Getting fast & furious about trains & buses

I’m just back from a trip to Germany via Hong Kong, and as much as it was a holiday, I can never switch off my professional reflections. The efficiency of people getting around CBDs in these countries struck me. Trains, subways, buses; the transport culture is just about the complete opposite of Auckland where we are all still so addicted to the car. Yes, yes, I know the old argument that goes…

Auckland public transportI’m just back from a trip to Germany via Hong Kong, and as much as it was a holiday, I can never switch off my professional reflections.

The efficiency of people getting around CBDs in these countries struck me.

Trains, subways, buses; the transport culture is just about the complete opposite of Auckland where we are all still so addicted to the car.

Yes, yes, I know the old argument that goes around in circles that Continue reading “Getting fast & furious about trains & buses”

Are our offices a waste of space?

Researchers have delivered us a double whammy about how badly we are using office space in New Zealand. And it’s got me worried. Colliers researchers have found that premium office space in Auckland is costing around $10,000 per staff member. Although these staff may be working in open plan areas, the number of…

Are our offices a waste of space?Researchers have delivered us a double whammy about how badly we are using office space in New Zealand. And it’s got me worried.

Colliers researchers have found that premium office space in Auckland is costing around $10,000 per staff member. Although these staff may be working in open plan areas, the number of breakout rooms, meeting rooms and other spaces has pushed the space being used per person way over the top.

By my reckoning, a sensible cost per staff member Continue reading “Are our offices a waste of space?”

Get competitive through strategic thinking about property

Despite the fact that property is the second biggest cost for most businesses, it is still not often a topic high on the list of priorities in the board room. For a great many leaders in business…

The Competitiveness Institute 14th Annual Conference, Auckland, New ZealandDespite the fact that property is the second biggest cost for most businesses, it is still not often a topic high on the list of priorities in the board room.

For a great many leaders in business, the case for integrating the strategic management of property with business development and productivity has not been made.

Continue reading “Get competitive through strategic thinking about property”

Politicians poor on attempts to raise productivity

As politicians from all the main parties tramp around the hustings in the dying days of this year’s general election, I am more than a little disappointed about their policies on productivity. They all say we need to do better, but say very little about how. And even less on any innovative thinking about it. Perhaps we could take a lead from…

Politicians poor on productivityAs politicians from all the main parties tramp around the hustings in the dying days of this year’s general election, I am more than a little disappointed about their policies on productivity.

They all say we need to do better, but say very little about how. And even less on any innovative thinking about it.

Perhaps we could take a lead from the state of Continue reading “Politicians poor on attempts to raise productivity”

Collaboration the key to the future of Christchurch

The rebuild of Christchurch is getting the wobbles. There are some very tough decisions to take about…

Collaboration is key to future of ChristchurchThe rebuild of Christchurch is getting the wobbles.

There are some very tough decisions to take about which heritage buildings can be preserved, the design of the new CBD, and where the new construction should begin.

Underpinning this is a major challenge over time; the urgency of getting things done quickly to have people and businesses up and running ASAP, versus taking the time to plan well.

Dealing with clients in Christchurch, I have heard a few horror stories about SERA, the government agency responsible for rebuilding after the earthquake, and their lack of consultation with business property owners. Continue reading “Collaboration the key to the future of Christchurch”

Keeping an eye on Auckland City plans

For most of us, the many plans and strategies issued by city councils and governments are something we do not pay a great deal of attention to. Let’s face it, most of us consider them to be rather bureaucratic and a waste of time, or else necessary evils we have to put up with. However…

Keeping an eye on Auckland City PlanFor most of us, the many plans and strategies issued by city councils and governments are something we do not pay a great deal of attention to.

Let’s face it, most of us consider them to be rather bureaucratic and a waste of time, or else necessary evils we have to put up with.

However… Continue reading “Keeping an eye on Auckland City plans”

Great collaborators up the ante on quality retail

There has been a right royal battle going on in Auckland for a decade or two now, between malls and strips. On one hand we have the…

Great collaborators up the ante on quality retail leasingThere has been a right royal battle going on in Auckland for a decade or two now, between malls and strips.

On one hand we have the shopping experience of the up-to-the-minute, clean, fresh malls of Westfield, Kiwi Income and AMP. On the other hand we have main street, whether that’s parts of Queen Street or Newmarket, the Britomart or other older suburban strip retail shopping.

A quick stroll around the lanes in Newmarket, Britomart, Wynyard Quarter, a few parts of Queen Street and its offshoots shows more and more quality retail is starting to emerge. And I don’t think it is a short-term trend just for Rugby World Cup.

When I looked into this emerging trend I found Continue reading “Great collaborators up the ante on quality retail”

What’s the future for a vacant city

The commercial property market in Auckland is finally starting to look truly more buoyant. Some new commercial premises are about to be built, and there is definitely an air of confidence around. Just look at the buzz surrounding the opening of the Wynyard Quarter down at the Viaduct Harbour. It has been particularly up and down since the Global Financial Crisis and I had to smile today thinking of how, nearly two years ago, I was optimistically talking about…

What's the future for a vacant city?The commercial property market in Auckland is finally starting to look truly more buoyant.

Some new commercial premises are about to be built, and there is definitely an air of confidence around. Just look at the buzz surrounding the opening of the Wynyard Quarter down at the Viaduct Harbour.

It has been particularly up and down since the Global Financial Crisis and I had to smile today thinking of how, nearly two years ago, I was optimistically talking about Continue reading “What’s the future for a vacant city”

Auckland without a leash

The name of the Auckland Council’s spatial plan, Auckland Unleashed, could be a real two-edged sword. I can appreciate the idea that the Council wants the city to take off but there is also the risk you could take ‘unleashed’ to mean something wild and uncontrolled.

Auckland without a leashThe name of the Auckland Council’s spatial plan, Auckland Unleashed, could be a real two-edged sword.

I can appreciate the idea that the Council wants the city to take off but there is also the risk you could take ‘unleashed’ to mean something wild and uncontrolled.

And it will be getting controls right that will determine whether Auckland can grow in the right way and fulfil its potential. Continue reading “Auckland without a leash”

What ‘smart jobs’ might mean for the future of property

I think if you would ask any man on the street about where the United States is at economically right now, and they would say it’s a bit of a basket case. We hear almost daily about the rise of the new economies of China, India, and Brazil. But if one digs a little deeper…

What "smart jobs" might mean for the future of propertyI think if you would ask any man on the street about where the United States is at economically right now, and they would say it’s a bit of a basket case.

We hear almost daily about the rise of the new economies of China, India, and Brazil.

But if one digs a little deeper, Continue reading “What ‘smart jobs’ might mean for the future of property”