Bernard Hickey reports:
Green Co-Leader and Housing Spokeswoman Metiria Turei said the Greens were also open to Labour’s package of relaxed city limits, relaxed density controls and new infrastructure financing, as long as it included integrated planning with public transport and protection of special land.
“That deals with a lot of our general concerns about just freeing up land on the rural boundary to allow for more sprawl. On the face of it, it looks like something we could consider and support because it has all of the parts of the puzzle integrated. The devil is in the detail always, but we’re certainly interested in their proposal,” Turei told me, adding she was also open to the infrastructure funding idea.
“If this is a measure to help with the affordability question, then this is a measure that should be given some serious thought. With the housing crisis as it is, every idea needs to be explored. We can’t afford to dismiss any idea outright.”
Wow, not quite a total endorsement, but a real sign that that the facts are winning through in this debate – if you don’t allow for more land, then nothing else will work.
Auckland Mayoral candidate (and favourite) and Labour MP Phil Goff stopped short of endorsing Labour’s proposal for the abolishment of the RUB, saying other measures would have to be put in place to control growth or fund the subsequent higher infrastructure costs of housing developments well beyond the fringes.
“If you abolish them you’ve got to put other measures in place,” Goff said, referring to the bulldozing of farm land he had seen near Kumeu which he did not approve of.
“You have to have controls. You have to have a situation that if somebody wants to build way out of the city, the developer and therefore the property purchaser, will pay for the internal infrastructure — the streets and the water supply — but the Auckland ratepayers pay the cost of getting infrastructure to that area and the further out you go the more expensive it is,” he said.
“And unless you’ve got a user pays system in place there you can’t have open slather.”
Goff, as usual, won’t commit to anything at all. As other candidates release detailed policies, he seems to have none.
John Palino some weeks ago explicitly advocated scrapping the RUB. Labour has now endorsed Palino’s policy. But Labour’s Mayoral candidate will not.