“Population growth needs to pause” in Auckland: Harcourts boss

by NZ Adviser19 May 2017
The Government announced earlier this week that it plans to build 34,000 new houses on Crown land in Auckland over the next 10 years. 

Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy says it is good news and will help some of those having difficulty getting on the property ladder. 

“However, if immigration remains at current levels – it is estimated 60,000 new residents made Auckland their home last year – the initiative will not solve the problem of demand far outstripping supply, and prices will remain high.”

He warns that Auckland will need to population growth to pause to give infrastructure a chance to catch up.

“Earlier this year I was asked to contribute my views to Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s taskforce established to address the housing crisis.

“My view then, as it is now, is that Auckland’s population growth needs to pause until infrastructure catches up with our city’s needs.”

He said although immigration is a key component to a thriving city, the number one priority needs to be in building the infrastructure needed to support the growth. 

“Unless you do your commuting in the early hours of the morning, you are likely to find yourself stuck in traffic on a regular basis. The motorways are now even clogged on the weekends.

“And public transport is not an option for many Aucklanders. Buses are slow and the trains are unreliable and don’t service much of the city.

“A huge amount of work is required. It’s going to cost billions and take years,” he said but stressed the alternative would be a congested, sprawling city with pockets of hastily constructed and low quality houses.
 

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