Auranga Special Housing Area Gets Underway. 1,350 homes for the South

Master Planned Community with 200 Affordable Homes


On Friday I popped out to Drury to watch a sod turning ceremony.

What was the ceremony marking? 1,350 new homes in Southern Auckland in what is being called Auranga.


From Auranga:


The start of works at the Bremner Road SHAs in Drury known as Auranga, was officially launched by Building and Housing Minister, the Hon Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Elect, Phil Goff today.

The pace that has been achieved from SHA to plan change, subdivision consent and earthworks is believed to be one of the fastest in New Zealand history.

The Auranga SHAs were approved as part of the Auckland Council’s tranche 6 and 9 special housing areas and were only established in August 2015 and February 2016.

Managing Director of Auranga, Charles Ma, says this demonstrates how the government, council, utility providers and private developers can work together to speed up the supply of good quality housing in Auckland.

“I am immensely proud that everyone has worked so hard and 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 1,350 new homes including apartments, duplexes, terraced and stand-alone homes on the the 84.6ha site. Over 200 will be affordable homes, which is 50 percent more than required under SHA provisions.

Mr Ma is quick to dispel the notion that it is just about pumping out houses.

“It is way more than just bricks and mortar. Auranga is about people, community and 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 and little atmosphere.

“I love timeless, elegant aesthetics and beautiful outdoor spaces. Auranga will be a celebration of traditional architecture and 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 and cyclepaths giving safe, easy access to the local sports grounds; there will be a jetty so people can enjoy the water, a local village square and shops, a playground and dedicated dog exercise area.

Mr Ma and his team of internationally renowned urban designers and planners have taken a macro -‘more than insulation’ – view of sustainability.

“Sustainability has to be the whole picture. We have designed the street network to reduce vehicle kilometres travelled per household by up to 30 percent.

“And with the expansion of employment nodes in Auckland’s south we hope to achieve employment levels as high as 92 percent self-sufficiency – that’s more local jobs than anywhere else in urban Auckland,” says Mr Ma.

For people wanting to work outside the area, the proposed new railway station at Drury and electrification of the existing rail line will provide congestion-free connections north and south.

Auranga has also partnered with Sustainable Coastlines and will be heavily involved in the ‘Love your Coast Manukau Harbour’ clean up next year and the ‘Love your Water’ project which will involve waterway tree planting activities on the Auranga site.

Sustainable Coastlines managing director, Sam Judd, says Love Your Water is about developing community passion and capacity to protect and restore waterways.

“It’s exciting to have Auranga on board at the very start of our Love Your Water journey. With this kind of support we can make good progress on stopping pollution at its source, and improve the quality of our waterways so we can enjoy clean beaches,” he says.

About 30,000 native and eco-sourced plants will be planted at Auranga next season and will be well established when the first homes are ready for their new owners in early 2018.


You can visit the website here:


Some photos of the sod turning today with Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith, Mayor-elect Phil Goff and Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore:



Some official photos and layouts of Auranga:



And some more information for you:


The team bringing Auranga

The Auranga Master Plan


Auranga Village Illustration



Some thoughts (GRID PATTERNS 😮 )

I believe Minister Dr Nick Smith got a “reminder” that the Pukekohe Electrification plus the Drury South Station need to be completed within three years not ten years as in the Auckland Transport Alignment Program (ATAP).


Anyhow while the official party were deep in State of Affairs I looked around the SHA site and took in the scenery – especially looking north to Papakura and the Southern Motorway. Earlier in the day with Cities Skylines I had placed down infrastructure and the zones to support 15,000 new residents as well as jobs and amenities. For a real life comparison the Transform Manukau site is designed for 20,000 people over 600 hectares while Arunga and it’s 1,350 homes over 84 hectares would support 4,500-5,000 people depending on dwelling size and number of people per dwelling.

If you look at the master plan documents above you will notice Auranga is in a grid street pattern rather than the usual cul-de-sac style that really shot to prominence in Auckland in the 90’s and 00’s (and still happening today). The grid pattern allows for walk-ability as well efficient movement of other forms of traffic including public transport later on. Grid patterns also deter crime as you have a wider range of active and passive surveillance not afforded to cul-de-sacs.

Nice work Auranga with the grid pattern that will indeed promote better amenities within the new development.



1,350 much needed homes in the South for ~5,000 people in a master planned low-medium density community. More is needed for certain but the time it took to get this SHA off the ground should be the standard bearer to getting all medium-large developments off the ground. That means in-sync cooperation on rolling out infrastructure with Government, Council and developers. Ideally the electrification to Pukekohe would be done by now but none-the-less it needs to be done within three years when Auranga comes to fruition.

800 new people a week into Auckland, they need to be housed somewhere and moved about somehow that does not involve more motorways!