Q+A With Auckland Council Mayoral Candidate Vic Crone

Continuing our Q+A with the Auckland Council mayoral candidates, next up we have, ex-Xero Managing Director, Vic Crone.

Victoria Crone

1. What do you believe the role of Auckland Council is in relation to dealing with Auckland housing?

Council does have a regulator role, but ultimately it needs to balance that with its enabling role. It’s important council has the right planning rules and infrastructure investment to support housing supply.

We must get the balance right for when and where we allow this development – particularly with the context of skyrocketing demand. Council’s consenting process also plays a huge role in how fast these homes can be built.

2. Given your position on Auckland Council’s role, what actions would you take to influence the Auckland housing situation?

We need to grow both out and up. I’ll advocate for smart and appealing intensification in areas where there is good access to necessities like public transport. That means more homes in areas serviceable by major rail lines as a start and also in areas of proposed transport investment.

Alongside this we must be freeing up land faster for development and making sure it’s actually being developed. I’ve announced some policies to get development moving and stop land banking. My approach to getting supporting infrastructure in is to better forecast and prioritise with financial management, and a more effective working relationship the Government, private enterprise, and developers.

Statutory time frames for building consenting should not be council’s performance target, they are a worst case scenario. I’ll introduce more ambitious and publicly reported targets based on the real and full consent time. These targets will include the length of time consents are put ‘on hold’ and will be underpinned by a lean process review of consenting. I’m also committed to digitising the process as soon as possible and again, better forecasting systems will help us keep ahead.

3. How do you think Auckland’s Proposed Unitary Plan will affect future housing?

Immensely. It’s been a long and arduous process and we will see the panel’s recommendations in July. While intensification is only one part of the Unitary Plan, I understand the panel has been very clear on the need for higher levels of intensification given Auckland’s projected growth.

Again, I really hope the final recommendations allow for the right type of intensification and in the right places. I’d also hope that Council are using the period between Council’s special meeting on the unitary plan submissions and when the IHP recommendations come out, to continue to work with communities on the need for housing growth in an open consultative way.

4. More generally speaking, what are 3 initiatives you hope to undertake as Major of Auckland?

Firstly, I’ll cap average rates rises at 2 per cent over the next three years and focus on getting the basics right. I’m confident we can make at least $500m savings over the remainder of the 10 year budget. One area we’ve already identified is the need to cap the increasing staffing costs which have blown their increased budget every year.

My priority area for investment will be for smart, future-focused transport. We can’t be a world class city, or even a liveable city if we’re sitting in traffic. As well as making sure we’re delivering important transport projects in an integrated way across the region, I’d like to see us broaden the way we look at transport to include analysis of new and smart technologies. For example, I’d like to lay the groundwork for Council and Auckland Transport to begin partnering with major technology companies to leverage their strengths and share data for better outcomes.

Auckland’s port cannot keep up with growth in its current waterfront location and needs to move over the next 25-30 years. Moving the port will allow it more growth options, reduce congestion through central areas and free up our waterfront for some exciting developments that all Aucklanders can enjoy – options that will produce better returns for ratepayers as well.

5. What is your vision for the future of Auckland?

A world class city – not just a liveable city. This is a city that is smart and future-focused, inclusive, and competitive on the world stage. To do the best for our residents we need to keep pace with major trends impacting us.

More Info:

Twitter: @VicCrone

Dustin Lindale June 21, 2016 Blog