On Tuesday the Council’s Planning Committee approved Panuku’s “High Level Project Plan” for Henderson. Unlike Onehunga which falls into Panuku’s Transform category, Henderson sits under the Unlock which means they will act as a facilitator to creating development opportunities. Panuku are building on the the work started by the former WCC and have created a vision for Henderson to become an “Urban Eco Centre, enhancing the mauri of the twin streams of Wai o Panuku and Wai Horotiu”

The project was brought forward in priority after Auckland Transport confirmed they were moving out of the former Waitakere City Council (WCC) building but there are a number of other reasons Henderson makes a good location to focus on. These include:

  • The Unitary Plan allows for a lot of development in the area and the Local Board support change.
  • There is generally good transport accessibility and that will improve further with the completion of the City Rail Link.
  • The council owns quite a bit of land in the area that can be redeveloped.
  • There area lot of existing amenities in the area that both support and be supported by new development.

Essentially, the centre has some good bones and the infrastructure is there, it just needs more people.

On the travel time, it was interesting to see them using our and Generation Zero’s CRL travel time savings graphic, without attribution I might add – it’s also a graphic that AT copied too.

The project has 5 principles and four goals.

Five project principles are:

  1. To place an emphasis on attracting and retaining families when planning developments
  2. To reinforce the west Auckland and eco-city identity to enhance perceptions
  3. To integrate green building features in each development, building a point of difference
  4. To include partnership with the community, Mana Whenua, mataawaka and council organisations in development planning
  5. To ensure a place-led approach, embed Te Aranga design principles and reflect the cultural narrative in developments

Four project goals are to:

  1. Achieve high quality, medium density residential and commercial development
  2. Plan two walking and cycling links to better connect development sites to amenities and services, supporting the Twin Streams pathway
  3. Incorporate public and creatives arts as a point of difference, to enhance the quality of development outcomes
  4. Transform Henderson Valley Road into a high quality, urban mixed use residential corridor over time, within the Unlock boundary

The council owns quite a bit of land in the area, and the development strategy seeks to make better use of these. There are nine sites in total covering almost 103,000m², many of which are currently used as carparks. This is in itself surprising as Auckland Transport appear to be loathed to give up carparks in other areas, such as in that Onehunga post.

There are short, medium and long term stages and they appear to take a sensible approach:

  1. Start with some 2-3 storey terraced houses and 3 storey walk up apartments to help built
  2. Develop some higher density apartment buildings at 4-6 storeys
  3. Look at options for redevelopment of the land currently used by the Auckland Film Studios and the carpark on the southern side of the WCC building.

All up Panuku thinks that from the council land 400-500 new dwellings could be provided. There are then five individual projects and four wider initiatives.

  • Project 1 (short term): Develop 21-33 Henderson Valley Road, known as Wilsher Village, into 50-60 terraced housing units and 40 Housing for Older People units
  • Project 2 (short term): Develop 2-4 Henderson Valley Road, known as the Central One and staff car park site, into 50-80 terraced houses and walk up apartments.
  • Project 3 (medium term): Release and realisation of 5 surface car parks into potentially 150-160 terraced houses and apartment buildings with associated ground floor commercial outcomes and necessary agreed parking solutions.
  • Project 4 (long term): explore the future form and function of Henderson Valley Road and investigate longer term development opportunities for the film studios site given its close proximity to the train station.
  • Project 5 (short, medium and long term): Support the consolidation and optimisation of council accommodation needs onto just 6 Henderson Valley Road and future proof the rear car park for a single high rise development opportunity over the train station as the City Rail Link platform project progresses through the planning stages.
  • Initiative 1 (short term): Development associated place making and activations which will enhance the vibrancy of the properties and transition the sites from mostly car parking towards development outcomes. These may include a signature event, a gap filler intervention, an information kiosk utilising an available tenancy in Central One and making use of the onsite council kitchen to deliver an innovative incubator kitchen project to enliven the space and complement the existing food
  • Initiative 2 (short term): Advocate and plan for an Upgrade of Opanuku Reserve, opposite Project 2, to improve development amenity, increase park utilisation, public safety, access and attractiveness. Reflect the cultural narrative and pay respect to the mauri of the Opanuku stream.
  • Initiative 3 (short, medium term): Plan two walking and cycling links to better connect development sites to amenities and services. One between Corban Estate and the train station over the Opanuku stream and the other along the Oratia stream to connect the Library to Westwave and Tui Glen.
  • Initiative 4 (medium term): Investigate options to make Corban Estate fit for purpose and explore options to optimise the uses on site, aligned with the Community Facilities Network Action Plan.

The map below shows the overall plan and various developments and initiatives as part of the project.

