Bernard Hickey: City of cranes has a boom that’s a bust

Auckland feels like a boom town. Its shortage of houses, hotels, roads, schoolrooms and tradies dominates the conversations at barbecues, bars and on talk-back radio.

It seems like growth is all around and, strictly speaking, that’s true.

Auckland’s population is growing at a rate of close to 200 people a day and all around town the signs of expansion are in the air – literally. The RLB Crane Index report found a record-high 47 cranes on the skyline around Auckland in April – up 48 per cent from six months earlier.



Auckland’s crane-filled skyline gives an impression of a booming hive of industry, but productivity is a major problem. Photo / Nick Reed