Bikes and Public Transport, Glen Innes and New Lynn

The Urban Cycleway Fund programme is primarily funding a number of specific routes but in and around the city centre however two of the projects we’re individual routes but about improving and entire area so that it is easier to use a bike to access public transport. This is important as bikes and PT each act as multipliers for each other. These areas were earmarked for Glen Innes and New Lynn as shown on the map below.

Auckland urbancycleways map 2015-18

Back in October, Auckland Transport consulted on the Glen Innes area, asking people to mark out on a map where they have comments. It was the first time they’d tried consultation that way. The results of that consultation are now in.

AT say they received 293 responses although only 33 came from the online tool and the rest from paper forms. Those responses contained 1070 issues, barriers or concerns and the common themes were

  • Intersection/roundabout dangerous (199 comments)
  • Parked vehicles/ narrow road (174 comments)
  • Road/route dangerous/ difficult for cyclists – general (136 comments)
  • Busy/ chaotic traffic road (121 comments)
  • High vehicle speed (95 comments)
  • Other cyclist concerns (103 comments)
  • Improvements suggested (82 comments)
  • Signals/ crossings (70 comments)
  • Poor quality road/ path surface (49 comments)
  • Bicycle security/ parking required (44 comments)
  • Shared path concerns (23 comments)
  • Vehicles pass too close (20 comments)
  • Improve signage (9 comments)

The map below shows where specific routes or barriers were mentioned and how frequently they were.

Glen Innes Consultation Results - details

And here is the cycle network for the area that AT have come up with as a result of that feedback although funding is only covering the Glen Innes bits.

Glen Innes Consultation Results - final map

Having a cycle network on a map is now thing and so AT say the next steps further consultation as the specific routes are further developed.

AT have also started work on the other of those Links to PT at New Lynn and have launched a similar consultation to what happened in Glen Innes. As well as linking to public transport it should also help with links to the recently consulted on New Lynn to Avondale cycleway and the more recreational Te Whau Pathway

Clark-Rankin intersection - impression

The map below is the area they are looking at and AT want to know:

  • Key routes you want to use when cycling to New Lynn and Avondale stations from the surrounding suburbs.
  • Other key cycling routes in the area, such as those that connect with town centres, shops, schools, parks, and other community facilities.
  • Any specific issues you would like to see addressed (eg any concerns that put you off cycling in the area, such as high traffic speeds, difficult intersections or lack of cycle parking).
  • Other ways to make it easier to cycle in the area.

New Lynn Consultation Map

New Lynn is already the third busiest station on the rail network behind Britomart and Newmarket and improving access to it should only help in making even more popular.

Feedback is open until Friday, 24 June 2016 and there are a couple of public events people can a

A Tale of Two Paths – big bikeways, local streets, and community connectivity

This is a cross post from with our friends at Bike Auckland.

This is a tale of two paths. We begin out west, on a stretch of the Northwestern Cycleway. This is a ‘road of national significance’ for people on bikes – a commuter path from the far west into town. But at the local level, it also makes all sorts of handy journeys possible for people like Penny and her family, who use the path to access school, daycare, and work.

Motorway-style routes have a seductive A to B directness, whether they’re for cars or bikes, but what makes them truly useful, as Penny’s family’s story shows, is the exits – the on- and off-ramps, if you will.

Of course, the Western Springs/ Kingsland stretch of the NW cycleway is especially rich in access points, a legacy of how SH16 was sliced through the heart of the original connected neighbourhood. Take the 2.5km stretch from St Lukes Rd to the Waima St over bridge that leads to Penny’s school. There are by a rough count 14 connections to local streets. One every 180m or so!

NW Cycleway - St Lukes to Waima St

This frequent access and deep connectivity (if it strongly favours the southern side) have made this section of path a busy thoroughfare, and not just for cyclists. School kids use it morning and afternoon, joggers and dog-walkers share the path, and in spring when the wisteria is in flower, it could be a slice of Europe.