Like Onehunga it seems like the Henderson plan is pretty good. The biggest thing that Henderson needs is more people and it would be good to see that occurring from this.

As local board chair Shane Henderson says, “Chuck it up bro”

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106 comments

  1. Intensification is all good and well when or more likely IF the infrastructure is not only going to match it but preempt it. But this is New Zealand and we know that genuine farsightedness is not a factor for poll driven politicians like we have at the moment.

    A major constricting transport issue with West Auckland is in city bound/return travel where it is it is trapped by 3 ways in and out, namely Great North Rd and then either Edmonton/Te Atatu Rds or Lincoln Rd to the gridlocked SH16. It is already bad now in and around peak which is extending anyway well beyond 9.00 am and well before 5.00 pm and after. West Auckland has virtually no PT dedicated roading infrastructure.

    With the intensification of the population something has to give. Roads are out as the solution so investment in rail or light rail has to be paramount. There is a must have, to have decent integrated PT hubs with other stations as New Lynn has and secondly there must be a dedicated busway or rail link up SH16 and it needs to get underway in less than 5 years.

    And our sewerage system is failing now anyway and overflows into the sea with no more than 5mm of rain. How is this to be addressed with more intensification? I have not heard of any major and immediate infrastructure work going on with that.

    And be rest assured none of this is going to happen with this government anyway apart from vague visions of sometime in 2050 type of thing.

    1. I assume the investment in rail is the CRL which will slash travel times to/from Henderson and increase the frequency.

      ATAP also had a Henderson interchanged budgeted.

      Lincoln Rd upgrade is currently at NOR stage, I think it could be better but dedicated T3 Lanes all the way through along with protected cycleways will be good as can be seen by the Manauku Rd & Onewa T3 bus time savings .

      On water Henderson is fine its other areas which need upgrades such as Central where the Orakei Main needs support with the CI & the new dev out NW with the NI S1 (Hobsonville) & S2 (Kumeu) CI starts next year & NI S1 is in progress now. One of the reasons Henderson is a smart place to unlock is because a lot of the infra is their Western Line (which has been improved by DART & will be improved further with the CRL), Water, Libraries, Community Centres & Parks as it was the centre of old WCC which was pretty well led by Sir Bob Harvey & Hulse.

      1. The Western line is still very basic and reasonably inflexible to problems hence it needs a lot more investment. Actually all lines do but this subject is about Henderson. Yes the CRL will fix a few issues but not many.

        There are few signals to allow trains to run multi line that is using the opposite line for services if need be when a line is blocked. That means fewer trains able to run in opposite direction.

        Another example is once you leave Newmarket there are only 5 “Turn outs” (not including the terminating Swanson station) in the west direction that allows trains to change line in that direction. If there is an issue ahead of a train, and there are plenty, there is a real inability to bypass it at which point the whole system goes into meltdown pretty much for the day if the delays are long enough.

        City bound there is 6 turns outs including the direct link at Newmarket. There is one at New Lynn but from the west bound platform and similarly east of Morningside between it and Kingsland but only if an up train changes direction whilst west bound and returns. They need them by my reckoning every second platform at least both ways.

        There are too many level crossings.

        And it is a must that there is platforms at Kingdon St to allow the direct link to Britomart/Swanson and speed up Western line services and to unclog Newmarket platforms.

        1. Only 5 western direction facing points to allow western trains to change over to up track? I always imagined there were at least a dozen not counting NM or Swanson. Isn’t there dual crossovers either side of Morningside with those two long loops on the down side?

          1. Up: Turn outs between main lines are 1, Newmarket at Kingdon St, 2, Kingsland east, 3, Morningside west, 4, Avondale and finally 5, Henderson. Swanson does but that’s the end of the line, hence I didn’t count it.

            New Lynn and Kingsland west only apply when running in the reverse direction against the normal direction.

    2. Most of the sewerage issue comes from the pipe system in the older parts of Auckland, new developments have very little impact on this.

      1. Where do you think West Auckland’s waste water ends up, Magicland? Where the smart people kept up on infrastructure investment?

        No this Auckland, city of rates freezes and cuts politicians who can’t see past the ends of their noses. So it ends up in Mangere and it can’t handle what is coming in right now.

        So any additional development will have an impact on it. Continuing to build housing without infrastructure is Victorian thinking at best.

        http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz-herald-focus/news/article.cfm?c_id=1504018&objectid=11820459

        1. That article has nothing to do with the overflows that happen regularly with 5mm of rain, these tend to happen in the Waitemata Harbour and are directly linked to older areas.

          This article appears to be about extreme events that happened in March and April, two very wet months even by Auckland’s standards. It is also laced with a strong dose of anecote.

