Tag Archives: Sprawl

Delta #EpicFail : L is for (Slow) Luggate Learner and T is for Turnip.

turnip [pinterest.com]Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Wed, 4 May 2016 at 12:55 a.m.

Readers, I must admit defeat. I have I think, even if I say so myself, achieved some quite good lines in my quest to succinctly describe the various acts of stupidity committed by Delta at the Noble Subdivision. But recently, an associate (probably keen to cut me down to size !) sent a piece from Fairfax by Tim Hunter, now at the National Business Review, following the Auditor-General’s report in 2014. I saw immediately I had been bested by a better scribe : He memorably described the Delta management as having “commercial acuity about as sharp as a turnip” . That I could reach such cutting brevity !! Mysteriously, no threat of defamation was forthcoming to Mr Hunter….

And as the coast is clear, to honour Mr Hunter, Delta management shall henceforth be referred to as the Delta Turnips….

Your correspondent was intrigued to read of the Lazarus like re-emergence of Luggate Park as a premium lifestyle subdivision destination of choice with prices for sections between $325,000 – $495,000. (Note, no offers are entertained – these are fixed prices say developers Willowridge !) If this goes according to plan, there appears to be a profit even larger than the reported Delta loss of $5.9M* for the enterprising Mr Allan Dippie, the latest owner of the ex Delta land.

Now, your correspondent understands that Mr Dippie may not have as many university degrees as the Delta directors, or possibly not one at all. Mr Dippie does not breathe the same rarefied directorial air as the likes of Mr Stuart McLauchlan, Mr Denham Shale and other ….directors. However Mr Dippie does know his Central Otago subdivision market very well, and further knows that land development sometimes has to be viewed long term, the way a Japanese banker views the deadbeat property loans they made in Tokyo in the 1980s that are still underwater. That is, if you still own the asset you haven’t lost anything, and time will do its work and lift values. The critical thing is to have the courage of your initial convictions, and stay the course. Yes, yes, I know, the Japanese banks are still waiting, but no waiting is required, it seems, in Luggate.

Readers, take a good long draught of Choysa : Delta had TWO choices in 2012 : Sell the land for basically nothing ($1M vs a total Delta investment of around $7M), or…wait until the market improves. Of course, Delta chose to destroy ratepayers’ funds value in a desperate attempt to show ratepayers they had “moved on” and it was all a bad dream –

If Delta had an ounce of the foresight of someone like Mr Dippie, who has been both very successful, and also very patient at times, they would have held the land. A few facts about the land – the 42 entry level sections to be sold in the next stage will be worth around $6M, added to the $9.17M of the 22 premium sections, gives a total of $16.2M. There possibly could be further sections that would increase the value, but the glass is dark on this detail.

After allowing for subdivision infrastructure and selling costs, the land that Delta sold for $1M three years ago would now realise them $9-10M. Yes readers, Delta could have made a genuine, non Aurora subsidised profit and got the civil work they wanted, at good prices. They could have even paid Mr Boult’s bank debt off, paid off the $1.935M bank loan, some interest to DCC treasury and the entire $5.5M advance and still have a bit left over.

What possessed them to act like lemmings jumping off a financial cliff ? Two words … Denham Shale. Mr Shale was the alleged heavy hitter brought in to clean up the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) and Delta mess after the Larsen report in 2011, along with Mr Bill Baylis and others. He knew even less about property development than the likes of Mr Ray Polson. L for Learner developers indeed. As Mr Hunter exclaimed, turnip acuity was all around. Mr Shale was of the school that says when you have a mess, a clean out, not a clean up is needed…. A clean up keeps the items that have a chance of retaining value. Mr Shale told Mr Polson to write down the value of Luggate and get shot of it in April 2012. Mr Polson, being the invertebrate mild mannered accountant he is, then parroted that line to the Delta board a month later. The rest is well known. A bath. This is all in the Auditor-General’s report, in Section 6, for readers that doubt your correspondent.