Compare this with another 2.5km-ish stretch of the NW cycleway nearby, along the Causeway between Rosebank Rd and Waterview. It’s a smooth ride – but a long walk if you get a flat tire, because this Two and a Half K has zero connections to local streets.

NW Cycleway - Causeway

That’s because of course this 2.5km is mainly home to excellent bird life and the occasional stranded whale (although, that said, the planned connections to the ‘islanded’ Waterview and Pt Chev back streets on the right will be extremely handy for locals; especially Waterview, which has to contend with the moat-like Great North Road.) But all in all, it’s a long uninterrupted ride from one end to the other, and it simply connects A to B. Which is not such a problem, because on that section, there’s little XYZ along the way.

Imagine the frustration if the section of path through Western Springs/ Kingsland had no exits. Picture it. In fact, how about a thought experiment so we can really feel it. Let’s think about this distance in terms of travel time.

Google’s a bit optimistic about biking speed, but let’s call 2.5km a ten-minute ride for ordinary folk. For comparative purposes, how far could you go on a motorway in a car in ten minutes, assuming free-running traffic and sticking to the speed limit?

Google says 16.6 km. To put that in perspective, a reasonable 10-minute motorway trip under Sunday-driver conditions might take you from:

  • Town to Te Atatu
  • Town to Takapuna
  • Princes St to Princes St: from the university to Otahuhu.

Now, imagine exits every kilometre or so along those routes, analogous to the Kingsland section of the cycleway – oh wait, there are! Righto. That’s a well-connected stretch of motorway.

But now imagine if there were zero exits along the way (exactly like the cycleway along the Causeway). No exit between town and Te Atatu. No stopping between the city and Takapuna Beach. No way off between Auckland U and Otahuhu. Connectivity denied.

And that brings us to the second 2.5km path in this story: the GI to Tamaki Shared Path, currently being designed and constructed in four stages (thanks to the Urban Cycling Fund). When completed, it will run all the way from Glen Innes, through the Pourewa Valley (the green corridor once set aside for the Eastern Highway) and across and around the Orakei Lagoon, to connect to Tamaki Drive near the city.

Just as its NW counterpart has done for the west, this NE cycleway will open up huge swathes of the east to bike commuting.

From our first engagement with this project in November 2014, we’ve seen this path as not just a utilitarian urban access route for long distance commuters, but an iconic destination and local treasure in its own right. We’ve consistently made the case for linking the cycleway to existing recreational paths and nearby streets, so as to make local journeys possible and to integrate the path into the neighborhoods it passes through. (We’re also battling tirelessly for better cycle facilities on the roads that will bring people to the cycleway).

In other words, this path will not only link Glen Innes to downtown, but will also allow for smart local trips like Penny’s family’s rides – if it comes well-supplied with local connections.

Wait a minute. Did we say ‘if’? 


Because there’s a chance that Stage 2, which is the 2.5km stretch between St Johns Rd and the Orakei Boardwalk, may yet make it through construction with no side connections (only the future possibility of them).

This would be a massive shame, to put it mildly. Because unlike the scenic Causeway out west, this section of the journey isn’t just for the birds.


The connective potential is huge.

In this 2.5km section, Meadowbank train station (10 minutes to Britomart) is on the route of the path itself. And, along with shopping centres, businesses and health centres, there are probably 3000 homes within cooee on both sides of the valley.

Eastern Path Section 2 - 1

More than 1,000 of those homes, in places like John Rymer Place and the Gowing Drive area, will be “islanded”, with no access to the path, unable to get along the path to Meadowbank train station –  or across the Pourewa Valley safely to St Thomas’s and Selwyn College.

Eastern Path Section 2 - 2

You heard right: there are two schools whose zones straddle the green corridor – St Thomas’s and Selwyn College. At the moment, those kids living south of the railway have to take a trip round three sides of a rectangle via urban arterial ‘trucking routes’, St Johns Road and Kohimarama Road on the east, or via Orakei Road / Kepa Road in the west. Properly connected, this path could change their lives, by making it possible to get to school while taking lots of cars off the roads (and this is pretty topical).