          1. To state the bleeding obvious, the whole system is failing to cope. if Mangere can’t handle what is happening now if it rains, combined with the old Auckland and Blockhouse Bay problems then how is pouring more sewer into it going work unless the problems that already exist are fixed and are future proofed? Both harbours are shit holes, literally!

            This is not some once in a century problem, the infrastructure is not coping full stop.

            Green Bay up is generally unswimmable and this is directly due to Mangere’s inability to deal with the amount of wastewater entering the plant.

            But hey, lets tip some more in and not think about it. Its just easier.

          2. “if Mangere can’t handle what is happening now if it rains…
            This is not some once in a century problem, the infrastructure is not coping full stop.”

            It has literally been the wettest March and April on record.

          3. Green Bay is swimmable most of the time during summer, it may not have been swimmable as frequently during March and April, but as has been emphasised a couple of times they were two extremely wet months.

          4. Sewerage: Did the Stonefields composting toilets ever get Council to sign them off? Solution to the overloaded sewerage problem looking the Council right in the face but I think the faecaphobes won. Would love to hear otherwise if anyone knows.

            But the other major part of sewage overflows to the harbour is the stormwater itself. When New Lynn was flooding, some other gardens just lapped the water up. Soil’s ability to absorb water has huge variability depending on how you treat it, and the way our city is planned, we don’t even give it a chance. Tropical areas like Cairns have far higher rainfall events than Auckland does, and they have swales beside the roads to absorb the water.

            The faster the water gets to the sea, the more polluted the sea. “Stop it, spread it, sink it” is the permaculturalist’s mantra about stormwater. Plus of course if it isn’t able to go into the soil, it overflows the sewage pipes in older areas.

            As with transport, there’s a new vs old mindset to do with stormwater, and I’d imagine there are some experts in Council particularly frustrated with the conventional kerb and gutter approach Auckland can’t seem to leave behind.

    3. AC should provide some evidence that intensification can; a) reduce housing costs and b) improve mobility and c) reduce greenhouse gas emissions and d)provide a healthier and safer environment for humans.

      They can’t of course because it doesn’t. All they will “unlock” is the same nightmare outcomes that these intensification policies have created over the last 30 odd years.

      1. Can you please provide evidence backing up your claim that intensification does not benefit your points? Data and research rather than anecdotes would hit the mark.

        Further – can we agree that it’s access not mobility that matters? I prefer to have what I want being near, rather than a distance away, however fast or easy travel is.

      2. The kernel of truth in your comment, Graeme, is that intensification can be done badly. There’s a tome you might be interested in reading, called “Positive Development” by Janis Birkeland. A dense city with little in the way of parks, trees, calm pleasant waterways and insect and bird life, will have people still wanting to live on the outskirts, despite the commute.

        Every development needs to increase the ecological health of the area, even outside the development’s physical boundary. Good design leads to a richer, more socially connected lifestyle in a healthier, more densely populated environment.

        This is why, for example, removing 12 pohutukawa trees on Pt Chevalier Rd (and replacing them with trees at as-yet unconfirmed locations if at all possible), as AT is intending to do is a retrograde step. Those pohutukawa trees are needed for quality of air, water and psychological health. The issue is the car traffic, a direct result of allowing sprawling low-density development on the outskirts. The solution is stopping the car traffic, and allowing high-intensity housing within Pt Chevalier itself.

      3. “All they will “unlock” is the same nightmare outcomes that these intensification policies have created over the last 30 odd years.”

        False, as AKL has done everything *except* intensification for 20 of those 30 years, and has been doing pretty well in a couple of areas they have done so recently, such as the (much maligned) City Centre.

        Its the simplest of all common-sense arguments that placing people ever further away from their jobs massively increases transport distance and thus costs. But yes, the costs of sprawl (and of not doing intensification, by default) have been researched:

        – Denser development creates less vehicle trips PER HOUSEHOLD, by an order of up to two thirds less (Transport Roads & Maritime Services, New South Wales, 2002 – the “bible” of traffic engineering in Australasia as regards to vehicle trip generation)

        – Greenfields sprawl has higher original transport CAPEX costs, and MUCH higher OPEX costs (Cost of Residential Servicing – Centre For International Economics, for Auckland Council, 2015) – in other words, more sprawl is going to cost us BIG TIME tomorrow.

        – Greenfields make for bad PT provision, because they tend to be planned under a “cars always, PT maybe later” model, thus setting into stone further car dependency (Discursive Barriers to Sustainable Transport in New Zealand Cities – Urban Policy and Research, Volume 33, Issue 4, 2015) – this perpetuates a driving model that creates more and more congestion and ever new motorway provision at exorbitant costs.

