City housing shortage issues hotly debated

Cr Jules Radich
Cr Jules Radich
As Dunedin braces for a predicted housing shortage, an influx of cash into the city — rather than people — could be the driving force behind the city’s housing woes.

Dunedin city councillors took advice yesterday from council city development manager Anna Johnson on the body’s response to the growth that is both buoying and vexing local markets.

Cr Jules Radich was among those who pushed for the council to speed up increasing the supply of available residential land.

‘‘It’s best to go as hard as you can to meet that demand while it’s there, because sooner or later it will drop off again,’’ Cr Radich said.

Anna Johnson
Anna Johnson
Dr Johnson yesterday updated councillors on the work done to date to address the city’s medium-term housing capacity issues.

In collaboration with infrastructure departments, particularly the three waters group, the council’s planners are due to begin ‘‘engagement with greenfield landowners’’ from next month.

The work programme, dubbed ‘‘variation 2’’, is due for public notification in August.

Cr Jim O’Malley praised Dr Johnson’s report, but said property speculation, particularly from Auckland, and the lack of a capital gains tax, was influencing the city’s immediate affordability issues.

Cr Lee Vandervis criticised the scope of Dr Johnson’s report.

He said it was already out of date and said he was ‘‘routinely bombarded’’ by people questioning the ‘‘enormous’’ increase in the cost of land locally.

He took issue with the planner’s assessment that there was sufficient housing in the city at present and that a deficiency would appear in 2028.

‘‘I believe that we have plenty of evidence that the deficiency is here, now,’’ he said.

Cr Mike Lord pursued a similar avenue.

‘‘It’s pretty evident in the prices people are paying,’’ Cr Lord said.

‘‘That’s the really sad thing. People who can’t afford new end up paying top dollar for rubbish.’’

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins reminded councillors that in the city’s second generation district plan a significant amount of additional land — 101ha of undeveloped land — was rezoned to residential.

And 132ha of land was now in a ‘‘transition’’ zone, which could become residential if the proper infrastructure was in place.

Cr Mike Lord
Cr Mike Lord

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
Cr David Benson-Pope said an attached report by strategic agency Research First overlooked the desirability of living in the city centre just as the council was being called on to investigate ways to enable that.


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Too funny. The housing expert said "there is sufficient housing in the city at present and that a deficiency would appear in 2028". Dr Johnson probably doesn't live in one of the homes she seemed "sufficient". You know, the 1930 home with no insulation, single pain glass, water dripping down the windows and about 7 degree's in mid Winter. Those "sufficient" homes are now selling for $600k. Most of the first world would condemned those homes as uninhabitable health risks but the DCC expert rates them as sufficient. Thank you very little Dr Johnson! Get a real expert and do a proper study. Everything the DCC touches gets mucked up!

"Cr Jim O’Malley praised Dr Johnson’s report, but said property speculation, particularly from Auckland, and the lack of a capital gains tax, was influencing the city’s immediate affordability issues."
Don't forget the Russians.
They are interfering in everything these days.
We pay top dollar for our DCC executives so it can't be them.
Everyone knows the more you pay them, the better the quality of their expertise.
We need them to workout precisely how many houses we need in 30 years time, how much rain will fall, how high sea levels will be, the ratio of cars to bikes that will be on the road, so that resources can be correctly divided amongst the population according to their need.
By the way. How is it going with the mud traps.
Have they all been cleaned out yet ??

Don't forget Sammies Hows that Going Hawkins

Don't forget the power pole replacement and lines upgrades (that we should have been paying for with the lines charges).

Don't forget this is the only city I've ever lived in that doesn't even include RUBBISH BINS in its rates!

But hey, we all needed ping pong tables and astroturf seating in the Octagon just in time for winter, right?

This council is a Ship of Fools.

This is the reason the DCC don't care about the shops in the city centre stand up Dunedin before it is too late

" Benson-Pope said an attached report by strategic agency Research First overlooked the desirability of living in the city centre just as the council was being called on to investigate ways to enable that."

Yes but how many councilors have financial interest in those shops on George st.

Bang on the money there !!! I'd say a fair few would have an interest, I'd consider it as insider trading, and the same should apply as to the druggies and gangs - stripped of assets Even if they are part of a Trust.