Some of the existing “gaps in the fence” – the dotted yellow line shows the “fence” (i.e. no access), while the circles show points of access – currently walking only – that could become side connections to the shared path. Note how cut off Gowing Drive is, below the green corridor in the right of the image – and similarly, John Rymer Place, top right.

What’s more, the Pourewa Valley itself is a unique, ecologically significant place: it’s by far the largest tract of estuarine native bush in the isthmus, and is being lovingly restored. The GI to Tamaki path runs right through it, past an established network of trails. If these trails were connected to the path, they’d get even more use, which would make for a safer and livelier space.

Imagine bridges, a boardwalk or two across the creek to make loops for walking and running, linking Meadowbank and Kepa Bush, and Kepa Road to Meadowbank Train Station. A fully connected shared path would bring this space to life. And give your kids (and you) an awesome backyard ride or walk, too. Some balance to the Xbox and smartphone sedentary seductions that we all tend to fall prey to in our daily lives.

So why is nothing proposed to be done about this right away?

We’re not saying that anyone among the decision-makers is just willfully closing their eyes to the possibilities. There are a couple of factors that make this difficult, including terrain: the gully is pretty steep and bush-clad, so creating paths, especially for bikes, is not like crossing an open field.

But the major hard issues are boring stuff: zoning and costs.

Zoning – well, for instance, we’d have to go back a couple of decades, and ask the people who laid out places like Gowing Drive what they were thinking?!? A street of over a kilometre long that turns its back to the gully and has not a single gap in the row of private properties. Not one alleyway. Not one track. Not even one maintenance access. Not a single thought given to a project like this happening one day, when people might want to explore what’s over their back fences. So this means that, short of Council buying a property to get through-access, Gowing Drive may stay “islanded” for a long time yet.

On the northern side, things look a little better. Some accesses may well be doable – but not on the cheap, because you still need to build the connecting path, maybe with the odd small bridge, etc. And that money is simply not in the budget for the main path. We’ve asked, and the cash is tight. Yes, NZTA and the Minister of Transport are putting in a lot of funding for this flagship project – but it won’t cover any additions, we’re told, especially as the project managers will need to keep some in reserve for contingencies (you never know what issues you might find once you start actually digging…)

But there’s still time to make sure this is done right

How many side connections could there be in this 2.5 km?  One every 200m would make for a dozen connections. The potential is huge. Let’s aim for at least a few, and see them built this decade, rather than the next.

As one observer noted, constructing this section of path without side links is the access/mobility equivalent of running water and power lines past houses… but not actually hooking anyone up. And the likelihood is that without ‘official’ links in place, people will try to work out how to get across as soon as the rail overbridge is in place. (Probably not by bike… but you never know!)

That’s why as transportation advocates who have been influential for lobbying for the project, we want to make sure that this situation has been well recognised and anticipated while everyone involved has ample time to do something about it.

So who needs to do what?

  • We will continue to advocate for a quality path, maximised side links, and safe connections at each end, to Tamaki Drive and Merton Road (that’s another story altogether).
  • And the Local Board could sponsor side links and prioritise their construction.

Here’s the good news: the Orakei Local Board’s list of priorities for the 2016/2017 budget (see full list here) includes scoping and providing connections to the path:

  • developing cycling and walking connections to the Orakei Spine (Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive path) from Tahapa East and West Reserves
  • providing additional funding in 2016/17 for design and consents for additional connections to the Orakei Spine (Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive path)

You can help by giving supportive feedback on the Orakei Local Board’s priorities, using this feedback form (scroll down to find Question 5b about the priority projects).

Anyone can comment, but feedback is especially valuable if you’re a local and can say how adding side-links would improve your walking or biking life.

NB Feedback must be received by 4pm Thursday 24 March 2016.

This really is an important and visionary project, with massive potential to open up the neighbourhood – let’s make sure it’s accessible to as many people as possible, so they, too, can experience the happiness of having a cycleway in the back yard.