    4. A 4th exit option was planned 40 years ago and was surveyed again as recently as 10 years ago… across the Whau river from Rosebank/Patiki road. Crossing point was into Span farm.
      Should really have been done with the Patiki and Rosebank interchanges.

  2. 1st step in unlocking Henderson, from someone who visits regularly, should be a new bylaw about shop frontages / sandwich boards and minimum maintenance requirements – the shops are plain ugly. The 2nd should be development of an anti-vagrancy bylaw.

    And then maybe look at something radical; shared space GNR (or even pedestrianise it) where it goes through the township and widen a ring road to create a bypass.

    1. I think Panuku has cottoned onto the key here and learnt from the city. Bring in people/residents and watch the area go from a dead shopping area 9-5 workers to a vibrant community.

  3. “This is in itself surprising as Auckland Transport appear to be loathed to give up carparks in other areas”

    Did you mean “appear to be loath”, indicating that they don’t want to, or did you mean that Auckland Transport are hated? Either seems plausible …

    1. The former. Makes a big difference though when the local board pushes for it as like Shane has as AT do cop flak whenever they touch parking. Why I believe AC needs to give more political support to AT on parking its hard being a mid-level civil servant and having the local residents/business association giving you grief.

  4. Looks interesting but Henderson really needs a spruce up around the train station and mall, beats me why it isn’t a shared space, and bus only between the zebra crossing in front of the train station and the Ratanui/GNR Intersection, its just a congested mess there with a heap of through traffic and mall traffic that could more easily/faster go via Edsel St.

      1. Kind of bizarre how the train station on their own doorstep still has maxx branding, is so dirty and is covered with etchings. Also the major bus stop with a PIDS hidden behind the canopy at the wrong end of the stop.

        Seriously just keeps building up the case that AT, specially AT Metro staff don’t use PT. At least not regularly.

          1. Speaking of gates the ones at New Lynn at the Hetana St end can be walked through relatively easily unless you are the Michelin man as they have with a nice gap. What is the point?

          2. Sounds like a bit of fail there Waspman.
            Yes they need to be designed so that in theory someone that is stuck can get in/out but with effort. They shouldn’t be easy for a bunch of teenagers to pass through however.

  5. 2A, 2B and 8 should all be built as apartments as high as possible – none of this 2-6 level business – they are located right next to the bloody train station and town centre! Should be 6-10 levels make the most of the space and get that density in. Ground floor of course would be shops.
    Same goes with 6.
    7 Should be 6 levels.
    If L4 is developed as housing then that should also be 6-10 levels.

    1. I wonder if there is the demand for apartments in Henderson at the moment. I think people are more willing to live in apartments if they are closer to the CBD.

      1. Apartments only make sense in a walkable environment with good public amenities (i.e. the benefits outweigh the negatives of less space, yards etc). Rational (in the economic sense) people will make that tradeoff and you will have a ‘good’ place.

        If that criteria is not met then you inevitably just up with housing for poor people aka council estates and all the known issues.

    2. I’d go further; it’s zoned for 18 storeys. They should build something that is 18 storeys. It’s next to a train station, in a metro centre ffs.

      1. 1. Wont be demand for new apartments in Henderson due to perception of crime/run down. 2. The apartment sector is in a lot of trouble atm the builders you need which can be specialized due to the differing construction method/regs are in short supply in a sector where tradepeople in general are in short supply this is causing heavy price inflation due to the 50% buyers regs this means Apartments fall over as the price inflates. 3. Suppliers of specialized building materials for Apartments are fully booked, I believe Fletchers or one of them bought a supplier just so they can build. 4. Australian Economic Conditions & the Regs have effected the Oz banks which means they are very anxious to lend and are pulling out of some current projects.

        Basically building missing middle is key, because the a) Our tradespeople can build them the difference between a detached home & an attached dwelling is a wall & under similar regs, b) We can source the building materials as same as detached housing & c) Allows Henderson to build up resident numbers which will regenerate the area which will make Apartments more feasible in the long run which is why they save the good sites until last.

        1. Good point Harriet on crime in West Auckland and this raises another question about resourcing for not only an increased population but further increases. Henderson Police are still running numbers similar to the early 90’s and yet the population has gone up substantially.

        2. if we need the missing middle then we should build it in a place that is appropriate for the missing middle rather than wasting land that could be better used for higher density just for a short term construction crunch.

          1. Tbh the higher density needs to be closer to central maybe along a certain LRT corridor.

          2. So you would leave this land vacant until the market is ready to build apartments there. This could be detrimental to the development of Henderson as a desirable place, which would then circle around to reduce the chances of apartments ever being viable in Henderson.

          3. +1 Sailor Boy and jezza. We do need the missing middle but the missing middle should not be in a town centre right next to a train station!

