

Although we’re frustrated with Council’s bureaucracy all year long, the lead up to Christmas really begins to test our patience. Thankfully, a wonderfully crafted article by Jim Bright of the Sydney Morning Herald has let us know we’re not alone in the world. He has perfectly articulated what it’s like to work through Council, but also what it means to be an innovator. Something that we aspire to be at Mt Hobson Group! Read more

10 thoughts on KiwiBuild from a potential ballot winner

We’ve gone from the quarter acre dream to the quarter house dream. And I’m not complaining. I know and accept that the quarter acre dream is a thing of the past, at least in Auckland. I’m okay with this. If I had an 80m2 shoe box with a bedroom, kitchen, lounge, bathroom, a car pad and maybe even a little front yard to eat my smashed avo on toast, I would be the happiest person in Auckland. And maybe with the help of KiwiBuild, probably one of the luckiest.

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Our Rates, My Pain

Over the last month or so you have read that Auckland Council has:

  1. Installed exspensive speed cameras and not commissioned them;
  2. Underestimated holiday pay to the tune of $20m;
  3. Charged $69,000 in building consent and water connection fees for 70m2 unit, then taken six months to issue the CCC and then;
  4. justified it all in a PR puff piece.

So really it’s just another month in the life of the long-suffering ratepayer. I have to admit job satisfaction has been low for the past few months. I am using this forum as a cathartic release. Read more

Stone throwing and glass houses don’t mix

Last week it was found that a small amount of exclusively ‘Made in New Zealand’ fashion brands had pieces of their collections that were not exclusively made in New Zealand.

According to the article WORLD were selling T-shirts that had a WORLD swing tag attached to it stating ‘Fabrique en Nouvelle Zelande’ or ‘made in New Zealand’. Read more

Indecision is worse than wrong decision

I am, of course, talking about the definitive decision to implement an Auckland fuel tax or Regional fuel tax. This will be implemented as early as July 1. With legislation currently moving through government to allow this to happen as well as an almost unanimous yes vote from Auckland councillors to pass the tax, the train is full steam ahead.

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Let’s be careful about trusting the West Auckland Liquor Trusts

Following a recent Spinoff article demanding better hospitality outcomes for West Auckland communities, the West Auckland Liquor Trusts are back in the spotlight. Since the first article the story has been discussed on TV 3’s The Project and a follow up article has been published in The Spinoff. This peaked our interest because along with resource consents we also dabble in liquor licensing.

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In Revolt: A recent Auckland Council rant in The Hobson

This Auckland Council rant article was originally published in THE HOBSON, Issue 45, January/ February 2018. THE HOBSON is a community magazine servicing Remuera, Parnell and Orakei.

I have decided once and for all, the bureaucracy that is Auckland Council is essentially incompetent and we should secede from the Super City and become the Borough of Mt Hobson. Not because the Auckland ‘regionwide’ concept is not a good one, not because we are concerned about rates, but because the Council is generally incompetent and it becomes more and more apparent as time goes by. In short, we are not getting value for money, and less so as we each pay more than twice the average rates of an Auckland region dwelling.  Read more

Auckland’s new Local Alcohol Policy

Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 Councils are able to create a local alcohol policy. Each area of New Zealand can create their own set up sub-rules that are specific to their community.  Created in consultation with their community. The purpose of the policy is to encourage the responsible sale, supply and consumption of alcohol and to reduce alcohol-related harm.

Once a local alcohol policy is in place, licencing authorities must consider it when making decisions about applications. While it’s optional to put in place, it does give local authority the power to address alcohol issues within their own communities. Something that the SASOA 2012 wouldn’t necessarily be specific enough to do. It also allows people living in these areas to have a say over how alcohol can be sold and supplied in their own neighbourhoods. For example, had Wellington had a LAP like ours this spat between a local business owner seeking a liquor licence and the Salvation Army would not be happening. Read more