Posted on May 27, 2016
The just released Government budget makes it clear that Auckland Council needs to do more to help itself says Mayoral candidate Mark Thomas.
Bill English announced modest plans to allow up to 2,000 new houses built in Auckland on Crown-owned land at a cost of $100 million. (ckland needs 14,000 a year built and are currently only building 9,000.)
But even the speed at which these houses get to market will relate to how quickly council processes the applications. And we are not nearly quick enough (refer to page 20, “The 20 Day Illusion” in the Rules Reduction Taskforce’s Loopy Rules Report).
“The message from the Budget is that Auckland Council shouldn’t sit around waiting for hand-outs.”
Thomas says a housing crisis does exist in Auckland for some people and Auckland Council had to accept some of the responsibility.
“The current mayor’s approach has made the housing situation in Auckland worse.”
“Rather than focusing council’s spending more narrowly on key house-building infrastructure projects, Len brown has led a scattergun approach funding arts plans, overseas envoys and Whitewater rafting parks.”
“Labour MP Phil Goff looks set to continue this approach with his proposed urban forest policy and an unfunded plan for a new stadium – when our existing stadiums are not well utilized.”
Thomas said Phil Goff regularly criticises Government spending in Auckland insisting the region isn’t getting its fair share.
“But rather than complain about things he can’t control, the next Mayor should do a better job concentrating council’s considerable resources on improving transport and allowing more affordable housing to be built by improving council processing.”
Thomas said he will do this with his rewrite of the Auckland Plan, and by making $35M in savings in his first budget by eliminating lower priority governance, cultural and economic projects.”
“If Auckland does a better job spending on our core priorities, we would make ourselves a more attractive partner for Government and others to invest in.”