Many years ago, I moved into a suburb called Torbay, on the very outskirts of Auckland's North Shore. If you drove a little way down the road, you would enter the tiny village of Albany. To get here, you would drive down what was little more than a dirt track named Oteha Valley Road snaking through sparse fields. Nothing really happened there - apart from the orchards, the thing that Albany Village and surrounds was well-known for was its vast chicken population.
There is absolutely no excuse for this. These days, Oteha Valley Road has many housing developments, but at least with the other ones they tried a little bit. At least they look as if they took more than a day to build. At least they're actually made out of housebricks rather than something you would find in a hobby shop to make model aeroplanes. I'm really not sure what has the least amount of charm, these houses or the ugliest Westfield shopping mall in Auckland which resides a little further down the road. Both served to ruin a little bit of Albany - the mall by taking away the business of many small independent shops close by, and these houses by simply being a crime against humanity.
These houses can never be saved. Just bomb the entire site and start again, please. Don't make me look at these block of mushroom-coloured death and sadness any longer. Still, at least now the shrubs along the retaining walls have had a chance to grow and at least partially shield these houses from the eyes of innocent drivers. Oh, and they don't have real roofing either. What looks like a pointed roof from the front isn't really, it's just a facade. Just another thing to make these places look even more like badly painted stage props.