19 Apr 2013

Speaking for Gen Z

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Written by: Liz Willis
Published: North Shore Times – 19 April 2013

APARTMENTS PLEASE: Sudhvir Singh supports the draft Unitary Plan’s provision of four to eight storey apartments in Milford town centre.

APARTMENTS PLEASE: Sudhvir Singh supports the draft Unitary Plan’s provision of four to eight storey apartments in Milford town centre.

Resistance to “modest intensification” in places like Milford will ruin Auckland, a climate change campaigner says.

Sudhvir Singh says most people speaking out against multi-storey apartments in Milford are older property owners and retirees.

“I’d love to offer a counter to this perspective, as a representative of the generation who will be inheriting the city we plan today,” Dr Singh says.

“I grew up watching our Torbay community unite over opposing sprawl into Long Bay and Okura,” he says.

“Opposing modest intensification in places like Milford and Glenfield will only drive this type of ugly, expensive, environmentally damaging sprawl as we need to accommodate one million additional Aucklanders over the next 30 years.”

Dr Singh is a spokesman for Generation Zero, a group he describes as campaigners on climate change and “inter-generational justice”.

Apartments near town centres offer youth the chance to live inner city rather than be “exiled” to the urban fringes in areas like Rodney, he says.

Dr Singh is a trainee specialist who has worked at North Shore Hospital and says the hospital has traditionally found it hard to retain staff, partly because of the lack of housing choice in Milford.

“Living in a high quality terraced house or apartment locally and being able to cycle past the traffic jam on the way to work would be hugely attractive to young medical staff.”

Better salaries aren’t the sole reason New Zealand loses doctors to places like Melbourne and Sydney, he says. It’s also the quality of life and being able to live near work, not being car dependent and being close to urban amenities and friends.

Dr Singh moved from Torbay to a Grafton apartment so he could walk to medical school and be close to friends, parks and restaurants.

“In general, younger people don’t want to be told to live on the urban fringe on a big section and want the choice of having a terraced house/apartment in a well located area that allows us to be close to work and our social life and removes the dependence on having a car.”


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One Response to Speaking for Gen Z
  1. This is the same argument that the Eyeonauckland blog people are running – turning this into an intergenerational debate – it’s not. It’s about taking the time to make good decisions around intensification and get good processes in place.
    The risk to heritage is still serious, as the draft rules don’t specify any need for notification of resource consents. This means that it’s possible for 4-6 storey developments to come next door without the neighbour being notified. This to me is a simple lack of democracy – to know what is happening next door.


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