Government’s immigration policy will negatively impact Rodney’s rural townships, according to Rodney ward councillor Greg Sayers.
Sayers says this issue will allow an influx of more than 33,000 new immigrants a year into Auckland which will force the Auckland Council to prepare for a new housing boom on the city’s rural fringes.
The total estimated Auckland growth rate is 42,000 new people every year with the addition of natural birth rates and internal population migration to the city.
Sayers says this will result in towns like Kumeu and Warkworth losing their rural ambience while inheriting unwelcome social issues as well as further traffic congestion.
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“No one believes our roads can cope. The major threat to our towns is traffic congestion, and the investment that is needed already is still 10 years away.”
At the moment Auckland Council is considering suspending further housing intensification in Kumeu/Huapai, Riverhead and Southern Warkworth until 2028.
“The feedback I am hearing is people don’t want more housing without first fixing the traffic congestion along the state highways,” Sayers says.
“I’m asking for the infrastructure to be built before new building consents are issued. The planning seems to be the wrong way around.”
Sayers says there is plenty of land but it is important smaller townships, including Helensville, Taupaki and Wellsford, are not overlooked for improved infrastructure investment as immigration pressures continue.
Mayor Phil Goff is seeking infrastructure funding from central government after Infrastructure Minister Stephen Joyce rejected the idea of a regional fuel tax.
Sayers says this will likely come in the form of tolls or congestion charging in Auckland city.
The public will get the chance to have their say between March 29 and April 18 about the Auckland Council’s idea to delay the release of rural land for future housing.
– Rodney Times