Sod Turning Day: Eastern Path and Southern Motorway

It’s sod turning day with two major projects officially kicking off.

Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr Shared Path

The most interesting of these is the start of stage 1 of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr Shared Path. When fully finished the path is bound to become one of the most iconic walking and cycling routes in Auckland – although it is going to have some stiff competition from the likes of Skypath and Seapath, The Westhaven Promenade and the Nelson St off-ramp.

Eastern Path Section 4

Construction of one Auckland’s biggest ever cycle projects is starting on Wednesday and will be marked by a sod-turning ceremony attended by the Minister of Transport and Mayor of Auckland.

The Glen Innes to Tamaki shared path is a 7.3km path for walking and cycling that starts in Merton Rd and follows the eastern rail line to Tamaki Drive at Hobson Bay. It will create one of the most scenic bike rides in Auckland and make walking and cycling into the city easier and more convenient for people living in communities throughout the inner eastern suburbs.

Following the eastern rail line, the shared path goes across Orakei Basin and comes out at Tamaki Dr where future cycle projects are planned.

The project will be constructed in four stages. It will completed in late 2018 with the first stage from Merton Rd to St Johns Rd set to open in late 2016.

After short speeches there will be a sod-turning ceremony. In addition to Minister Simon Bridges and Mayor Len Brown, the project team from NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport will be in attendance.


Below is the approximate timing of each of the four stages.

  • Section 1: Merton Road to St Johns Road – Late 2015 – late 2016.
  • Section 3: Orakei Basin boardwalk – Mid 2016 – mid 2017.
  • Section 2: St Johns Road to Orakei Basin – Late 2016 – late 2017.
  • Section 4: Orakei Basin to Tamaki Drive – Late 2017 – late 2018.

Sections of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path 1


The herald has reported that in total is meant to cost around $40 million to construct and AT say it has the following features:

  • The path will be around four metres wide and constructed mostly in concrete. Timber boardwalks will be used for short water crossings such as Orakei Basin and concrete for longer structures such as the proposed Hobson Bay crossing. The path will be safe and convenient for use by people on foot or on bike.
  • Good lighting will extend hours of access, particularly during winter months.
  • The route’s geography is hilly in places, but the design of the path will keep gradients as low as possible.
  • The path design will link into local communities and the project will identify future links that could be built at a later date.
  • The path will connect communities with public transport along the route.

Other than above AT haven’t said much about improving local access which I think will be critical to getting the most out of the route. Unsurprisingly this was the biggest concern of those that submitted during consultation last year with 56.8% of submitters raising Insufficient access points / Feeder routes / Poor connectivity / Tamaki Drive shared path poor quality as something they disliked about the project. The next highest dislike was concerns about it being a shared path which was raised by 15.8% of submitters.

In the past I’ve seen a number of comments questioning the priority this project has been given. As I understand things the key reason this is happening now is that the path is using the designation originally created for the cancelled Eastern Motorway. That designation will lapse soon so it makes sense to get this done before that happens. I’ve also heard it suggested that the NZTA want to free up land they own around Glen Innes now it won’t be needed for a motorway.

Southern Motorway Works

Today Simon Bridges is also kicking off the $267 million project to widen the southern motorway between Manukau and Papakura as well as upgrade the Takanini interchange. There are some aspects of this project I do think will be valuable, such as improving the Takanini Interchange which I understand is a common location for crashes however I’m not convinced the entire project is critical at this time. Like the Glen Innes Shared Path this project is being done in four stages and is due to be complete around late 2018. The four stages are shown below.

Southern Corridor Stages

From the look of things some parts of this section of motorway haven’t been touched since it was first built. Here’s a shot of the Takanini Interchange and motorway to Papakura under construction from the early 1960’s

Southern Corridor History


Improving cycling in Glen Innes

One of the projects to get funding from the government’s Urban Cycleway Funding announcement is to improve cycling links to the Glen Innes train station. Unlike other projects from the UCF the project isn’t a set route but seems to be intended to create a network of routes linking not only the train station but also the town centre, schools and employment areas.

