Shot in the arm for Auckland’s housing supply

Auckland’s housing supply has had a shot in the arm with an independent hearings panel approving a private plan change to rezone 84.6 hectares of rural land in the special housing area at Bremner Road, Drury, South Auckland.

The private plan change rezones the land within Auckland’s extended metropolitan urban limit, for urban residential development and will be known as Auranga, which means “a life force that sets progress in motion”.

All submissions received by the panel supported the application, and it took just 22 working days from submissions closing to approve, making it one of the fastest plan changes in New Zealand’s history.

This efficiency has been attributed to extensive consultation with landowners and utility providers, and working with council to achieve mutually acceptable solutions for development control rules, housing affordability, and staging.

Other agreements between the developer, council and government also addressed funding of infrastructure including new wastewater and water trunk mains, pump stations, a substantial upgrade to Bremner Road with shared paths and dedicated cycleways, and a new pedestrian bridge across the Ngakaroa Stream next to the existing Bremner Road Bridge.

Charles Ma, Managing Director of Auranga, applied for the plan change and subdivision consent concurrently, as the first step of his vision to provide 1,350 new homes and a local village centre.

“The Auranga team has spent two and a half years planning a place that will provide much needed quality homes. The development will be a place where people can enjoy the water, generous open spaces, great facilities, and a real sense of community,” says Mr Ma.  

Auranga will offer a balanced mix of housing densities for residents at all stages of life. There will be over 200 affordable houses (50 percent more than the minimum required) with marketing channels and processes in place to ensure those eligible have access to them.

High standards of amenity will include easy pedestrian access to local facilities including the sports grounds boardwalks, bridges and paths along natural waterways and the estuary; a jetty; cycle ways and footpaths; a playground and dog exercise area. The interconnected street network will reduce the vehicle kilometres travelled per household by up to 30 percent.

Mr Ma believes the expansion of employment nodes at the airport, Manukau, Pukekohe, Papakura/Takanini as well as Drury South will mean more local jobs and potentially a higher employment performance than anywhere else in Auckland.

“Our analysis shows that the expansion of job opportunities at Drury and the proposed Drury South Business Park could achieve employment levels of over 80 percent self-sufficiency, meaning at least 4 in every 5 jobs will be in the local area. This will result in residents not necessarily having to work in the CBD and less associated congestion on the motorway, which is a remarkable level of sustainability that exceeds many other parts of urban Auckland,” he says.

Earthworks for the first stage of Auranga are likely to start this season with the first homes expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Key statistics

These decisions follow a public hearing of concurrent applications made under the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 (HASHAA) for a variation to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) and a qualifying development (QD) resource consents to facilitate the Bremner Road Special Housing Area (SHA) at Drury. 

The Bremner Road SHA was approved as part of the Auckland Council’s tranche 6 and 9 special housing areas and formally established by an Order in Council in August 2015 and February 2016 respectively.  The applications under consideration in these decisions were confined to the approved SHA site.

  • Site size: 84.6ha
  • Length of riparian margin:  3.5kms
  • Walkways and boardwalks: 4-5kms
  • Cycleways:   3km coastal, 1 km esplanade reserve , 6km on road, 4km share path/cycle
  •  otal number of dwellings: 1350
  • Affordable homes by developer: 202
  • Size of public amenity:  15ha
  • Number of roads when completed: 56

Stage one – 207 Bremner Road

  • Size: 4.5 Ha
  • Residential lots 51
  • Access lots 2
  • Reserve lots 2
  • Vested roads 1
  • Drainage lots 1
  • Dwellings No. 51