I get the impression that there is a significant overlap between those who think that don't want more intensive housing development in their area, those that think there shouldn't be limits on housing developments at the edge of the city and those who scream loudest when the council puts the rates up. If this is indeed the case, then I would advance the proposition that these people do not actually know how a city functions.
More development/expansion of the city around the edges requires the construction of large amounts of infrastructure that will service comparatively few people. This is ... expensive, the cost per head over the city goes up and rate rise. Intensification with an upgrade of infrastructure gives you infrastructure that services a comparatively greater number of people and the cost per head goes down. Rates still rise, but not as much. And to make the city liveable, you want to put your centres of intensification alongside traffic/public transport corridors.
The one thing that I've found with my 15 or so years worth of living in a city, is that cities change. In some regions the change is slow - Remuera used to be uber posh, now it's still mostly posh. in other suburbs, the change is comparatively fast - Grey Lynn was ramshackle 15 years ago, it's largely expensive in a laid back sort of way now. It's odd, because I do have some sympathy for those that fight the changes in their neighbourhoods but I don't see how you can get around the need to impose major change or end up with a city that shuts people out by dint of being to expensive. There's something to be said for locking some suburbs down, into "heritage" suburbs. Locking all suburbs into the state they are now though can only lead to stagnation though. And the desires of one suburb to remain changeless does not outweigh the needs of the city to accommodate more citizens without raising costs excessively.