Up vs out

New Zealand cities should go up rather than out, Federated Farmers’ chief executive Conor English says:

Manhattan-type cities that accommodate more people and stop urban sprawl is New Zealand’s farming leader’s latest vision for a prosperous economy.

Federated Farmers chief executive Conor English says New Zealand needs to lose its small-country mindset and get smart about growth.

That included “taking the lid off our cities”.

“Human capability is critical to all parts of our community and economy. In most parts of New Zealand, except Auckland, the population is flat or in decline. There are not enough people to produce the exports, provide the services, pay the taxes and build a future at first-world income levels. We simply need more people.”

Auckland needed to stop building out and start building up. . .

I was in Auckland three times this month.

Each trip required the long, slow journey from the airport to the central city and back.

It’s such a waste of time and fuel.

Could going up rather than out help solve the city’s transport problems and would Aucklanders want to live in high-rise apartments rather than houses with sections?



8 Responses to Up vs out

  1. robertguyton says:

    A farmer, giving advice to city folk!


  2. Captain Fantastic says:

    robertguyton doesn’t understand Conor English because he doesn’t understand the issue & why it is such an important issue. Urban sprawl consumes so much land world-wide, often prime, productive land. I’d have thought robertguyton would have encountered the significant song, “Tar & Cement” at some time. I guess he really hasn’t been around that much to really count. robertguyton may only be an “environmentalist” for political reasons.


  3. JC says:

    Why bother? Urban land in NZ takes up about 1.4% of the total area and near 90% of the population live there; and I wouldn’t mind betting that there’s more “sprawl” in Dannevirk than Auckland.

    By any low, medium or high forecast of population growth we arent going to double our population any decade soon so the loss of productive land will be low.

    Going “up” will happen organically.. but please God not too much of that or NZ loses its special character.

    Some months ago I picked some sample cities North and Sth Is and googled the heads of the planning depts of those cities, and then via Google Earth I located their homes.. an astonishing number live on lifestyle blocks, by picturesqe lakes with views that can’t be built out and in new divisions with farmland on at least one side. Conor English sounds like one of those people.. keen to organise other people’s lives from the peace and enjoyable view outside his front door.



  4. fredinthegrass says:

    IMHO, Captain, Robert Guyton is an “environmentalist”. It is just that he is into political humbuggery, aren’t you, Rg. And he usually gets the two a wee mixed up.


  5. robertguyton says:

    Fred’s right, I fear, but why the quotation marks around “environmentalist”, Fred?
    I often hear commentators from the farming sector claim that such and such a person has no credibility making comment on farming issues, because they aren’t a farmer. Surely it goes both ways, aye Fred?
    JC’s comment, “Conor English sounds like one of those people.. keen to organise other people’s lives … ” is spot-on.
    Captain Fantastic – I half-expected you to break into song – Pave paradise, put up a parking lot…
    Are you a hippie?


  6. TraceyS says:

    Building up makes a lot of sense. But if people don’t want to live that way then they will uproot and go live somewhere else. Some cities can’t afford to take that risk. Dunedin’s recent spatial plan denounces urban sprawl. But what will people think of the choices when you can only build on under about one-eighth of an acre or the other alternative of a 15-hectare block? That is mainly about saving money on infrastructure (which is a worthy proposition and benefits us all). But it is not about preserving productive farmland because 15 hectares is not a productive unit, nor is it a manageable-sized farmlet for most people.


  7. JC says:

    “Building up makes a lot of sense. But if people don’t want to live that way then they will uproot and go live somewhere else.”

    Like NZ. When I looked up our stats on population v land I noticed England crams 60 million into about 5.5% of land area.. that is a serious compression that must have a major effect on quality of life and a good enough reason for migration.. to our benefit.



  8. Richard says:

    Interesting article in the Guardian today about transforming high rise buildings in the UK – They were terrible structures. But care with architecture in the building but make sense
    A good example is Singapore

    And this is what RG should support. A start in Riverton?


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