We’re leading the urban regeneration of Onehunga.
This neighbourhood has an exceptional location on the edge of the Manukau Harbour, 10km from both Auckland’s city centre and Auckland Airport, which makes it ideal for regeneration.
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Eke Panuku will facilitate the creation high-quality public spaces, plentiful and varied housing options, improved public transport options, and better connections to the Manukau Harbour.
We’re working with other local and central government agencies to achieve these goals, including Auckland Transport, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.
Recent investment from Auckland Council and central government include:
- $38m for Ngā Hau Māngere – the new walking and cycling connection that replaced Old Māngere Bridge
- $30m for the upgrade of Taumanu Reserve
- A $1.2m upgrade to the main street in Onehunga, Onehunga Mall
- Investment in a new train station as well as walking and cycling upgrades
- Road improvements to State Highway 20 and connections to the Western Ring Route.
Why are we regenerating Onehunga?
In December 2015, Auckland Council agreed that Onehunga should be a key area for regeneration.
It was chosen for several reasons, not least of which was Onehunga's proximity to Manukau Harbour, Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s city centre and Auckland Airport, making it an ideal candidate for commercial and residential investment.
It also has excellent public transport amenities and infrastructure - which is necessary to accommodate future growth - and demand for Onehunga is very high: people want to live there. The Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board area has already undergone significant planning, with strong support from the community and elected members, with this transformation identified as a key priority.
There are many council-owned properties in Onehunga that could be better used, including community facilities, and key locations like Onehunga Wharf has huge potential to fulfil these needs.
Onehunga: A place of many firsts
Situated on the edge of the Manukau Harbour, Onehunga is one of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s earliest settlements. Its appealing location and abundant natural resources made it attractive as a place to live, first for Māori and later for European settlers.
This appeal remains, and today Onehunga’s central location and proximity to Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s city centre and Auckland Airport continue to make it a desirable place to live, work and invest.
Industry and manufacturing were established early in Onehunga and remains a distinctive characteristic of the area. Ingenuity, enterprise and craft have long been, and continue to be, associated with Onehunga.
Almost every era of urban development and architecture in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s history can be found in the area. This variety in Onehunga’s architectural landscape is reflected in the diversity of the people who live there. Onehunga is a truly multifaceted, multicultural community.
Onehunga also plays a significant regional and national role with respect to infrastructure. Due to its strategic location, it hosts infrastructure for electricity, water, wastewater, transport and freight. There are more major infrastructure plans on the horizon for Onehunga, but there’s also ongoing concern about the impact that this has on Onehunga’s community, and urban and natural environments.
The importance of infrastructure
The importance of infrastructure
A major factor in Onehunga’s transformation will be the influence of transport and other infrastructure projects, scheduled to happen in the short to medium term.
Infrastructure has always influenced the function and form of Onehunga. It is important that infrastructure designed to benefit all of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland also delivers positive outcomes for the Onehunga community.
Key future infrastructure projects affecting Onehunga include:
- Light rail between the city centre and Auckland Airport.
- The East-West Link connecting State Highway 1 and State Highway 20.
- The removal, over the long term, of 110kv high-voltage power lines.
- The redevelopment of Onehunga Wharf, with the retention of existing commercial fishing operations.
All these projects will significantly influence the long-term plans and programme for achieving regeneration in Onehunga. Many of these projects are complex and will take time to resolve.
We’re committed to working closely with central government agencies and infrastructure providers to ensure these projects are beneficial for Onehunga. We’ll also move forward with a crucial element of our work – the transformation of Onehunga’s town centre – while we work with the government and others on infrastructure-related matters.
The transformation of Onehunga’s town centre covers 10 blocks with an emphasis on the blocks that lie north of Neilson Street.
What will Onehunga look like in 2043?
An enhanced and restored natural environment.
Onehunga has a healthy environment cared for and enjoyed by all. The neighbourhood prides itself on its green spaces, and has reinstated its connection to its historic waterfront. The intertwined history of the natural environment and maritime / industrial activity is both visible and celebrated.
A sustainable, enabled and connected community.
Onehunga is about its communities. It is a diverse, integrated neighbourhood with a people-oriented built environment that creates and strengthens connections between its residents, visitors and place. Onehunga remains a community where people of all ages and demographics want to live, learn, work, play and move about easily.
Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s liveable and loveable neighbourhood.
Onehunga is a leading example of a vibrant, urban neighbourhood that celebrates its past and successfully moves into its future. Sustainable design, quality built-form and innovation are promoted. A range of housing types, providing greater housing and lifestyle choice, exist in Onehunga.
Successful local growth, investment and innovation.
Onehunga seeks out opportunities for growth and innovation. Everyone works together locally; interactions between entrepreneurs are fostered, job creation and growth in emerging sectors is encouraged and youth are enabled to participate and innovate within their own communities. Local skills continue to be valuable assets. An increased residential population supports the town centre’s economic viability. Onehunga has unlocked its potential as a key location along Auckland's public transport corridor, with short journey times to the city centre and the airport.
How will we get there?
We’ve identified six key moves that describe what we think are most crucial to bring about transformation in Onehunga. They encompass a series of projects and initiatives, designed to kickstart the transformation process and bring about the kind of change that will help Onehunga prosper in the future.
Reframe infrastructure as a catalyst for regeneration.
Ensure infrastructure delivers on more levels than just its primary purpose – it should also generate additional opportunities. This involves rethinking single-purpose infrastructure so that it can deliver additional multiple benefits for the community through which it passes.
Create an alluring town centre.
Define and revive the 10 blocks that comprise the town centre for a range of uses that make Onehunga a bustling and popular place.
Re-establish the waterfront as a place for people.