Auckland urbancycleways map 2015-18

Auckland Transport are now asking the public just what they think needs to be done to make cycling in Glen Innes better. This is quite different to the usual consultation done where they asking about some pre-prepared plans.


Glen Innes is set for a major upgrade with improvements planned for people getting around on bike and the local community is being asked what should be done.

Auckland Transport will be improving cycling links to the Glen Innes train station but also wants to know what else can be done in the area for people on bikes says Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling manager, Kathryn King.

“Glen Innes and the surrounding area will be developing in the coming years. We are planning for that growth by encouraging people to leave the car at home and instead walk, cycle or use public transport. Getting people walking and cycling to public transport connections is a key priority.  The people who live here know it best, so we are asking them to tell us what needs improving to get them on their bikes,” she says.

The local community is being asked to identify routes they would like to see improved for cycling. That will include routes to the train station but also how access can be improved to the town centre, parks, community facilities and the future Glen Innes to Tamaki shared path. This shared path, which starts at Merton Rd and follows the rail line all the way to Tamaki Drive, will connect communities and provide a direct route into the city for people on bikes.

People are also being asked if there are any particular problems for people cycling in the area that they would like to see addressed.

“We want to make it easier to cycle to the train station so people can get to where they want to go for work or study. That means improvements to the road corridor, but we are also looking at other improvements like bike parking,” adds Ms King.

The project is part of a $200 million, three year programme of cycle projects in Auckland to be delivered by AT, Auckland Council and the NZ Transport Agency. To get more people cycling and to reduce the number single occupancy vehicles on the road, the partners will focus on cycle projects to, and within the city centre, as well as links to major transport interchanges.

The investment is a joint initiative between Central and Local Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme.

For more details on the project or to send feedback online go to the project webpage Search: Glen Innes cycle improvements

The method of consultation is also new. AT have developed a mapping tool allowing people to drop a pin on a map and add a comment about it rather than having to try and explain details in a text box like we’ve had to in the past. This is a good step from AT. You do have to have to register to give feedback but you can do so using your twitter profile (if you have one).

Glen Innes Consultation Map

AT’s new cycle consultation tool

The consultation is open until Friday 6 November

Tamaki Transformation Strategic Framework Released

The Tamaki area is one with so much potential yet so far has failed to live up to that. There have long been talks about redeveloping the area and it seems that something might finally be about to happen. Almost a year ago the government and the Auckland Council formed an urban redevelopment company to oversee the transformation of the area. Today the company is released a draft strategic framework for how they plan to do this. The herald reported this morning.

Auckland’s low-income suburbs of Glen Innes, Pt England and Panmure will roughly double in population under a draft plan for more intensive housing to be unveiled today.

The urban “regeneration” project, which could add up to 6000 new homes to an existing 5050, is expected to be one of the first “special housing areas” with fast-tracked resource consent processes under a housing accord signed last month by Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

The target of 6000, included in the accord, makes it the biggest housing development scheduled in Auckland and twice as big as the 3000-unit Hobsonville development.

It covers the area between West Tamaki Rd in the north and the Panmure Basin in the south, including 2880 Housing NZ homes, about 1160 owner-occupied houses and just over 1000 private rental properties.

The area covered in the Tamaki area is huge, to show the size of it and its relation to the city the transformation company have produced these maps

The Herald continues:

Unlike other developments, the draft Tamaki strategy also includes 11 other social, economic and environmental elements, as well as housing, designed to make the area more liveable despite doubling the population density.

The area is among Auckland’s most deprived, with a 2006 median income of only $20,000 and an employment rate of only 52 per cent, compared with 65 per cent across Auckland. Sole parents make up almost half the area’s families.

But the strategy sees opportunities for more jobs and training by attracting new businesses, redeveloping under-used land along the existing railway and encouraging training agencies such as Manukau Institute of Technology, Unitec and Te Wananga o Aotearoa to take over parts of Auckland University’s Tamaki campus, which the university plans to sell as it develops a new campus in Newmarket.