          4. Not quite. I’d prefer a pop up restaurant thing and use it for movies in the parks, something along those lines. That way it contributes to the goal of unlocking Henderson without locking us in to have 2-4 storeys where we could have 18.

            Oh, and Harriet, if you think that high density is only justified closer to the CBD then I’d go and have a look at what is being built in Albany and Manukau.

          5. Pretty sure the old WCC rules didn’t have height limits feasible & absolute capacity are separate matters the fact is unless you start with something like missing middle to bring in residents, or the Central Government front ups the CAPEX for the high rise it wont happen.

            I never said only justified you know on planning I am very liberal on land use, but the High Rise from a market perceptive is likely to do better closer to the city and the only reason it can’t is because of zoning restrictions in inner suburbs.

          6. We have a placemaking agency (Panuku). Building apartments at a loss or at zero profit would immensely help placemaking. This isn’t feasible for a private developer, but, for Panuku this is a really easy way to bring in 1,000 residents in a very small space, very quickly and catalyse the rest of the development.

            I’m not arguing that economics for a private developer aren’t better closer to the city, I’m arguing that the economics for the council are good *enough* here.

          7. But Panuku don’t build anything they create the area framework & design, then work with the local board & AT to fund placemaking/community facilities/transport.

            They then dispose the land to Private developers to do the building, Panuku doesn’t have the budget to do it.

        3. You can easily see in European cities that don’t need high-rise to get high population densities. Neighbourhoods with terraced houses, low-rise apartments, and the odd mid-rise along arterials will have population densities well over 10,000 people / km². In Auckland on the other hand density quickly falls off to around 4,000 outside the city centre.

          I think a key observation in Auckland is that there are no small streets (except a couple in the CBD). Try finding a public street which (including verges and footpaths) is less than 15 m wide.

          So how can we develop “the missing middle” those coloured patches in the map above? As far as I understand, options are very limited:

          – Since streets have to be huge, we can’t really have them inside those patches because otherwise the density will be severely limited.
          – If you can’t have streets inside them the old-school way of platting and selling the lots is out.
          – This limits the pool of possible developers to those who have enough capital to build up the entire lot at once. Which I imagine is a lot smaller than those with enough capital to build just their own house.
          – Since any scheme with high enough density still needs streets, those have to be built as private driveways, which will then need a body corporate for maintenance. I haven’t met much people who are keen on having a body corporate.

      2. +1 Sailor Boy. I hadn’t checked the height limit there. If it is up to 18 storeys then that is what should be built – leave it vacant in the meantime if not possible to prevent it being wasted in future.
        Thing is it won’t be started anytime in the next couple of years so by then market conditions could be different (a down turn with less demand, or an increase in building capacity) so that a high density apartment building can be done. Add in several hundred people in a small area and suddenly the area becomes alive (and things like cafes etc can go in).
        Any negative perceptions of Henderson as being rundown and crime-ridden will change as more people move to the area and as PT improves (CRL after all will reduce train time to the city by what is it? 20 minutes?). Should have a lot more people taking that and making it a more lively place. Build it and they will come.

        1. +1 Adding 500 apartements could even be a loss leader as it would massively improved CPTED outcomes there and getting a few cafes and stuff right next to the station would really help the social environment.

          1. I’m not sure what I am meant to be seeing? There’s some ugly frontages, is that it?

          2. Also forgot to mention than an 18 storey building should have some pretty spectacular views so that should help sell them!

          3. I think a loss leader would be the worst thing for the social environment. No private developer would build a loss leader so it would have to be ratepayers and would likely end up a low-income council estate.

            I can see the pros and cons of either argument, but realistically I think what Panuku have planned would more likely suceed in improving Henderson at a quicker rate under real market conditions.

            The plan still allows land to be used to build apartments at a later date.

          4. Ambrico Place and surrounding areas of New Lynn saw a *lift* in street crime after construction of the apartment blocks there.

          5. Crime may increase simply as a matter of increase in population density, eg New York, but crime per person per km still may be better.

    3. Have you all forgotten “The Pattern Language” and its pattern “four story limit”? People need connection to the ground. Tall buildings create too much shade over other properties.

      We can have higher density living and still enjoy nature. Or we can push the limits too far, with buildings over four stories, and create a city of disconnected people, wind tunnels between buildings, and shadows.

      1. Not sure if I get the obsession with high rise either I like high rise for myself as I don’t like looking after gardens, cleaning space I don’t use and don’t like children but I fall into a small category would rather be in walking distance of a great park & all the City amenities but I don’t think High Rise is the solution the market wants nor is the most practical the answer is missing middle, midrise is good locations with High Rise focused on CBD & Fridge for people like me, students, retirees etc.