Mr Denham Shale’s legacy to the City of Dunedin is a $8-9M loss due to turnip advice (aka profoundly stupid advice) to sell land for a fraction of its cost and value. Any developer or person involved in land in Central Otago for any length of time has seen huge fluctuations in value, generally in a 7-year cycle… Your correspondent is one such person, who lays no claim to visions of the future, but who has had to hang tough for extended periods in Central Otago on various deals.

All Delta had to do was talk nicely to DCC Treasury, to explain the $5.5M advance they gave Delta was a couple more years away – they had already waited for five years, who’s counting anyway ? Make an offer to Mr Boult of his 50% share of slightly more than the $1M they received (he had already asked Delta to buy him out having seen the Delta trough was empty), and start paying interest on the $1.935M bank loan. Not difficult. But required some vertebrates.

Mr McLauchlan, Mr Shale, Mr Cameron and the other directors, yes, they all displayed “commercial acuity about as sharp as a turnip”. –How I love that phrase ! This band of Delta Directors could not grasp what to Mr Dippie is as natural as breathing – that they stopped making land a long time ago, around the time of the flood and Noah’s Ark. That people want to live in Central Otago, so therefore the land price will rise, maybe not when you think, but given time rise it will. This, Mr Shale, Mr McLauchlan, and (2014 Young Director of the year) Mr Cameron is called, SUPPLY & DEMAND. Your elementary lack of foresight and myopia has cost the City of Dunedin millions. L is for Learner, T is for Turnip. Which one applies, readers ?

[ends]

Election Year : This post is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Related Post and Comments:
30.4.16 Luggate à la Dunedin’s lad, Dippie

Auditor-General’s overview
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point. Access the Auditor-general’s full report here:
http://www.oag.govt.nz/2014/delta

*The ‘Auditor-General’s overview’ states (page 5):
“Delta lost about $5.9 million on the Luggate investment and has projected a loss of about $2.8 million for Jacks Point. These losses are before tax, and Delta expects that they might yet be off set by tax credits of about $1.5 million for Luggate and about $0.8 million for Jacks Point. If so, the overall loss would be about $6.4 million.”

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *auditor-general* or *noble* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Image: pinterest.com – turnip

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Luggate à la Dunedin’s lad, Dippie

L-plate [roadcodepractice.co.nz] 1

The jovial CD was driving towards Dunedin this morning…. gave me a wake-up call to foreshadow a new post pending for that old spectre : “L” for Luggate, or learner plates for Delta Directors and Mr Cameron.

Yessss. While the Noble subdivision at Yaldhurst heads for the rocks, it appears DCC Ratepayers have been doubly triply shafted at Luggate. Anyway, won’t steal CD’s thunder. He is in the offing!

Sat, 30 Apr 2016
ODT: Former Delta sections in Luggate hot property
Part of the big Luggate Park subdivision that lost Dunedin City Council-owned infrastructure company Delta $5.9million before tax in 2012 is being advertised for sale. The 22 sections in “Luggate Heights”, near Wanaka, range in price from $325,000 to $495,000, providing the owner, Willowridge Developments Ltd, with a potential gross return of $9,170,000. Similarly-sized sections at lower altitudes nearby were selling for as little as $128,000 five or six years ago.

Willowridge, owned by Allan Dippie, bought the 50ha, 160-section Luggate Park development last year from Auckland development company Dentils Ltd, which was unsuccessful in attempts to sell the sections. Dentils had bought the development from Delta and Queenstown property developer Jim Boult.

