The latest version of the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan – itself a phrase that leaves me slightly queasy each time I read it – is apparently due out at 1:30.
Reading an article on it in today’s Herald I found this sentence:
“it will decide where and how Aucklanders will live, work, and play for the next 30 years”
Actually, I doubt even the most fervent advocates will claim all of that for it – and almost certainly it won’t be what actually happens – but it is a sad reflection of where we have got to, in respect of freedom, property rights, individual choice (add in the sheer unknowability of the future) that a journalist can write a sentence like that and probably not even see anything unusual or controversial about his statement.
In a free society, Aucklanders would make those choices themselves, and Councils (as providers of basic infrastructure and public services) would fit themselves to those private choices exercised in a free market in land, and the ability of private landowners to contract with each other, to respect each others’ interests and property rights
Allow any land within 100 kilometres of downtown Auckland to be built on to a height of two storeys and we’d pretty soon see house and land prices a lot lower, and the market – private preferences, private opportunities – would sort out just where the new houses were built.