The strategy says private investors have expressed interest in redeveloping an area next to the railway line where containers are stored, including possibly reopening the former Tamaki station between Glen Innes and Panmure.

The plan proposes a mix across the redevelopment area of market and affordable housing, likely to be developed by private developers, community and iwi organisations.

I’ve said before that I’m not keen on the idea of reopening the Tamaki station, to me it is just too close to both Panmure and Glen Innes and I think it would be good to avoid turning the inner parts of the eastern line into a slow crawl like the inner western line is.

I have only read through a few parts of the document so far however like most things, it sounds good but will really come down to the implementation. For example the strategy talks about redeveloping housing to provide better quality dwellings and more housing choices but gives no firm indication as to just what that means i.e. I assume they mean a mix of dwellings from standalone houses through to terraced houses to apartments in the town centres but there isn’t really an indication of what mix they are aiming for. You can read the entire thing is here.

I think it’s also worth pointing out some of the history behind the area. It was one of the first post war suburbs built and was done so right at the start of our period of our auto dependency, at a time when cars were promoted as the future. Thinking that is highlighted so well in this video from 1960.

NZ On Screen

Do we need to re-open the Tamaki train station?

One of the proposals that is floating around at the moment and something that is being pushed fairly strongly by the  Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board is the idea of a transit oriented development (TOD) at Tamaki centred around the re-opening of the Tamaki train station. This was also highlighted in the CCFAS supporting documents looking at large scale development that is being planned along the rail corridors. At first the idea makes some sense as the area is both fairly close to town thanks to the train line and is an old industrial area that has large lots and that is ripe for redevelopment. The map below shows the area that is being talked about for a TOD. The council/AT own the land in red due to the AMETI plans while the light orange is one single land holding.

Tamaki TOD Land

But while I like putting more people right next to the rail line, I think there is a major flaw with the idea an it is to do with the idea of reopening the Tamaki train station which is intended to be right in the centre of the development. The issue is its proximity to the two stations that would surround it, Panmure and Glen Innes as it would only be around 800m and 1.2km away respectively (to/from roughly the centre of the platforms. That may seem like a lot but for a rail system it is pretty close and means the trains start to lose some one of their big advantages over buses which is their speed. It means that the distances between stations in this section end up similar like the horribly slow inner western line stations and by my calculations such a station could slow down trains by as much 1½ minutes. That would affect anyone who used the trains from south of the station and while it might not sound like much, making savings of that level across a large number of people is what is often used to justify large transport projects like motorways. In effect there would have to be massive amounts of additional patronage to justify the addition of a station here.

Tamaki Station location

The proposed station would only be ~900m from Panmure and 1.3km from Glen Innes 

So what are the alternatives, well most people generally tend to be ok walking up to ~800m  if it means access to a really high quality PT option like a train station with frequent services and 800m from the northern end of Panmure is right smack in the middle of this proposed development. Further it would be a nice flat walk taking most people somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how fast they walked. Those with a bike could go even faster and cycle the journey to Panmure in just a couple of minutes, even at a leisurely pace and by my reading of the AMETI plans, dedicated cycle lanes are going in alongside the rail line/ new AMETI road.

AMETI walking and cycling improvements 

Perhaps the only redeeming feature is that it would also be the closest station for those living in Stonefields or in the older housing developments to the east of the area but even then most would probably still find it just as easy to get to either Panmure of Glen Innes as they would getting to this station. Building the station could also have other unforeseen consequences, in particular the neighbouring Orakei local board have been pushing to get another station added between Glen Innes and Meadowbank. AT have already dismissed that as being to costly with not enough patronage however this development could see them reignite that debate adding more political pressure on to AT. I think looking at the plans so far, it simply doesn’t seem worth it to put a station in here as the existing ones in the area already serve the potential development fairly well.