█ Willowridge Developments Ltd http://www.willowridge.co.nz/
█ LUGGATE PARK http://luggatepark.co.nz/

Luggate Park - Willowridge

Auditor-General’s overview
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point. Access the Auditor-general’s full report here:
http://www.oag.govt.nz/2014/delta

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *luggate*, *jacks point* and *auditor-general* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: roadcodepractice.co.nz – ‘L-plate’

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Housing affordability in this country is “just hopeless” –Hugh Pavletich

Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown announcing special housing Sept 2014 [radionz.co.nz]

September 2014. Another 17 Special Housing Areas were revealed in Auckland, under the plan to accelerate new home building – only two of them outside the suburbs. Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown announcing the special housing. Link Photo: Radio New Zealand

### NZ Herald Online 9:15 AM Monday Jan 19, 2015
Property: Mad truths on home prices in Auckland
Auckland housing affordability has worsened and it remains one of the 10 least affordable big cities in the world. Auckland’s surging housing market is now only slightly cheaper than London but pricier than Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Perth, Brisbane and Boston.

█ The latest Demographia survey (1.74 MB), released today, compares prices with incomes in 378 cities, including 86 with more than one million people.

Auckland is one of the most unaffordable places due to its high house prices and low incomes. […] Now, the median house price has climbed to $613,000 and income to $75,100, giving a multiple of 8.2 and maintaining Auckland’s top 10 spot for unaffordable major cities.
Property Council chief Connal Townsend blamed Auckland Council’s planning regulations. “We’ve got houses more expensive than LA. How is this possible? A dump in Pt Chevalier demands a million dollars, which gets you a mansion in Beverly Hills. We’ve reached the point of madness.”
Survey authors Hugh Pavletich of Christchurch and Wendell Cox of the United States criticised the Government and Auckland Council for failing to ease affordability by vastly increasing housing supply via the Housing Accord and its 80 Special Housing Areas, but said the situation was bad in other areas too.

█ Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said housing affordability problems went back 25 years but the Government was planning additional reforms this year, particularly around the Resource Management Act.

Analysis: So … what can be done?
Auckland is extraordinarily expensive relative to incomes and rents but the solutions need to be broader than what Demographia argues on land supply, writes Shamubeel Eaqub, principal economist at the NZIER.
Read more

Auckland Housing Accord (2014)
Under the terms of the accord approved between the Government and the Auckland Council, a total of 39,000 new homes/sections are targeted for approval over the next three years. Not all of those 39,000 have to be found specifically through the accord, as the figure includes all developments that might be approved in Auckland during that period. Link

Special housing areas - expected supply. Auckland 2014-2026 [interest.co.nz]Graphic via interest.co.nz [click to enlarge]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:18, January 19 2015
Auckland in world top ten for housing unaffordability: report
By Laura Walters
The co-author of a survey which found Auckland house prices exceeded those in Los Angeles says housing affordability in this country is “just hopeless”. The 11th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey classified Auckland as the ninth least affordable major city in the world. Auckland is the 14th least affordable city out of all 378 cities surveyed, and has been rated as “severely unaffordable” in 11 surveys done – less affordable than Los Angeles and the Gold Coast. “It’s just not on, is it? The social injustice of the whole thing’s just dreadful. It’s screwing up people’s lives big time,” said Christchurch-based Hugh Pavletich. When the cost of housing exceeded three times people’s incomes it showed there was a “massive problem” with infrastructure financing and land supply, he said.

NZ HOUSING AFFORDABILITY DROPS
While Auckland’s house prices were extremely high, Tauranga-Western Bay of Plenty, Christchurch and Wellington were also seen in the survey as “severely unaffordable”. Palmerston North-Manawatu and Hamilton-Waikato were “seriously unaffordable”. There were no moderately affordable or affordable markets in New Zealand, according to the survey. “Housing affordability has declined materially in New Zealand’s three largest markets over the last decade.”

Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said the high prices of New Zealand houses had a lot to do with the tax regime being favourable to home ownership and property investment compared with other forms of saving or investment.
Read more

Tephra Boulevard and Stonefields housing development, Mt Wellington, Auckland Feb 2012

Todd Property Group with Fletcher Residential – Stonefields is a 110 hectare development at Mt Wellington, located, only 8km from the Auckland Central Business District and next to the established eastern suburbs of Ellerslie, Meadowbank and St Johns. Photo: panoramio.com

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin’s industrial land

Alistair Broad – is he having a meltdown, or what?

