Was the SHA really needed when the employment hubs weren’t ready
Note on the Glenbrook Special Housing Area: I will be doing more follow-up on that particular SHA as soon as I have things nailed down for the upcoming Unitary Plan mediations on both the Residential Zones and the Centre Zones. Once those are in place I will continue researching up on the Glenbrook SHA.
Drury Special Housing Area – Was it needed or could have it waited until the Unitary Plan goes live next year?
In my Brown and Smith Special: A Special Housing Area in the Middle of No Where post I was critical against Mayor Len Brown and Minister for Housing Dr Nick Smith in opening up two SHA’s “in the middle of nowhere.” That is on the southern fringes of Auckland. Given that the Wesley College SHA (the biggest of all the Special Housing Areas) is also out there was I being harsh on Auckland Council? Maybe.
The Glenbrook SHA I am looking further into after being notified it was brought into existence as it fulfilled Maori Transformational Shifts in the Auckland Plan.
However, it seems I have rattled someone in Auckland Council who reminded me that the Drury South Special Housing Area is next door to the newly zoned Drury South Heavy Industrial Complex (one of five in Auckland). Again owing to funding shortfalls (which I put more “pressure” on Government than Council who have their hands tied really in this case) I find the Drury SHA perplexing because:
- The Future Urban Land Supply Strategy (mentioned here: Auckland Development Committee Agenda Up. UPDATED With More Attachments) has Karaka not being opened up for at least 15 years. So rather odd Drury which is further south is being sped up now
- Public Transport out there is poor and there is no plans for any upgrades in the area any time soon. Not unless we get the $110m for the Pukekohe Electrification and the three new stations of which Drury is one.
- While there is the Drury South Industrial Complex nearby will it offer jobs so that some if not most won’t have to commute north
- Can the Southern Motorway (2 lanes each way) cope especially with freight traffic due to increase along that stretch and no sign of public transport upgrades any time soon
9,000 potential jobs the Drury Heavy Industrial Complex is meant to provide. Okay that is quite impressive given it is an industrial complex so I will alter number three too:
- The Drury South Industrial Complex nearby it offer jobs so that some if not most won’t have to commute north
But that doesn’t solve the other three points (whether it be for the residential SHA or the industrial complex next door) I have mentioned especially with the rail infrastructure not adequate out there and the Southern Motorway already facing “peak” traffic past Ramarama further south. So for me again the decision is a perplexing one for reasons given above.
I do have this as more information from the elocal Papakura magazine that lands in my letter box once a month:
Explosion in Papakura!
by Michael Botur
As Auckland grows, hundreds of thousands of people are settling on its fringes. Billions is being spent to ensure people can flush their toilets or pull out of their garages and drive on the road – and still, there isn’t one unified body coordinating the multiple councils, council-controlled organisations, private companies and government departments involved in it all.
There are plenty out there complaining about the sprawl; then there are people getting themselves, customers and neighbours ready for what is inevitable.
On May 11 2015, Calum Penrose and Sir John Walker, ward councillor for Manurewa-Papakura, held a meeting in Drury to spread information about southern Auckland growth, alongside Bill Cashmore, ward councillor for Franklin. 80 members of local business, community groups and those with specific interest in development south of Papakura attended. This included Clevedon Village Improvement Project representatives, the Stevenson Group CEO, and Hunua’s Member of Parliament, Andrew Bayly.
Neither demanding the massive influx nor resisting it, Penrose is trying to “manage” the growth, he told elocal. Because the nearest two councillors are Manurewa-Papakura’s Sir John Walker and Franklin’s Bill Cashmore, Penrose works with them daily.
The most recent significant developments are special housing areas and the industrial project known as Drury South, challenges Penrose described as “exciting times.” Drury South could create 12,000 jobs.
Such development requires a person to constantly look on a macro scale while simultaneously looking at the big picture. The 860acre Stevenson quarry being developed into Drury South, for example, is not only a 223ha industrial zone (361ha including buffer zone) directly relevant to the Drury community, it’s also a “very popular logistical location between Auckland Hamilton and Tauranga” which will attract some of the country’s biggest companies once they realise Drury South is an epicentre of industry.
Located between Drury and Ramarama, the 361 hectare site is designed to accommodate construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade. It will ‘facilitate’ (create or attract) over 9,000 jobs (7000 near Drury alone) and will give $2.3b to the region’s GDP. Drury South has quarry trucking routes, high voltage power corridors, high pressure gas mains, Spark’s fibre optic cable, and the North Island’s main trunk rail corridor. The site is so significant it requires 130ha of public open space, riparian corridors, storm water treatment, and roading.
Outsiders might assume the region is carte blanche for unbridled development. Actually, Manurewa is going to experience very little development, while Mill Road (east of Papakura/Takanini) will experience huge development – Penrose said Mill Road will be part of a $1.2b link to Pukekohe’s SH22 at Drury. Booms will occur at Beachlands, Maraetai, Paerata, Kingseat and Karaka.
Franklin’s Bill Cashmore works constantly beside Penrose. The two have “put a map on the wall and spotted all the things that should be done,” Penrose said. To facilitate the hundreds of thousands who are coming, “we need roading, schools, shops, medical facilities, tertiary education… .” With the help of the agencies responsible for these services, Calum and Franklin’s Bill Cashmore have mapped what will be needed and where.
Watercare will spend $2.1b in Southern Auckland in the next ten years. Then there are upgrades to the southern motorway, which should hopefully ease congestion for all the Papakurans and Franklinites who attempt to beat traffic by getting on the motorway at 6am.
Penrose said the next upgrade would be a $210m project, although “To me it should have been $400m, but I’ve had to back off.” It all costs vast amounts of money – roading between Hingaia and Kingseat is a $1-1.2b project; the average stormwater connection per household around Takanini is $30,000.
It’s easy to imagine paving over paradise, but virtually every distinctive settlement will retain its green belt. “If you look at the maps, the Future Urban map in line with Drury Hills Road shows 15-20 acre blocks [approved for development.] You’ll have portions of Ramarama that are industrial and commercial. We’ll try push heavier [industry] to Glenbrook. 5000 houses are going into Paerata – that’ll start next year.”
Penrose stressed the infrastructure is required to make Papakura a driving force in the Auckland economy. Rail must be electrified between Papakura and Pukekohe; Special Housing Areas must be approved by central government, and the Beehive must also help Auckland Council with the cost of it all. Penrose said transport levies will kick-start funding for these projects, because congestion charges and tolling will take time to negotiate with central government. While central government usually directs local governments such as Auckland Council to save costs and pay for what might be seen as parochial projects, the Minister for Local Government seems onside, Penrose said. “We’re hoping government will come on board because we need $130m for electrification.”
Finite funding resources are one obstruction to development; another is ownership of infrastructure, with NZ Transport Authority owning many roads, such as those which take people to and from their jobs at Auckland Airport. City Rail Link, as much it will ease Auckland’s transport problems, still costs at least $2b – which Auckland Council will not pay all of.
At Drury South, the economic impact will begin with $620m spent on construction alone; billions will be injected into the economy of south and wider Auckland. Penrose told Elocal there are two options in Papakura’s near future. “People need to move with the development, or move away.”
The Map also from the article
I would warn my Councillor – Councillor Penrose to watch what comes out of the Unitary Plan Mediation and Hearings on the Centre Zones in which Papakura is a Metropolitan Centre. All I’ll say is that while the Industrial Complexes certainly have a future, commerce wise in terms of the Metropolitan Centres your eyes should be onto Auckland’s biggest – Manukau City Centre.