Tamaki Redevelopment

On issues normally of interest to this blog, transport and urban development, it seems that the government and the council are miles apart so it is pleasing to see them working together on at least the second of those issues. In an announcement today, they are forming a redevelopment company to focus the Tamaki area which includes Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure. Here are parts of the press release:

The Government and the Auckland Council signed a Heads of Agreement today to jointly form New Zealand’s first urban redevelopment company to transform Tâmaki (including Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure) in Auckland over the next 15-25 years.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says that the jointly-owned Tâmaki Redevelopment Company (TRC) will bring together the right pubc and private partners, the right level of resource, authority and mandate to get results in Tâmaki. Similar companies have been successful internationally.

“The people of the Tâmaki community have td us they are keen to see the Tâmaki Transformation Programme vision that has been developed by the local community, together with central and local government partners during the foundation period, brought to fruition as quickly as possible. The new company will make that happen,” he said.

Work has been going on to examine how to transform Tâmaki into a thriving, prosperous, attractive and self-reant community.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown welcomes the partnership with Government and says the work in Tâmaki reflects what the council is working to achieve across Auckland through the recently-launched Auckland Plan.

“It is only through initiatives ke the transformation of Tâmaki that Auckland can become the world’s most veable city,” says the Mayor. “The people of Tâmaki have been waiting for this for a long time and this is a great project for the new Auckland to be getting on with. Many thanks are due to those who have contributed to the Tamaki Transformation project over several years.”

Mr Heatley says that, if successful, this redevelopment programme could be a blueprint for urban renewal elsewhere in the country.

“Successful transformation programmes overseas have brought together the local community, government, business, education, social agencies, developers and financiers in claboration to achieve a common vision.

“Tâmaki is a key growth area for Auckland and its future prosperity will have a flow-on effect for the rest of the country.  The new company will ensure a co-ordinated approach to create measurable improvement across four key components over time.”

A social component will support Tâmaki residents and their famies in getting the skills, knowledge and employment opportunities they need. An economic component will strengthen the local economy, creating new jobs and business opportunities.

A housing component will optimise land use and existing housing stock, including progressing private housing development and devering better social housing options in Tâmaki.

Meanwhile, a spatial component will create safe and connected neighbourhoods and spaces that support the social and economic development of Tâmaki and its community.

The first task for the new company will be to bring all the current and future initiatives and projects together into a single strategic framework. This will include catalyst projects to improve education, employment, health, environment, and safety. The Crown and the Council will approve the over-arching plan and business cases before full transformation projects start.

The TRC will lead the transformation, undertaking some projects itself, procuring devery of other projects, and influencing the direction of others.

The jointly owned company is a new structure for the Government and the Council. Res and responsibities have been defined in the Heads of Agreement signed today.

The new company will have a board of up to seven directors to allow for a wide range of skills.  A comprehensive appointment process for the full board is under way.

The Chief Executive Officer-designate of the new company is Debra Lawson, who will take up the position on 3 September. She has over 20 years’ experience as a chief executive in organisations devering affordable homes and social infrastructure in the United Kingdom.

She has worked at the leading edge of pubc private partnership initiatives, devering large-scale and complex urban regeneration programmes within the diverse communities of South London, with a strong focus on accountabity to local people.

The TRC will be based in offices in the Glen Innes area.

For further information:

This is a positive step, not just for government/council relations but also for Auckland. Many of these areas don’t have the best reputation and are run down with the houses well past use by date as a lot of the houses were build quickly and cheaply in the boom years of the 50’s and 60’s. There is also a huge amount of land that is currently wasted on that could be put to much better use as you can see in the image below. 

 There is I imagine a lot of work to go on before we start seeing any final plans but there is such a huge opportunity here for for the council to develop and showcase its plans for high quality, less car dependant, more dense and more liveable city. I also hope that there is a wider focus than just housing, I’m sure there are a number of ways that transport linkages could be vastly improved. Further with large parts of the area fairly flat it could perhaps be an ideal opportunity to develop some best practice cycling infrastructure to link into the nearby town centres and train stations.

Also here is a video from talking to Phil Heatley about the plan.