A decision to build 34,500 houses at Pukekohe and Drury over the land where we grow much of our winter vegetables reflects the callous disregard our narrow minded neoliberal politicians have for future generations.
The drive to make money and encourage debt creation has blinded us to the many creative possibilities of how we could solve our housing crisis without fostering the single story home ownership model that encourages city creep and concrete to be poured over the land where we grow our food.
We need our cities to grow up, not out.
How much inner city land, for example, is given over to car sales yards ? Cleverly designed 5 story car sales buildings could stack these business above each other releasing 4/5ths of the land given over to stationary cars . Come to that, free buses would reduce the need for many cars in the city.
We could hold architectural competitions to design family friendly 4 and 5 story inner city housing along lines of existing infrastructure and we could encourage multiple ways of financing folk into affordable accommodation such as long term leasing ,cooperative mortgages and government guaranteed low interest rent- to- own schemes for inner city living .
Let’s spread over the land which has some of the best soil in our country and where frosts are so rare that New Zealanders are assured of fresh vegetables in the winter.
And let’s fly our vegetables in from Australia adding to our climate problems and making us pay more for our food on which our neoliberal government will collect more GST.
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.