How to spot a Nimby
I would like to share the following preview of our up-and-coming “Guide to an Auckland Nimby” which will be published shortly.
Nimbys like to think that they represent the majority of residents in Auckland but in reality they are in fact the minority. They tend to be extremely vocal (empty barrels make the most noise) and gather in groups – a cult of repression, negativity, narrow-mindedness, xenophobia and selfish attitudes. You can forgiven for feeling that you are the only one that says YES !
In this life it is logical to think that nothing stays the same – change is what makes life worth living. It is exciting and forces us to be an innovative species. Try explaining that to a nimby, the mere mention of change brings out the alarmist in every nimby.
One of the ‘privileges’ of being a nimby is that you can so NO ! without ever having to justify it. Best of all you don’t need to offer any solution either. Their motto is:
Nimbys love numbers. Especially when they use the wrong ones or quote them out of context. So Constipated Collective and Auckland 20 whatever, do I get the job?
Nimbys are obsessed with height. Mention the word ‘highrise’ and you will be sure to get the blood pressure going. Their suburbs are already littered with what the Unitary Plan is referring to as ‘medium rises’ of 3 to 4 storeys yet they insist on rallying against what already exists.
Nimbys tend to have a lot of time on their hands (most are retired) but not enough time it seems to weed out all the misinformation out there. There is a lot of accidental and intentional misinformation going around and emotive words like ‘slums’ are thrown into the mix to ensure the scaremongering continues unabated.
Nimbys are generally out of touch with reality. There are people with vested interests perpetuating the UP myths making this a difficult time for those who do not wish to inform themselves.
The population of Auckland is going to increase over the next 30 years. Approximately 60% of this increase will be due to natural population growth. The fact is that Auckland, like any other city around the world, needs people to sustain the local economy. If Auckland’s population ends up being comprised of a disproportionate number of retired, economically inactive people, the city will find itself in trouble rather fast.
We should get down on our hands and knees – pray that Auckland’s population grows as forecast otherwise we may as well start packing our bags now. With an increase in population comes more investment and more jobs.
Auckland is not wealthy enough for the city to sprawl endlessly. Something has to give and it costs more to maintain the sprawl than it costs to intensify. If you want the city to sprawl forever you need to pick your poison – what should be compromised on? Maintenance on infrastructure? Social services? Education? Essential services? or should this be remedied with a HUGE increase in rates?
Intensification does not mean everyone has to live in an apartment. It simply means that you offer apartments and denser living alternatives for people that want to live in them. Those that love to live the quarter acre dream can continue to do so, while those wishing to live a low maintenance, lock up and go lifestyle can choose to do so as well.
Which brings us to to next the point – while most people pray for what they want, selfish nimbys pray for what they don’t want.
To say NO! and leave it at that is just not good enough. To say NO just because someone mentioned the words ‘slum’ or ‘shadow’ or ‘high’ is just not good enough. Don’t let the groups with their badly photoshopped images bully or scare you into saying NO!
To be hypnotised by groups with vested interests and lazy journalists misquoting facts is no longer an excuse.
It is up to each individual to educate themselves and make decisions based on the facts. Consideration has to be given to the future generations just as they themselves will have to do the same for their future generations. Balance and compromise is called for but simply saying NO! is no longer the solution.
All images (c) Can Stock Photo purchased by Eye on Auckland
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