Affordable housing

Regarding affordable housing, in my opinion, there is no such commodity left in the Tauranga region.

This has been brought about by the massive increase in the cost of residential sections, which in some cases have doubled in the last four years or so.

The increases have coincided with the Government's immigration policy which has created a strong demand from new homebuyers who have been attracted to this region, and others, notably from Auckland.

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For a period since after the GFC in 2008, land developers stopped creating new sections as there was little or no demand, at that time.

When the Government opened the floodgates to immigrants in 2014, the demand suddenly grew at a rate that left the developers with limited stock.

This situation with demand exceeding supply has driven the cost of sections sky high.

The bureaucratic red tape that developers face when subdividing land has meant that it has taken until recently, to create enough sections for new housing.

The unfortunate result, however, is that the cost of the sections at around $370,000 is now too high. Once a dwelling is built on the land, at say $300,000 then the total cost is prohibitive to most first-home buyers.

Another disturbing outcome of the surge in section prices is that the land outside of the artificially constrained residential zone has also risen dramatically.

In the last 20 years, bare residential land has increased by a factor of 30 times.

I believe the city council has invested in bare land in the Eastern Papamoa and hope that they can have some market influence on the price of sections when they shift their focus away from the Tauranga CBD.

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R. V. Anderson
Papamoa Beach

Barkes Corner

Why can't the NZTA just install a normal traffic light system at Barkes Corner? The current (failed) system we have at the moment is the same as the one on the Auckland Southern Motorway which is designed to manage merging traffic.

Barkes Corner is a roundabout; the traffic is confrontational, not merging. If a normal traffic light system were installed, there'd be no more confusion. Red would mean "stop", and green would mean "go". Whose idea was this in the first place?

Tony Wahren
Ohauiti