Why is freehold baron Earl Hagaman not mentioned in this story?

[why is DCC’s treatment of the Caledonian leaseholders vaguely referenced, not by name… ugliness alert]

Oh dear, moths flying around the noble art of leaseholding as it may hold back development – what do they want? For Port Otago Ltd and Otago Regional Council to relinquish their power and wealth? Why should they?

What have Hilary Calvert and investor friends got to do with all this? The plot thickens.

Has this really anything to do with city councillors, EMT and the City Development Team (including the shattered urban design team) using “friends” to arbitrate change in the property sector. District plan and spatial plan objectives to be met for (cough) economic development?

### ODT Online Thu, 12 Jun 2014
Businessman slams leasehold ‘parasite’
By Shawn McAvinue
Leasehold land is a ”parasite” killing development in Dunedin, property owner and businessmen Alistair Broad says. Mr Broad, of Dunedin, says property developers are reluctant to invest in Dunedin because of the large amount of leasehold land.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin housing: building up or Brown-like sprawl #intensification #costlyinfrastructure

Dunedin housing [ODT files] detail 1

There was a risk that Government intervention could actually drive up house prices in Dunedin.

### ODT Online Wed, 12 Jun 2013
DCC seeks changes to housing Bill
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council could be forced to open up land for development – sidestepping long-term council planning in the process – as part of a Government push to bring down house prices. The concern was raised at yesterday’s planning and environment committee meeting, as Dunedin city councillors discussed a council submission on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill. The Bill, which is before a parliamentary select committee, would allow the Government to create ”special housing areas” in parts of New Zealand deemed to have significant housing affordability problems. Councils would be able to enter into accords with the Government to create the new zones but, if they resisted, the Bill would give the Government the power to force the creation of the new areas.

The council had been given just 10 working days from May 16 to respond, which was “completely insufficient” to allow councils and the public to assess and provide detailed feedback on the Bill, it said. ”In our view, these consultation time frames raise serious concerns about the democratic nature of our legislative process and New Zealand’s system of representative government.”

And, while the Bill appeared aimed primarily at Auckland, Dunedin could also qualify for one of the new housing areas, city councillors were warned. Dunedin could be deemed in need of a special housing area, based on criteria proposed under the Bill, council city strategy and development general manager Sue Bidrose told the meeting. That was largely because of the high population of students and the elderly, whose economic circumstances skewed the city’s housing affordability results, the council’s submission said.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
2.4.13 Dunedin: Developers stoop to resource consents…
29.3.13 Reykjavik, Iceland: The strongest mirror [speculative apartments]
3.3.13 RNZ Sunday Morning | Ideas: Re-imagining the Urban House
29.10.12 Govt to open up more land for houses
29.8.12 Beloved Prime Minister ‘Jonkey’ speaking #childpoverty
14.4.12 How perverse is the New Zealand housing market?
17.2.12 Salvation Army: The Growing Divide
2.2.10 “Tax codes, zoning, community boards, and financing…”
8.12.11 interest.co heats NZ housing debate – listen up
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch Inside New Zealand (TV3)…
26.10.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin
26.12.10 New Zealand housing, a sorry tale

Dunedin housing EveningPost 1.9.1937 p10 (teara.govt.nz] 32437-wnIn early 1937 the government provided new loan money for councils to build new dwellings to help meet a chronic housing shortage. The aim was to provide an affordable alternative to the government’s state-rental scheme. Dunedin was among the councils that took advantage of the measure, building hundreds of dwellings for private sale in suburban Clyde Hill. The first three houses were opened by Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage in September 1937.
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/document/32437/dunedin-houses-opened

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Dunedin housing (detail) [ODT files]

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Govt to open up more land for houses

Twenty years ago the average price of a house cost around four times the average income but now it is nearly double that.

