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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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

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

Interviewing the greats: Russell Bartlett QC

Russell Bartlett QC is the second candidate in our “Interviewing the Greats” series. Russell specialises in Resource Management Law, representing clients in Council hearings and through the Judicial and Court system. He is very successful and rarely, if ever, loses a case.

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Cross-lease to Fee Simple: Take advantage of the Auckland Unitary Plan

Until very recently, there hasn’t been any serious reward for converting your cross-lease title to a fee simple title. Sure, your property would have sold for more or you wouldn’t have to deal with your fellow land owner. But for the most part, it probably seemed easier to just leave it alone. We’re here to tell you that it may no longer be the best option to just leave it as a cross-lease! I know we keep banging on about it, but under the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) the potential for development has significantly increase all over Auckland.

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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.

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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.

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That sinking feeling

Ground water investigations and ground water diversion reports have become the new normal for our clients when building basements which are deep enough to be in this sphere.  The level of detail and cost has left us wondering if it was a big scam.   And then we read about a 7 year old residential tower in San Francisco that is sinking and we realise it’s a big issue.

For the residents of Millennium Tower in San Francisco there is a real sinking feeling. Since the completion of construction in 2009 the luxury real estate tower has sunk into the ground 40-cms, and begun tilting to the Northwest by 20-cms. And that isn’t even the main problem. The real kicker is that Millennium Tower is also in the middle of an earthquake zone. Read more