Should Len practice what he preaches?

NBR (paywall) reports:

Under-fire Auckland mayor has been accused of hypocrisy for living on a spacious lifestyle block outside the urban limit while pushing for a “quality compact city” full of small high-rise apartments.

The mayor lives on a bush-covered 6970 sq m (0.688ha/1.7 acre) property at Tiffany Close on the outskirts of Manukau, just outside the current Metropolitan Urban Limit (MUL).

His house is a spacious 406sq m and he has a pool in his backyard, for which resource consent was granted in October 2002.

The property was a bare section when Mr Brown bought it with his wife Shan Inglis in 1995 for $180,000.

It now has a rateable value of $1.2 million, including land value of $495,000 and improvements of $705,000.

Critics say the mayor’s housing choice shows he is not practicing what he preaches when it comes to high-density living. 

If the Mayor was allowing Aucklanders to make their own choices about where to live, then his personal choice would be of no interest.

But the refusal to significantly shift the MUL or urban-rural limit is depriving Aucklanders of those choices. Almost all new houses will have to be within the MUL as part of his intensification plan.

Some people want to live in apartment blocks – as I do.

Some people like to be able to have a section with a back lawn that the kids can play on.

We need a plan for Auckland that will enable both choices.

That means freeing up more land. Otherwise sections will massively increase in value, as Len’s has.

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