Auckland, October 4, 2019
We marked the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, (October 2, 1869 to January 30, 1948).
Gandhi’s legacy is one of peace, respect and mutual understanding between faiths and cultures. These values are particularly relevant to Auckland, as one of the most diverse cities in the world and home to people from more than 180 different ethnicities.
Gandhi understood that all faiths were simply different paths to the same goal, of compassion and dignity for all.
As Mayor, I am proud to live in a multifaith and multicultural city, where people from all backgrounds are treated with respect and where everyone can enjoy the rich diversity of our cultures.
In other news this week, we have received confirmation of the progress we are making to improve housing choice and affordability in Auckland.
In the past year we have issued more than 14,000 dwelling consents, a record number for Auckland. To put that figure in context, we consented more dwellings in the first six months of 2019 than in the 24 months of 2009 and 2010 combined, when the Super City was being formed.
Equally important as this overall rate of growth is the types of buildings being consented and their location.
Over the past year, consents for higher-density housing, such as apartments and townhouses, have increased by 21%, with more than 83% of all dwellings being consented within existing urban areas.
This means that Auckland is becoming a more compact city, which will have positive impact on traffic congestion and carbon emissions, as more people use public transport and active transport modes.
In addition, the Unitary Plan has unlocked significant housing development capacity, helping to moderate house price growth to the point that housing affordability is now the best it’s been in five years.
This progress on housing sits alongside the massive investments we are making in transport and the environment.
People are using public transport at record numbers, which is helping to reduce carbon emissions and keep traffic congestion down.
Investment in the environment will clean up our beaches, harbours and streams 20 years faster than had previously been planned, and will help protect our native species from the threats posed by climate change and introduced pests and diseases.
While there is always more to do, I am proud of the progress that we are making for Auckland as we continue our journey to build a world-class city.
This weekend, I will be joining Aucklanders in one of several celebrations of our diversity. The Multicultural Diwali Festival, on Saturday, October 5, from 12 pm at Charles Street in Papatoetoe, will be opportunity to enjoy the music, dance, culture and food of Auckland’s Indian communities. And the Auckland Diwali Festival will take place in Aotea Square on October 12 and October 13, 2019.
I hope to see you there.
Local Government Elections, including that of Mayoralty will be held throughout New Zealand from September 20 to October 12, 2019. Postal Votes should be sent in the self-addressed freepost envelopes to the Electoral Commission no later than October 8, 2019.