        Don’t agree with 4 story limit, I think an obsession with height in Anglo countries whether that is height is bad, or we need skyscrapers everywhere. If you take people to Paris, Amsterdam and other European countries you ask the same people who go this city is lovely what did you think of the heights, many of those were 6-10 stories in places and the answer is they didn’t notice.

        1. 19C Paris and Barcelona are quite clearly about the most successful and balanced urban patterns anywhere and are largely 7 stories. This is a pretty much the walk-up limit. If your city doesn’t allow large areas of this sort of building then you’re going to end up with pockets of 50 storey apartment towers to add to the oceans of low rise to achieve anything like a functional density. Sadly AKL is in the latter group; two 50-odd storey towers are breaking ground downtown this year.

          This is an improvement over the previous vapid low rise lifeless and sprawling semi-city, but give me old Barcelona anyday….

      2. Completely agree with all this and the sociological and psychological effects of buildings poorly designed. In these suburban type locations I would prefer to see nothing over 8 stories.

      3. Do you reckon that if the road construction industry were relieved of their work they might be able to shift sideways into building good apartment blocks?

        🙂

      4. I think the other consideration with height is that the buildings need to not stick out like sore thumbs. We have a few of those in Auckland. We don’t want the situation where one developer manages to go high, and then the outcry means no one else manages to.

        Ideally, there’d be some three story developments first, then some four story developments, then higher if it’s in keeping, as a more organic way to create a good environment. What planning / zoning process would enable this step-wise approach? I imagine it would be to raise the height limits in a large area around Henderson – then there wouldn’t be a huge hike in land prices in just a few lucky locations. Development will happen where it is the most likely to provide a good return, ie next to the train station. But maybe someone can suggest a different approach?

        1. I agree and its actually something that is a pet peeve of mine any building can be designed badly or greatly whether its a detached family home, McMansion, Townhouse or Skyscaper the type shouldn’t matter only the design unfortunately detached housing and mcmansions have little scrutiny compared to 4 story apartment.

          The other issue for me is that we place so much rules regarding design of buildings when the actual public space the street can be as poorly designed. When in reality it should be the opposite with RCA’s leading the way with well designed public streets & spaces rather than pushing it onto development. AC has recently endorsed the NACTO Global Street guide and workshops are to happen soon on an Auckland Street design guide based on it which is good except for cycling which tbh NACTO is a bit behind on compared to CROW.

          On limits there is no staged approach, the height limits are quite high being Metro Zone and on that matter as of right, however of course any development more than two dwellings which almost certainly would be anything of that height would still need a resource consent.

          I am not worried about height personally due to the issues I outlined on other parts of the comments board, we have Apartments projects going under due to this issues in the nicest parts of midtown, Apartment devs are not going to be going to Henderson anytime soon. Also I think you are on the same page as Panuku, with Panuku’s plans to do start with 3/4 stories build up residents and justify place making then if it works then move onto a bit higher on select sites.

          I think Panuku is spot on with the Unlock tbh.

  6. I’m hopefully this becomes more than just plans. Henderson is a great area and has some great infrastructure already in place with parks, pools, etc.

    I would love to see more than just terraced housing but I can see this may not be feasible in the current market which is a real shame.

    It would be great to see an outdoor dining precinct like Sylvia Park or New Lynn developed. This would help attract apartment dwellers.

    Also the area needs more office jobs so that not everyone goes off in all sorts of directions during the day. Town centres need to be buzzing all day and night.

      1. We are walking distance from New Lynn centre, however everything shuts at 10pm, even on a weekend night. Can’t even get dessert after a movie…

        1. Yes agree night trade is very important. That is one of the lifestyle options missing in Henderson. A night at the movies in Henderson should be a better experience than it currently is.

          1. Yep, we tried to go in to the ones that were still open and got told they were closing.

  7. Intensification is great if done well… since when does it make sense to have terraced houses in the CBD? (project 2)
    Surely high rise apartments with appropriate parking makes much more sense and will reduce the slum creation they are suggesting in this plan around the current central one building. This is a cheap option for a council that does not care about the regional town centres and is just trying to tick boxes by building houses. Waitakere council had plans 10 years ago to do this but the super city has killed it and is forcing slums to be built.

    1. Hopefully Panuku are talking to the new owners of West City. Upgrading the mall, and opening it to the surrounding streets and stream would be good.

      1. Pleeease upgrade the mall, it has at least 7 dollar-store-type shops in it. How many does Henderson need?

        1. WRT dollar shops (and massage and nail care!), I guess the mall management would rather have that than to allow them to be empty. When the Henderson mall was refurbed and vastly expanded in 2000 there were NO dollar shops to start with, but with the glut of retail space there just are not enough customers to keep it full of good stuff.