Agreed, Bensonpope. Let's focus on developing living within city centre. Make dunedin vibrant and full of people living within the city who then naturally use the shops around them.
Not this endless sprawl that developers push for, carving up pristine land in very questionable locations so they can get rich quick. So many NBR Richlisters ... Are on the list because they are developing land.

Please focus on developing inner city housing.

Is Jim O'Malley economically illiterate? A shortage of housing has nothing to do with a capital gains tax (lots of places with them have a housing shortage) or "speculation" (that's confusing cause and effect), but everything to do with restrictive zoning laws that make it difficult to build enough houses. It's no more complicated than that.

Council commissioned the Research First report…but it doesn’t even ask if people want sections smaller than 500m2…a key question in terms of thinking about increased density.

Dunedin won't stand up - this is the problem. When the going gets tough, the residents of Dunedin resort to the Status Quo; let's keep things as they are as we don't like change.

These residents don't seem to realise the potential of Dunedin - but we need to make the hard decisions now (and expensive) for the long-term future and gain.

Travel 5 min south of the City and there is thousands upon thousands of acres of land that could be opened for development. The council needs to invest in the infrastructure and then the development will come - rather than waiting for individuals to privately fund it all, while the Council spend on cycle lanes and picnic areas in CBD car park spaces.

Be bold Dunedin, the next opportunity you get to vote, vote for real change for development, job creation, Business development and Growth.

I'd love to see residents of Dunedin like the French farmers and the Firemen and women that protest overseas. Until then the Bullies on council will feather their own nest at the expense of Dunedin's people.

"long-term future and gain", gain for whom?, those on this council it seems, out to feather their own nests.

Don't you love these armchairs 'Add a comment' types who are so destructive? How about some ideas to solve the problem.

How about accountability and justification of these so called leaders making the changes. the majority are treating Dunedin as again lego set. Where is the Accountability when the town is totally stuffed and there 'Leaders' go oh well that was fun and walk away leaving a mess. How about get the foundations sorted first and then move forward on the nice to haves. the following comes to mind, Power poles, 120.000 3D Crossings, Purchase of Sammies, Mud tanks, Spares for stand by power generators, Roading Drains, contracts, stolen cars, Lack of Car park, Lack of a suitable transport system prior to removing car parks, adding flexible road stakes to roads to reduce the flow of traffic. Closure of the Main Street, Octagon, Building a hospital in the same place as the old one, Move the location, build and move people into the new one. Hospital near the main fire station and Police station, doesn't make sense. you did ask

Please focus on intensifying housing and apartment living in the city centre. Vibrant cities have apartment living and people living within the city, walking to using the cafes and businesses. The most desirable cities in the world try to stay away from the urban sprawl trap. They focus on apartments and houses in the city where people can walk and cycle everywhere they need to go. That creates the vibrance tourists flick to see in Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Tokyo
Spreading endlessly outwards on to Greenfield sites:
1. Empties the city
2. Causes congestion on the roads
3. Ruins the pockets of nature our suburbs have, where kids play and people get to brush with nature.
4. Deletes/smothers land we will soon need for local agriculture and horticulture. Food security. The world may soon become far less interconnected.
5. Deletes our opportunity for urban forests. WHO and other international organisations now state that one of the main weapons/protectors against climate change is creating small forests in as many pockets as possible within city limits all over the world. Those forests create LOCAL improvements to climate change effects. They directly benefit the city they're in.

Endless, wanton Greenfield sites are smothering land that has history and spirit. Maori and many cultures believe the land is spiritual. Yet we just spread with disregard, thinking we all have the "right" to inefficient 200m/300m homes on 700m + land that we cover in concrete. And often only one or two people live in these sprawling houses smothering some of our most valuable horticultural land, that is rich in history and spirit - and is often even on burial sites.

Plus developers choose prime spots with amazing views. That's great -- for the few people who buy the land with the premium views. For the rest of the population, now and in to the future, the view and nature is destroyed by the houses on the landscape of the few who build to "see the prime sea view" etc. A few gain the gorgeous view in their expensive new houses on pristine natural spots. The rest of the population loses the gorgeous view and nature because of the houses on it. Private gain. Public loss.

COUNCIL pls ensure new houses in pristine spots blend in to the landscape.

Let's intensify and develop the city smartly, so natural pockets of land are able to survive for the public today and in the future.

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