Thursday, February 25, 2016

Auckland's decisions are for Auckland

The big news today is Auckland's planning debacle, which saw the Auckland Council suddenly withdraw support for urban intensification (and an increase in housing supply) when faced with intense pressure from ageing boomers wanting to protect their lifestyle by maintaining a (highly profitable, for them) artificial housing shortage. Normally, this wouldn't concern me - I don't live in Auckland, and I'm not enthused by urban planning. But what does concern me is the suggestion that the government could or should respond by dissolving the Auckland Council and appointing a Canterbury-style dictatorship.

To point out the obvious, that would be undemocratic. What Auckland looks like is properly a decision for Aucklanders and their elected council, and no-one else. If Wellington doesn't like those decisions, they just have to suck it up - because the decisions are not Wellington's to have an opinion on, let alone to make. As for Aucklanders, if (like many) you are appalled by this decision, then there's an election in October. Your vote is a weapon; use it.