Should Manurewa and Papakura Become Unlocks or Transforms (Urban Regeneration)?

Opportunity does await


Last week Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillor Daniel Newman and Manurewa Local Board Angela Dalton made an impassioned plea to the Finance Committee of Auckland Council to have the Transform Manukau southern boundary extended from Browns Road to Te Mahia Station so that the Manurewa Town Centre would be captured by the Panuku led urban regeneration program.


The two elected representatives made their plea at the beginning of the Urban Regeneration item of the Finance Committee which can be seen below:

The video is a long one so if you want the short version watch the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes of the clip


In essence the idea was to extend the southern boundary of Transform Manukau to include Manurewa Town Centre and Te Mahia Station. The premise being that Panuku’s resources could be used to start urban regeneration in the Manurewa Town Centre – that does need a face lift. However, the idea was quickly rebuked by Panuku and senior Councillors as both spreading Manukau’s resources too thin and trying to have Manurewa jump-start queue when others were waiting for their urban regeneration turn.


From the Finance and Performance Committee:

UPDATE: I have managed to see the Minutes to the Finance and Performance Committee where the extension of Transform Manukau southern boundary was debated:

MOVED by Cr D Newman, seconded by Deputy Chairperson D Simpson,an amendment by way of addition which was subsequently withdrawn:h)         request that Panuku provide advice to the Planning Committee on the option of extending Transform Manukau to incorporate the Manurewa Town Centre and the Te Mahia train station.
Resolution number FIN/2018/40MOVED by Cr C Darby, seconded by Chairperson R Clow:

h)         request that Panuku consider additional centres and areas for inclusion in the overall Transform, Unlock and Support Programme, including consideration of Manurewa, Takanini and Papakura, and that the total work be brought to the Planning Committee workshop before 1 August 2018.


This is excellent in that Manurewa and Papakura get the attention they do deserve by having their own dedicated Transform and Unlocks rather than muddying the waters by extending the boundary of Transform Manukau.

I can support the resolution from Darby and Clow and will advocate for at least Papakura to be included.


Source: UPDATE: Finance and Performance Committee March 18 Digests: Urban Regeneration and No to Manurewa Local Board


The final resolution to come out was a good one and reflected the first ideals with the Panuku program that new Centres would come into the list over time (the question of resources is another debate entirely).


I always wonder why Papakura Metropolitan Centre was never included in the first round of Panuku urban regeneration program. To have it (the program) stop at Manukau when we have another Metropolitan Centre further south baffled me and still does some three years later.


Panuku Development Auckland Type 1 short list
Source: Auckland Council

Papakura was never on that list however, Otahuhu didn’t become an Unlock either so the application of the list was questionable at times.


Manurewa and Papakura both sit on the Southern (rail) Line where both their stations are heavily patronised. Both Centres also have transport interchanges where busses congregate allowing people to either come to both Centres for retail or change over to the trains and continue their journey north or south. With these two key transport aspects in mind Manurewa Town Centre and Papakura Metropolitan Centre would be perfect for the Governments incoming Housing Commission Urban Development Authority to come in and kick-start some urban regeneration on both these centres.


Transit Orientated Developments for Manurewa and Papakura?

Reference: National Policy Statement on Urban Development MK2: Transit Orientated Developments Present Opportunity


In an earlier post I talked using a National Policy Statement attached to the Resource Management Act to relax Unitary Plan restrictions tied to respective Residential and Business Zones. That is relaxing density, setback, height and minimum parking rules to encourage intensified developments within 800 metres of a Rapid Transit Network station – otherwise facilitating Transit Orientated Developments. Manurewa and Papakura Centres are built around their train stations giving the opportunity for Transit Orientated Developments to happen – with a bit of help.


Goal 2.7 of Manukau Framework Plan
Source: Panuku Development Auckland


The above is the 800 metre radius from Manukau Rail Station and the potential for intensified developments inside that circle. The same would be applied to Manurewa and Papakura that have either Metropolitan Centre or Town Centre zoning at their core and plenty of Terraced Housing and Apartment and/or Mixed Housing Urban zones to allow those intensified developments.

While Papakura can allow 11 storeys and Manurewa 8 storeys at their cores even with the TOD and UDA I doubt we will be hitting those two ceilings straight away. But the TOD and UDA will allow the gradual upscaling starting with 3-4 storey developments and taking it from there. Already some regeneration is happening with the Safer Communities Program in Papakura making cycling, walking and way-finding easier while in Manurewa upgrades leading to the station and other way-finding have been invested in. These small but what I would call foundational urban regeneration exercises in both Centres provide just that – the foundation to start larger scale urban regeneration exercises including whole streetscapes and the actual build of apartments, terraced housing and new and revamped retail/hospitality spaces.

Transform Manukau went through this in its very early beginnings and the same will be with Papakura and Manurewa.

Having the TOD overlays placed over both Manurewa and Papakura would not only recognise both are on the Rapid Transit Network (the Southern Line) but give guidance on where intensified developments would occur. In other words signalling where significant investment would go.


Takanini and Papakura north under the Unitary Plan



Integrated Area Plan for Manurewa, Takanini and Papakura.
Source: Auckland Council



Spatial Development ideas – Papakura and Drury


Should Papakura and Manurewa be eligible for some Panuku and Housing Commission led urban regeneration love?

Most certainly!


2 thoughts on “Should Manurewa and Papakura Become Unlocks or Transforms (Urban Regeneration)?

  1. Careful Ben, the Councillor will block you again. His latest blurb was embarrassing for the way he continues to bag his team. Voice a different viewpoint at your peril, he personalises and denigrates all who dare disagree. Hardly what’s expected in his position.

    1. If he did Ill take that as a badge of honour and mount it on the wall.

      I was always puzzled Papakura not being included in as an Unlock. However, with the Safer Communities program under way we might get another crack a the apple. Will know in August at the Planning Committee

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