        2. Well it seems to do fine with seven? Are these failing businesses that are being artificially propped up? Surely they are profitable if they are still there.

        3. The other thing I find is the 6pm closure of the mall is insane, you see so many people rocking up even as late as 9pm, staring at the door and just walking off.

        4. What is being missed here a little is that Council is not putting any money into this… They are going to sell the land to developers, suggesting how it should be used, then bail! This is an exit plan from the council owned land assets in Henderson. (Probably to fund the CRL and other central city initiatives).
          The comments here about west city mall are exactly what we should be in fear of… The mall is nothing to do with council and therefore if the local area cannot support decent shops then you will get more and more of the $1 & $2 shops… This Proposal takes the partially developed central one precinct and allows “entry level” terraced housing to be located in the Centre of our business district, rather than quality apartments that would add value (as in New Lynn), and the downward spiral continues…

          The later stages of this proposal should be bought forward to encourage development of the parking, and apartments in the current council carpark along with Rails widening of the tracks to 4 rails allowing Henderson to be used as a terminal station.

          My big concern is that in the very central part of Henderson we are going to end up with Hundreds of people living in low cost terraced houses right on the railway. This is going to discourage future development not encourage it.
          The development of the land beside Henderson High school should be fine if they can encourage elderly people as they state but the falls car park would be negligent without providing straight away for other localised parking for the swimming centre etc.

          1. CRL is fully funded in LTP & the Central City Initiatives are funded out of the CCTR

            The station at Henderson is going to be upgraded to allow turn backs.

            How do you intend to build these apartments with the trades (Both number and skill gap) and apartment building material shortage where waiting lists have gone through the roof?

          2. Harriet, supply of builders is the same for houses or apartments. and Auckland has slowed to the point that builders are now advertising for business again. I just dont see terraced houses in the town centre as a good way forward… they will never be bought by anybody other than investors so all we do is bring potential social issues closer to the town centre, whereas people will choose to live in a decent apartment in a town centre… Henderson should be a vibrant clean and progressive town centre and Central one is in the centre, having potentially 300 vehicles in the town centre is not sensible… apartment dwellers are more likely to be buying there so they can use the trains. have a look at the terraced houses around Corban estate and Ranui station and imagine them right in town.

          3. What horseshit. People will buy apartments to live in, but only investors will buy townhouses to rent to ne’er do wells and scallywags who’ll just dirty up the town. Puh-lease.

          4. Not really most NZ tradies have little experience with building apartments which have different techniques required & fall under differing regs. This is different for low rise attached housing because the difference between this and a detached house is a shared wall.

            I also don’t think Nick is agreeing with you.

          5. fair points.
            perhaps time some stepped up to the mark…
            Yes agree with your comment about Nick but was ignoring his comment due to his tone. lol

          6. I am enjoying your input through the whole discussion Harriet!
            How are you connected to this? Council, or Panuku or???? Nice to see some informed discussion on these boards and would be even nicer if we could see that any of it was having an effect.
            I was involved in community consultation on this BUT the plan has just been pushed through as was presented at consultation from what I can see i.e. none of the comment during consult was taken into account.

          7. Its not just about stepping up though (Though we really do need to have a system which puts Technical/Trades & Academic Pathways on equal terms) but also the suppliers are maxed with massive waiting lists.

            In a perfect world this wouldn’t be an issue however due to the Student Loan programme & killing off trades pathways coupled with zoning restrictions existing for decades our building sector is just not up to it, not used to it and not banks are not confident to lend for it.

            We really need the Crown to step in providing the initial CAPEX to bring up market confidence and they also need to sort the trades shortage. Regulatory changes like balcony requirements & other regs which have no public health grounds should also go as well as liberalising/encouraging more prefab. Perhaps tweaking the immigration credits as well reducing from sectors we don’t really need to instead encouraging trades immigration in the short run, with balancing regs in place so they can better hit the ground running.

          8. This is my concern with Panuku… no spend! Its all appears to be about freeing up land/capital not actually putting any investment in apart from sponsoring the discussion. It seems more like a knee jerk reaction to government calling for council to free up housing land when less than 5km from this site is several thousand acres that has been tied up in the ranges national park and LAP’s written to support only the views of residents of the time rather than a growing city.

            If only Henderson valley and Oratia residents had the foresight to recommend small developments in their “town centers” we could have fit perhaps 5000 homes into the area.

            We may have found that this number of houses might have been enough to keep Hendersons retail customers from moving to North west.

