Drury SHAs under way in record time

The start of works at the two Bremner Road SHAs in Drury known as Auranga, was officially launched by Building and Housing Minister, the Hon Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Elect, Phil Goff today.

The pace that has been achieved from SHA to plan change, subdivision consent and earthworks is believed to be one of the fastest in New Zealand history.

The Auranga SHAs were approved as part of the Auckland Council’s tranche 6 and 9 special housing areas and were only established in August 2015 and February 2016.

Managing Director of Auranga, Charles Ma, says this demonstrates how the government, council, utility providers and private developers can work together to speed up the supply of good quality housing in Auckland.

“I am immensely proud that everyone has worked so hard and well together. This resulted in our application to rezone the greenfields site for residential development being unanimously supported by submitters, and has enabled work to start in extremely quick time for a project of this scale”.

Auranga, meaning ‘a life force that sets progress in motion’, will provide 1,350 new homes including apartments, duplexes, terraced and stand-alone homes on the the 84.6ha site. Over 200 will be affordable homes, which is 50 percent more than required under SHA provisions.

Mr Ma is quick to dispel the notion that it is just about pumping out houses.

“It is way more than just bricks and mortar. Auranga is about people, community and providing the foundations for good living.
“Often developments try to create a sense of community, but end up being just rows of houses with no heart and little atmosphere.
“I love timeless, elegant aesthetics and beautiful outdoor spaces. Auranga will be a celebration of traditional architecture and visually stunning surroundings that will encourage people to connect. I want to bring back community values like knowing everyone in your street and knowing your kids are safe to play freely around the neighbourhood.”

Auranga will include a network of walkways, boardwalks, bridges and cyclepaths giving safe, easy access to the local sports grounds; there will be a jetty so people can enjoy the water, a local village square and shops, a playground and dedicated dog exercise area.

Mr Ma and his team of internationally renowned urban designers and planners have taken a macro -‘more than insulation’ - view of sustainability.

“Sustainability has to be the whole picture. We have designed the street network to reduce vehicle kilometres travelled per household by up to 30 percent.
“And with the expansion of employment nodes in Auckland’s south we hope to achieve employment levels as high as 92 percent self-sufficiency - that’s more local jobs than anywhere else in urban Auckland,” says Mr Ma.

For people wanting to work outside the area, the proposed new railway station at Drury and electrification of the existing rail line will provide congestion-free connections north and south.

Auranga has also partnered with Sustainable Coastlines and will be heavily involved in the ‘Love your Coast Manukau Harbour’ clean up next year and the ‘Love your Water’ project which will involve waterway tree planting activities on the Auranga site.

Sustainable Coastlines managing director, Sam Judd, says Love Your Water is about developing community passion and capacity to protect and restore waterways.

“It’s exciting to have Auranga on board at the very start of our Love Your Water journey. With this kind of support we can make good progress on stopping pollution at its source, and improve the quality of our waterways so we can enjoy clean beaches,” he says.

About 30,000 native and eco-sourced plants will be planted at Auranga next season and will be well established when the first homes are ready for their new owners in early 2018.