Interviewing the greats: Clinton Bird – Urban Designer

We’re pleased to present the first in a series of “Interviewing the Greats”.  The first candidate is Clinton Bird, a long time Parnell resident and an expert in all things urban design.  I have known Clinton for over 12 years and have tremendous respect for his knowledge and diligence.  His attention to detail means he is in my mind one of New Zealand’s leading urban designers with his input adding value to projects both from a financial and more importantly an aesthetic point of view.  I often joke that if I had been in his classes at University he would have failed me for my lack of the qualities he possesses and would expect from his students.

Hamish Firth and Clinton Bird

Read more

Council staff enjoy rugby too!

Journalism is considered the fourth estate of society. Historically being placed alongside ‘the king, the clergy, and the commoners’. It’s role has been that of a watch dog of those other estates which have significant influence over society –  resulting in itself also gaining significant influence. In more recent times, the increase in dialogue around fake news and click bait, the actual weight given to the media has weakened somewhat. If Trump we’re to be believed, all press would be known as liars and spin-doctors.


Donald Trump calls the press fake news

Read more

Gaining resource consent on Waiheke Island: A starting point

Now that the Auckland Unitary Plan is all but completely implemented, the urban planning consistency across Auckland is 10/10. We have gone from a range of rules across each ward to an overarching system governing what can and cannot be done with our precious land. From checking multiple plans for a singular site to only one. And it’s a great plan at that! However, there are still some anomalies. Waiheke Island, the jewel in the crown that is the Hauraki Gulf, is one of them.

The beautiful Waiheke Island looking back towards the city.

Read more

Have you noticed the housing downturn?


For any one following the news, trying to sell a property or even looking at buying a property you may have noticed that things are beginning to sloooow down. The New Zealand Herald enjoys using headlines including the word ‘dramatically’, but we’re not so sure about that. We obviously know that New Zealand has recently gone through a major housing peak. With the average home in Auckland and Queenstown hitting the one million dollar mark, our national housing peak is no secret. When things start coming down from the million dollar mark the lack of buyers is always going to be noticeable. But is it the most predictable housing downturn in the last 40 years?

Read more

Lets get more efficient at building homes!

Model T

We are just three months away from electing a new government. That’s right; the New Zealand political mudslinging season is truly underway. Housing, whether it be homeless people sleeping in cars, the local marae or the general affordability issue, it’s fair to say that the big kahuna of the election will be housing (as the rest of the economy is ticking along). While policy announcements and tax cuts make for column inches in newspaper, it doesn’t get us any closer to a more balanced housing market.  I am talking about a housing market that allows first home buyers to afford a nice place of their own and to go out for the occasional “avo on toast”, as well as all the mum and dad investors not having to worry about the value of their multiple dwellings bottoming out. An unrealistic utopia? Perhaps. I believe that if our industry was more efficient, the production of homes could increase significantly.

Read more

Progress Update: The Civic Administration Building

Image: courtesy Buildmedia and Jasmax

Image: courtesy Buildmedia and Jasmax

Since Love and Co won the tender for the iconic former Greys Avenue, Auckland Council Civic Administration Building in September last year we have been working hard to secure the necessary resource consent approvals.  As of last week we are very pleased to say that we have now gotten stage one approved! Read more

Auckland Traffic: Time to just suck it up?


The annual Auckland March Madness on our roads has come and gone. Did you notice it or has Auckland traffic been insane since the New Year? Well regardless of the time of year things are looking set to be a lot worse traffic wise. Sure we have more residential capacity (or are at least trying to have more capacity), but that means more people on our already chocka roads. Read more


There is no ‘town planning’ anymore

For some unknown reason I have been hosting and presenting to monthly delegations of Chinese “officials” who manage and run cities of between 2-6 million people from all over China.  I get the sense we were found by a google search.  Anyway we now have a snappy presentation and everyone seems happy.

Read more

Knowing where your private infrastructure ends and the public’s begin

A Wellington resident has recently had to foot a $9476 bill for repairs to a lateral private sewer pipe near his property boundary. That’s right, near his property. Wellington City Council policy is that if your lateral sewer pipe is damaged, no matter how far out of your property; no matter which road it is under and who’s trees are growing down into it, you have to pay for the repairs. Warwick Eves, the resident forking out for what would seem to be Council managed infrastructure, is in shock.

Read more


There will be no housing crisis in five years

There has been a fresh round of media housing crisis scaremongering in last few weeks. It would appear that Radio New Zealand, Stuff, News Hub, the Green and Labour Party are all under the impression that because first home buyers in Auckland are currently borrowing record amounts that the housing crisis in unsolvable. The reserve bank has released data that shows the average first-home buyer is borrowing a record $390,000 to help move them into their first house. This is a 43% increase from two years ago.

Read more