South Auckland – The Rising Jewel in Auckland’s Crown

Wave of Positive News for an Area that often gets downtrodden on by other parts of the City


I picked up this real nugget of a gem this evening on South Auckland from the NZ Herald. Yes it did make me smile too.

From the Herald on Sunday

Reinventing South Auckland

By Joanna Mathers; 11:49 AM Sunday Sep 29, 2013

Long seen as poor and crime-ridden, South Auckland is reinventing itself as a vibrant business centre. To the alarm of some in Central Auckland, Manukau is even being spoken of as a second CBD. Joanna Mathers takes a look around


At 9.40am on Thursday, a masked man holding a sawn-off shotgun walked into the Manurewa branch of pawn broker and second-hand trader Dollar Dealers. He fired at a display cabinet, shattering the glass, then removed a few items before running outside where an accomplice was waiting at the wheel of a stolen silver Nissan.


The car sped from the scene and was dumped a few streets away. The pair fled on foot. [Note from Admin; err didn’t hear a story of this recently crop up so not quite sure there]


It sounds a familiar story of South Auckland, which is often seen as the city’s badlands. Frequent reports of baby-bashing, drug busts and violent crime have given parts of the former Manukau City an unenviable reputation for poverty and deprivation.


But there are cheering signs that times are changing. Soaring Auckland property prices have made the area popular with first-home buyers and people keen to escape the isthmus; office space is keenly sought after; chic cafes are sprouting among the sandwich bars and Asian restaurants; the arts scene is booming.


One contestant for the mayoralty in next month’s local body election is touting Manukau as Auckland’s second CBD. And, without wishing to put the mockers on next weekend’s defence, the local rugby team has successfully defended the Ranfurly Shield, which has proved rather difficult this season.

The old South Auckland stereotypes are looking more threadbare with every passing week.

You can read the rest over at the Herald site which goes into the points above in more detail.


The article though coupled with the one I commented on earlier this weekend (“Papakura – The Place to Be – For First Home Buyers“) shows that South Auckland IS reinventing itself and is fast becoming the jewel in Auckland’s Crown.

It is honestly great to see positive stories out of an area that not only houses 38% of Auckland’s population (and growing) but was also treated as the poor shunned cousin to the rest of Auckland.


Yes Manukau and South Auckland is my home as I reside in Papakura (and was brought up in the South for most of life). So of course I am going to be protective and want the absolute best for the area 😀

In saying that I have been saying for a while now (since 2010 when I wrote my submission to the Auckland Plan on Manukau) that:

Further commentary on Manukau in Talking Auckland can also be found by keeping tabs on this link:

And of course this: 


Looking at that Herald piece both Manukau is open for Business and South Auckland is just screaming “A warm welcome to your new home.

South Auckland does have its rough edges but all cities do. The main point is that the South is striving its best with what it has got (not often a lot AND we get treated like a political football most days on the way out) and the place is reinventing itself – I see it also with my own eyes!


So South Auckland while it has its rough edges, is the rising and often hidden jewel in Auckland’s Crown. And why shouldn’t it be.

Taking the entry line from the Herald article “Long seen as poor and crime-ridden, South Auckland is reinventing itself as a vibrant business centre. To the alarm of some in Central Auckland, Manukau is even being spoken of as a second CBD. Joanna Mathers takes a look around


Already heard that alarm and criticism when it was announced that Te Papa North was coming to Manukau and not Wynyard Quarter. You should have heard some of the attacks which were nothing less than elitist attacks against the South. I have noted that Metro Magazine have released a good Editorial on why Te Papa North should be located in Manukau. I shall get myself a copy and take a look at it.

I also warned the Isthmus they risk bottling themselves with the amount of NIMBY controls they were trying to include into the Unitary Plan. These controls were designed to “protect THEIR way of living.”

Well that could come back and hurt the Isthmus rather badly as I noted here:

I warned the Isthmus that it would be bottling itself with all the NIMBY controls put into place in the Unitary Plan for that particular area of Auckland. That warning was served here:

It now seems that warning is coming true as population, economic and investment drivers begin focusing more intensely to the South of the City as mentioned in the “Reinventing South Auckland” article:

Investment will always flow where the controls are more liberal, the market more free, and people are able to exercise choice and logic in a freer manner. I can believe South Auckland is the rising Jewel in Auckland’s Crown


As I noted above and as was in the Herald as well, people and investment (business) are “fleeing” the Isthmus and heading to the more relaxed South. Why wouldn’t you if you can get a better return (socially, economically and monetary) in an area that is more attractive to your investment. Rebekka and I invested here and we have our first home which we live in here in Papakura. Most of our business is conducted locally if not Manukau. It is home and becoming home to a lot more people and businesses.


Of course this will bring pressure as any sustained large-scale growth and investment pattern will bring. This means Government and Council will need to be keeping up very quickly with social, civic and physical infrastructure provisions. Get these wrong and South Auckland will be hamstrung rather quickly and badly.


In the end though and as a concluding remark, despite the growth along most fronts happening in the South this is still The Long Game/War. Change won’t be noticed overnight but will happen (like the Mainland Cheese analogy).

Southern Metro Auckland
Southern Metro Auckland


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