Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Cat free? Never!

Opinion from Bob Kerridge
Cats have been persecuted for Centuries by Popes (the work of the devil), Royalty (burned in sacks as a crowning sacrifice), and by the occasional zealots (think London and the great plague). This possibly explains the reason cats find it difficult to totally trust humans … and who can blame them ? Read more »

Affordable and sustainable – the success of the $220,000 Waitakere house

by Holly Walker MP
There are some really exciting concepts and opportunities for medium-density housing development in New Zealand if we can get political buy-in from national and local governments, and work with developers and designers to start thinking creatively about our housing needs. Read more »

Why destroy a community garden?

Opinion by Tony Allen
“Destroy that community garden! It’s an affront to our dignity!.” One could surmise that these were the words from Housing New Zealand to Andrews Housemovers Limited, whose worker ripped down the fence at 16 Taniwha Street, Glenn Innes, on Tuesday morning in preparation for destroying a community garden planted by State tenants who last July had unsuccessfully opposed the removal, under police guard, of another State house from this same property by the same company in this poor working class district of Auckland. Read more »

Taking the lid off Auckland: building up instead of building out

Opinion by Conor English of Federated Farmers
New Zealand is a big country – at 268,000 square kms we are bigger than the United Kingdom, we are 67% the size of Germany, 72% the size of Japan. Our coastline is longer than both mainland USA and mainland China. Our economic zone is more than half the size of Australia. But these countries have far greater populations than we do. Demographics drives a lot in any country, any economy. Read more »

“Pathetic” that payment via texting isn’t available for Northern Gateway toll road

Opinion from Cameron Brewer
The NZ Transport Agency should hurry up with its investigations and deliver drivers better payment options when using the Northern Gateway Toll Road, which should preferably include the ability to pay via text. Read more »

Auckland Council staff numbers up a whopping 12%

Opinion by Councillor Cameron Brewer
I was surprised to read in the council’s latest Annual Report that at 30 June Auckland Council’s total staff (FTEs) number was estimated at 8,040, up from 7,200 in the previous financial year. Read more »

City Rail Link should be fast tracked: employers and manufacturers

Opinion from Kim Campbell, chief executive of the Employers And Manufacturers Association
The argy bargy between Auckland and Wellington over who should decide whether Auckland should complete Auckland’s inner city rail link, or when, is classic comedy, and besides it largely misses the point. Read more »

An unprecedented merger: emerging challenges for Auckland’s single council

by the Auditor General Lyn Provost
The amalgamation of Auckland’s local authorities and regional council into a single Auckland Council (the Council) is one of the most significant public sector reforms of recent years. The scale of the change and transition to the new Council was huge. To bring together eight councils to create a new organisation with $32 billion of assets and a $3 billion annual budget, and bring together 8000 staff from councils and council-controlled organisations is unprecedented in New Zealand’s public sector history. Read more »

Locked out of home ownership – the housing affordability debate

Opinion from NZ Centre For Political Research
Housing affordability is shaping up as a defining political issue – probably an election issue in 2014. The problem is that housing costs in Auckland in particular are rising so rapidly that many low income families are being locked out of home ownership. While the reasons are complex, a major burden of the responsibility must lie with central government. Read more »

Special Chinese visas – the reasons don’t stack up, says Winston Peters

Opinion from Winston Peters
The Government must explain why it has given China Southern Airlines frequent flyer club members an exclusive Sky City gambler visa deal even though the airline holds less than 15 per cent of the market. Read more »

Justice for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Manuhiri

Statement from NZ Government
Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples paid tribute to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Manuhiri descendants today as their respective Treaty of Waitangi settlements became law. Dr. Sharples said “today marks a significant day for these two iwi who have walked a long road to have their grievances settled by the Crown.” Read more »

One step closer to a tree on One Tree Hill

by Peseta Sam Lotu-liga MP
Parliament has today passed a bill that will resolve the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement of Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei in the Tāmaki-Makaurau (Auckland) area. Read more »

Why Housing NZ should stop removing Glen Innes state houses

Opinion by Sue Henry of the Housing Lobby
The latest Housing New Zealand (HNZ) Statement of Corporate Intent 2012 – 2015, quite rightly sets out the statutory obligations which HNZ is required to follow by law. Read more »

Northland oil and gas mining offer will test iwi consultation process

BusinessDesk by Pattrick Smellie
The government is offering up a huge swathe of offshore Northland acreage for oil and gas exploration in a move that is sure to test a new iwi consultation protocol intended to minimise Maori protests against oil exploration, such as occurred off East Cape early last year. Read more »

The cost of the city rail link

by Councillor Cameron Brewer
I hope you’ve had your say on the draft Regional Public Transport Plan. Submissions close at 4pm today. Read more »

A softly, softly approach to CCOs

Opinion by Councillor Cameron Brewer
In the first round of the Auckland Council’s draft 2013/14 budget passed at today’s Strategy & Finance Committee, it was disappointing only $10.4m was cut from the CCOs collective draft operational budgets. Nothing was cut from the Mayoral Office budget, nor were any of his massive debt-funded pet projects put up to be trimmed. Read more »

The last thing Auckland needs is to get any bigger

by Maximus
The Productivity Commission’s call for more greenfield land to bring house prices down seems to me to be just the completely wrong answer, especially in Auckland, which grows upon our country like a nasty cancer. Read more »

Rates increase will be between 5%-10% for 169,000 Aucklanders

Opinion by David Thornton of No More Rates
Ratepayers in Auckland supercity can look forward to a lower rates increase next year, but that will be little comfort to the 169,061 ratepayers who are facing increases of between 5% and 10% – that is 37% of all ratepayers. Read more »

No more roadside lawn mowing – another service reduction for old Auckland City

Opinion by Orakei Councillor Cameron Brewer
Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s draft budget for 2013/14 released today will cut out a long-held lawn mowing service for residents living in the old Auckland City area who are the same ratepayers stung the hardest with ongoing rates increases. Read more »

$1billion of council’s new debt on “bits and bobs” in 12 months

Opinion by Councillor Cameron Brewer
My request to have the extra billion dollars of debt accumulated in the last financial year explained and accounted for has shown nearly $3m a day going towards “bits and bobs” and not on big intergenerational transformational projects that will lift Auckland’s prospects as Mayor Len Brown has promised ratepayers. Read more »

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