Land Banking Special Housing Areas? #AKLPols

I certainly hope not


The Special Housing Areas are already causing enough grief or joy depending which particular SHA you look at. However, what Auckland should NOT be seeing is land designated Special Housing Areas hocked off for sale on the open market for land banking as this advertisement suggests below.



New block of Special Housing Area Land goes on the market

New block of Special Housing Area Land goes on the market for sale

A prime section of land in a newly-created Special Housing Area in South Auckland has been placed on the market for sale, presenting extensive opportunities for an investor or developer.

The freehold block comprising 4.23 hectares and a four-bedroom house is located at 933 Paerata Road in Pukekohe, one of the country’s fastest growing areas. The section of land is situated in A Special Housing Area (SHA) – a location identified for fast-track development to boost Auckland’s housing supply.

The property has been placed on the market for sale with Bayleys and is being marketed by salespeople Ben Jameson and Rebecca McEntee via an auction process on September 1. It has a Government Valuation of $1.1 million.

The recent rezoning of the area, including the section, allows for greater development options, said Mr Jameson.

“This property sits adjacent to Wesley College and is part of the Wesley SHA – an area which has been approved for rezoning as Mixed Urban Housing,” he said.

“The proposed Wesley SHA development is for a minimum of 4500 new homes over a period of 15 to 20 years, including mixed housing, terrace and apartment living, and will also create employment opportunities and schooling.

“Approval has been given for minimum lot sizes of 300sqm, with 1000 residential houses proposed for the first stage of the Wesley SHA development.”

As part of the council’s vision of Auckland being the ‘world’s most liveable city’, the aim of the development is to establish ‘an accessible community that offers residents access to quality connected, open space, a commercial centre and a heart that builds on the history of the Wesley College’, according to council documents. The Wesley local town centre precinct will be developed between the Wesley College buildings and Stay Highway 22.

The new block up for sale features a 171sqm, four-bedroom house with a large office/ second lounge area, open plan kitchen and family area, double garage and sheds and grazing opportunities for stock.

The section is gently contoured land. Under the criteria for the proposed Special Housing Area development, the property could be subdivided into an estimated 45-75 sections.

Located in Paerata, this section is in a highly desirable area only minutes from Pukekohe – of New one of Zealand’s fastest growing areas – with easy access to the motorway and nearby townships of Drury, Pukekohe and Papakura, said Ms McEntee.

“Close to the southern motorway and within commutable distance to Auckland CBD and Auckland International Airport, this section is well connected and is in a sought-after lifestyle area.

“There are several public schools in the area close to Paerata including; Pukekohe Intermediate, Pukekohe High School, Wesley College, Rosehill College, Paerata School and several other primary schools in Pukekohe and the surrounds. Private school buses travel the area to Auckland’s private colleges and Papakura train station provides a regular service for commuting to Auckland CBD including Saint Kentigern’s, Kings College, St Cuthbert’s, and Diocesan Schools.

“This is a prime development opportunity for an active investor or as a land banking option,” said Ms McEntee.

When development of the Special Housing Area is completed Wesley College will relocate within the district but will remain involved in the project throughout its 20 to 30 year course, as the school owns the majority of the land involved, said the council documents.

“This section offers an astute developer or investor the ability to secure an attractive piece of land in a highly sought-after, accessible and popular location, with opportunity for development,” said Ms McEntee.




The purpose of the Special Housing Areas was to break land banking and speed up the supply of housing which Auckland is short on. If a section of the big Wesley College SHA is to be used as land banking then this is a case of the Council AND the Minister revoking the SHA on that land immediately. I am aware some have applied for SHA statuses in order to attract market value for selling off rather than develop as the SHA’s were meant to do.


I think a please explain is in order.


5 thoughts on “Land Banking Special Housing Areas? #AKLPols

  1. Ben

    Could you please explain how the special housing areas were to break up land banking?

    1. The legislation states once an SHA is approved for the land you have a limited time to have that land developed or the status is removed.

      We know the SHA is meant to speed up the consenting process however, the consent is only valid for three years I believe rather than the full five.

      1. I have said from day one that the SHA cannot work as they defy development logic.
        For starters 1) The land prior to the creation of the SHA’s was bought at land banked prices in anticipation of re zoning, or as happened the creation of SHA’s. Therefore going forward, it does not matter who owns the land, the input price has already been determined at a land banked price that will make it nigh on impossible for housing to be truly affordable.
        2) Also irrespective of which land is included in the SHA’s, because infrastructure is provided by council, then there is a specific order of development from those properties that are closest to the last connection out. Therefore, if you are the developer at the end of the line, council will not allow you to develop if it is out of order with their grand plan.
        3) Land bankers are not necessary developers, so it is only natural they will on sell to an end developer.
        4) What the SHA conditions are trying to do is make land be developed which has a high input cost and then make a large number of sections come to the market in a short time frame. Many developers see this as too risky.
        5) Lastly, some of the land within the SHA’s is owned by owners who could not care less about developing now ie farmers, or is owned by long term land bankers ie the land has no debt, and they are happy enough to see the land developed around them, knowing that its value is increasing anyway and will wait on the inevitable future rezoning.

        The only reason the SHA’s came into existence was to get around the limitations of the LGA and RMA. But as much land that the SHA’s are supposedly releasing, it is still less than the previous MUL or RUB and combined with the reason in #2 above means no more land outside what had already been identified in years past by land bankers had been released.

        SHA’s were never going to work, and never will.

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