  8. 4 – 6 stories is a perfectly good height to achieve density, I would be more focussed on getting rid of surface parking and removing parking requirements within the developments, and the area in general. More people, and fewer cars is what Henderson needs to become a more livable, successful place.

    1. Parking requirements are technically gone however is under appeal by Kiwi Property to the Environmental Court so will have to wait. The appeal technically only effects retail so even if they win the MPR’s will be gone for nearly all uses.

      1. Is there also a parking maximum given? I’ve noticed that in other areas (what a turn around in thinking!)

        I’m trying to visualise the terrace housing – which can be so good if it doesn’t include the garages taking up a big part of the street frontage for each house, and so bad if it does.

        1. Under the Council Decisions version of the AUP there are Parking Maxes for Metro Zone as can be seen page 16 at this link http://unitaryplan.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Images/Auckland%20Unitary%20Plan%20Operative/Chapter%20E%20Auckland-wide/4.%20Infrastructure/E27%20Transport.pdf

          The Kiwi Property Appeal opposes the implementation of Maxes and the removal of Mins, while the Progressive Appeal only appeals the removal of mins which tbh seems more a legal oversight than anything.

    2. I’m starting to think the reason behind the terraced housing was to attract families so they have a good mix of people in the town centre. Like it or not families in suburbia aren’t buying apartments yet. The next step will be another layer with apartments which will attract another group of people.

      1. Yes there are very small families from what I’ve seen move in and then need to move out as they have another child say or find it’s just not enough space, need more for a couple with say 2 or 3 children families at least without being a multi-millionaire. I guess it’s a high risk to for someone to trial this in NZ, we do like our lawns for kids to run around on, but I can see a good close park is often better & doesn’t need to be mowed! I’m from an oversized section really & basically any beautiful sunny day is taken up by neighbours moving, trimming etc all the growth we get when we have such sunny and rainy on and off days, today it was my turn!

        1. We did this. Sold our 4brm house on 1300sqm section and bought a 2brm terrace. There is a 1/4 acre park across the road with a playground and includes a heated indoor pool. The streets are designed for slow speeds and all the neighbourhood children ride all ove4 the place.

        2. Though tbh can’t remember the last time I saw kids play outside on lawns or in backyards think its one of those Kiwi Dream Myths like we all love Rugby or are mostly rural.

          Its the old need a big backyard to have a BBQ but then never end up having BBQ’s.

          1. I lived in central Buenos Aires for a spell and tell you what, those apartment dwelling portenos barbecue more than any humans on the planet.

          2. Our kids use it, but funnily enough just came back from going to the park down the road, bigger area, swings and such. Also parks often much better for ball games than around some homes. BBQ’s do get used, ours on deck anyway these days, but is really more of a once a week at most nice weather or summer thing. I think I would say there were more of a backyard thing in the 70’s 80’s? I’m sure our weather was more consistent being one of the reasons.

        3. I don’t think the problem with apartments for families is their size. It’s not like apartments have a maximum size of 30 m².

          The problem with living in apartments is the public spaces. If you have a house with a backyard it’s not so much of a problem if any space outside that is a no-go zone. But with apartments, that’s going to be pretty claustrophobic.

          And that’s much more of a problem for families.

          For instance I have lived in those apartments you see every day if you drive into the city from the south. For me, although it’s not very pleasant it kind of works, I can live in an apartment on Hobson Street. Mainly because I’m reckless enough to run across Hobson Street if I want to go out. For families however an important question becomes “can my kid run across Hobson Street”? For me Meyers Park would be nearby, but for kids it’s on the other side of barriers like Cook Street and Hobson Street.

          It’s bad enough in the CBD, think of how much worse it would be in your average suburb. If we want to make apartments a liveable option we need to have a plan for those public spaces (maybe that will be a better idea if you want a “loss leader”).

          1. Totally agree with the above comments, it’s the close by immediate surrounds that make a difference & safety of moving around and when there for that matter. A lot of people still want their own little castle/domain/world with a park contained. I guess if money was no problem, having a huge beautiful estate with a paid gardener etc etc would be nice, but not many can do this.

  9. When I took the bus from Pt Chevalier to Ranui one Saturday recently, I thoroughly enjoyed the different sights along the way, and it was Henderson that I came home bubbling about. There were some really lovely streetscapes there, with lovely trees. We had considered Henderson for our home about 15 years ago, and were actually put off by the number of people driving around with little children not in carseats. I didn’t get that feeling this time.

    Yes I think this plan is on track for what the area needs. Thanks for inspiring me to look more into what Panuku is doing. I couldn’t seem to find the full plan anywhere on their website. Too long, I suppose. I don’t need to for this one, but In future if I want one of their plans, do I need to request it be sent to me, or have I just missed the right part of their website? Thanks.

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