### tvnz.co.nz 5:30AM Monday October 29, 2012
‘No silver bullet’ for housing affordability crisis – PM
Source: ONE News
Prime Minister John Key says fast tracking the supply of land should help solve the current housing affordability crisis. The long-awaited housing plan is due to go before Cabinet today to be signed off, seven months after the Productivity Commission released a report on housing affordability. […] “The sorts of things the Productivity Commission is talking about, and the Government’s going to adopt, is how do we speed up the supply of land so that’s both what we call greenfields, paddocks sitting out there that you extend the urban limit, and secondly brownfield development, so that’s where you don’t have a lot of intensification in a certain area but you allow that to happen more quickly.” […] The soaring price of property has been blamed on a shortage of availability, and Key told TVNZ Breakfast this morning that changing the Resource Management Act (RMA) to speed up the development of land will help solve the supply and demand issue. He said the RMA process at the moment it is often arduous and long – to the detriment of the consumer.
Read more + Videos [Link not available]

New Zealand Productivity Commission
http://www.productivity.govt.nz/

“We’ve got to be careful about Government not blundering in here too much into council business because we don’t understand all the local issues.”

The Government plans to change local government legislation and the Resource Management Act to make it easier for developers to build houses. Finance Minister Bill English wants to make more land available for housing – and to speed up consent processes. [Today] he will take a paper to Cabinet, outlining a response to a Productivity Commission report on housing affordability. Finance Minister Bill English said the cost of building is too high and there is a supply shortage, particularly of good quality, lower priced housing.
DOMINION POST

“The Government owns $15 billion worth of houses, and, in most cities, the best opportunities … [are] on the government-owned Housing Corp land.”

Tackling the high cost of home ownership:
* Government will work with councils on urban planning to make it easier to build houses on “greenfield” sites outside city boundaries and on “brownfield” sites within cities.
* Further Tamaki Transformation-style redevelopments of state housing assets will be done.
* Changes will be made to the Local Government and Resource Management Act to make it easier, quicker and cheaper to build houses.
* Building costs will be reduced through work on the Building Act.
NZ HERALD

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
07:15 Government to change rules to make houses more affordable
The Finance Minister, Bill English, has indicated that changing the planning and consent process is among the changes. (4′57″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
08:12 Cabinet to decide today to relax planning rules for housing
The Cabinet will decide today on changes aimed at making new houses more affordable. (3′13″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan
11:07 Politics with Matthew Hooton and Josie Pagani
Talking today about the Governments response to the productivity commission. (24′02″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Oram on Auckland Spatial Plan, and more

### nzstuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/03/2011
Auckland at the crossroads
By Rod Oram – Sunday Star Times
OPINION: The Auckland Plan is a moment of opportunity for the super city.

On Wednesday, a great fight for the heart, soul and wellbeing of Aucklanders begins. But don’t worry. It’s not all about Auckland. If the region gets this right, the rest of the country will benefit strongly from more effective approaches to development. In one corner stands the Auckland Council led by mayor Len Brown. It will present its view of the city’s future when it delivers that day a discussion document on the Auckland Plan. The paper will look at the region in a new way. For the first time, it will bring together data, analysis and insights on the human, economic, environmental, social, cultural and other factors that make Auckland what it is today. Crucially, though, it will use this new analysis to show us options for the region’s future. It’s up to Aucklanders to consider, debate, agree and act with the new powers the region gained through the creation of the super city.

In the other corner stands the Key government, led on these Auckland issues by Rodney Hide, minister of local government. Last week, the cabinet released a set of eight papers giving its very entrenched positions on Auckland’s future. What a miserable view it was. When Hide and his ministerial colleagues think of Auckland they imagine only more of the same, warts and all. In their view, Auckland has to ooze out across the landscape in low-value, low-growth ways.
Read more

aucklandtransportblog critiques Oram on Spatial Plan (21 Mar 2011)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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