I think if it were easier to get into the major areas of employment from further out, it would ease the pressure a bit, as would a willingness for slightly longer commuting times. I watch a lot of Location, Location, Location, and those people often put their acceptable commute at around an hour. Because of the comprehensive rail system, they can commute quite a distance in that space of time. Even back in the 50's, my Mum worked in London with someone who used to commute from somewhere on the south coast every day. It's just become accepted there that you need to live further out and travel a little bit longer. Regular, fast rail links would be a good start, and not just Len's toy train set chugging around central Auckland.