Activity on 3 projects signalled progress – beyond signing up for land use – on providing supply to meet the acute housing shortage in Auckland.
All 3 have striking features:
- The last, Auranga at Drury, where Building & Housing Minister Nick Smith turned the first sod on Friday (pictured above), is a very large & private project to build 1350 homes on 84.6ha in a mix of standalones, apartments, duplexes & terraces
- The second is a 100-home development in New North Rd, Mt Albert, where Dr Smith signed an agreement under the Government’s Crown land housing programme on Wednesday with Marutuahu Ropu & Ockham Residential Ltd, and
- The first, also under the Crown land housing programme, is a 196-home project on Moire Rd, Massey East, where Fletcher Residential Ltd & its partner, Ngati Whatua Orakei, blessed the site and turned the first sod to pave the way for earthworks to start in early November.
On Moire Rd, 30% of the homes (59 of them), will be made available for social housing. Community housing providers will have first option to buy them and, if not taken up, they will be available to first-homebuyers.
The staged development will be a mix of detached single-storey dwellings, terraces & duplexes. The first homes are scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2017 and the whole development completed by mid-2019.
The site had been held by the Ministry of Education for a new school but became surplus to its requirements when Hobsonville Point Secondary School was built instead.
It was bought by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in November 2015 and offered to Tamaki Makaurau LP in January, but this wasn’t taken up. Fletcher Residential was offered the site in April as the most highly ranked member of the development panel, and heads of agreement reached in June. Resource consents have since been granted for the subdivision & earthworks.
Dr Smith said: “This project will provide nearly 200 homes in a part of Auckland where housing demand is strongest. The Government is using its ownership of the land to require a pace of construction and a mixed development with a significant portion of social housing.”
Dr Smith said the agreement with Marutuahu Ropu & Ockham Residential would result in a 100-home development with an average house price of $573,000, 8km from Auckland’s city centre.
The Marutuahu iwi has led the project and it’s the first development under the housing protocol between the Crown & the Tamaki Collective.
“This site was originally owned by the NZ Transport Agency as part of the Waterview roading development and was identified last year as a candidate for the Crown land housing programme. The development opportunity was optimised by purchasing earlier this year an adjacent section which was privately owned,” Dr Smith said.
“The key to more affordable housing close to Auckland city is greater density & smart design. The special housing area status granted earlier this year enables 100 homes on the site, rather than 24 under the old planning rules.
“Ockham has proven experience in developing innovative, high quality & affordable housing with a focus on 3- & 4-level character apartments. Marutuahu Ropu is an important partner and, through the Tamaki Collective, helped achieve the successful housing development at Waimahia at Weymouth.”
Following the heads of agreement signed on Wednesday, a detailed development agreement is expected to be concluded in December. It’s anticipated construction will begin on the first stage in July 2017, with the first dwellings due to be completed by May 2018. The balance will be completed over 2018-19.
Under the Crown land housing programme, the Government is using its ownership to help facilitate an increase in the supply & affordability of housing. It receives deferred settlement for the land but places requirements on development to occur at pace, and for the homes to be constructed at the more affordable end of the housing market.
“The Government is step by step, development by development, resolving Auckland’s housing challenges.”
The start of works at the Auranga special housing areas on Bremner Rd, Drury, follows a rapid course from approval in Auckland Council’s tranches 6 & 9 in August 2015 & February 2016, through plan change & subdivision consent.
Auranga managing director Charles Ma said this demonstrated how the Government, council, utility providers & private developers could work together to speed up the supply of good quality housing in Auckland: “I am immensely proud that everyone has worked so hard & 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 1350 homes, over 200 of them in the affordable category, which is 50% more than required under the special housing area provisions.
Mr Ma dispelled the notion that it was just about pumping out houses: “It is way more than just bricks & mortar. Auranga is about people, community & 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 & little atmosphere.
“I love timeless, elegant aesthetics & beautiful outdoor spaces. Auranga will be a celebration of traditional architecture & 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 & cyclepaths, a jetty so people can enjoy the water, a village square & shops, a playground and dedicated dog exercise area.
Attribution: Ministerial & Auranga releases.