Re-establish the role of Onehunga Wharf as a destination for people on Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s largest harbour, the Manukau Harbour.
Prioritise the importance of local connections.
Improve community connections by enhancing the walking and cycling experience and network for people of all ages and abilities.
Foster innovative housing solutions.
Provide and advocate for diverse housing, which better reflects the spectrum of living, lifestyle and affordability options that a progressive and inclusive urban environment can offer.
Encourage productivity and innovation.
Recognise Onehunga’s contribution to the economy by supporting enterprising, productive and creative pursuits. Ensure these pursuits have mutual benefits for local and regional purposes.
The first step: Creating an alluring town centre
We will focus its initial efforts for change and transformation within Onehunga’s town centre. The town centre already has a good vibe and a distinctive character. Its main street, Onehunga Mall, is home to several heritage buildings, while a mixture of diverse land-uses and community / business activities add to the centre’s energy and appeal.
We’ll build on this existing character to ensure Onehunga’s town centre remains a place people want to visit and stay, live, work and play. We envisage an exciting variety of shops and eateries, attractive high-quality public spaces, improved community facilities and more recreational opportunities.
To achieve this, we will locate community facilities in a cluster between Church, Princes and Selwyn streets. Adding to the popular library and vibrant community centre with further community and recreational facilities will create a focus within the town centre – a community heart where all ages can meet and participate in a range of activities and events.
We’ll build on Onehunga Mall’s colourful street-based character by promoting new development and activities in the blocks behind it. By filling out these blocks, and creating attractive links between and within them, we will make the most of this space and spread the existing buzz of the mall into the rest of the town centre.
Quality apartments within and along the fringes of the town centre blocks will help provide more housing choice for Onehunga residents. Having more people living within the centre will also enliven the streets and support local businesses.
Focusing on improvements and redevelopment in Onehunga’s town centre will provide the critical mass of people and activity needed to support planned investments in transport infrastructure. For example, light rail will significantly enhance the accessibility of the town centre.
How we’ll do it
We already control significant landholdings, covering 3.8ha, in Onehunga’s town centre.
Together, these sites have the potential to deliver around 720 new residential units and 13600sqm of new retail and commercial space, as well as numerous upgraded and enhanced public spaces.
Our role is to lead change and investment through initiatives and projects that enliven public areas, deliver development and inspire other landholders to develop and participate in the transformation of Onehunga.
The importance of placemaking – getting the community involved
Placemaking is a fundamental feature of our approach to regenerating centres. It is how we work with the community to ensure that any changes that happen in Onehunga are what the community wants and needs.
We work with communities to learn, test ideas and ensure regeneration fits with the characteristics of a place.
In line with this approach, one of our first initiatives has been to deliver the 312 Hub, a community artists’ collective, at an Eke Panuku site on Paynes Lane. The collective provides a space where local creative youths can come together, create and share.
It is envisaged that the collective will provide ongoing local and artistic input into our placemaking and community engagement activities.
One of the first projects planned is to enhance the pedestrian lanes that connect Onehunga Mall with the blocks behind it. By involving the 312 Hub, we give young people and local creatives an opportunity to express their artistic talents in transforming the identity of Onehunga’s built environment.
The first areas of focus
We have already completed preliminary design and development work for the sites that we control sites within the town-centre blocks north of Neilsen Street. The outcome will be a combined 7200sqm of new commercial and retail space, with 240 new residential units on these sites.
The exception is the Station Block, which requires input from Auckland Transport, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail, and will be affected by future transport infrastructure decisions.
The main development sites in the first three years will be within the Dress Smart and Waiapu blocks, at the northern end of the town centre. We are negotiating with key landowners in these blocks who are looking to expand and redevelop their retail operations and are interested in participating in the transformation process.
We will work with private landholders to facilitate redevelopment. We will also support their investment by improving public areas and laneways within the blocks.
The medium-to-long term
In the medium-to-long term, our focus will extend to the remaining town centre blocks.
All of the blocks will benefit from works to improve the safety and appearance of public areas. Other specific projects on sites controlled by us include:
- Municipal Block – creation of a civic heart in the town centre, with a proposed new youth park and enhanced library plaza.
- Station Block – planning and design to support the development of an integrated transport hub.
- Church and Princes streets – streetscape enhancements and development to integrate with future transport and infrastructure projects.
Together, it is estimated that these developments sites will provide an additional 473 residential units, 3200sqm of retail and commercial floor space, and 2000sqm of new and revamped community recreation areas.
What’s happening beyond the town centre?
Although the town centre is the focus at the moment, there are plenty of plans for the rest of Onehunga once key transport and infrastructure projects have been confirmed. These plans will progress the remaining key moves.
We’re awaiting details of the major infrastructure projects planned for Onehunga. As we gain more certainty around what these projects will look like, we will work with the other stakeholders involved to extract the maximum benefit for Onehunga from them. Identified hot-spots most affected by infrastructure developments are Neilson Street and the town centre areas south of it, connections to Ngā Hau Māngere – the new walking and cycling connection that connects Onehunga and Māngere Bridge, and the harbour front.
Local connections and housing
We have already started placemaking activities and collaborations in Onehunga. We’ve identified several desirable civic and public space projects, although many of these rely on the transport picture becoming clearer. Particular areas of interest are the connection between Onehunga Wharf and Māngere Bridge, and with the future housing redevelopment planned for Oranga.
We’re working with Auckland Council and Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities to review the parks, community facilities and local amenities that are available in areas earmarked for housing intensification (in particular, Oranga). Good connections between these new residential areas, the town centre and rest of Onehunga will be vital. We’re also focusing on residential developments in the town centre, with the aim to provide diverse and affordable housing options.
The local economy
We’re working to understand and promote the distinct economy that currently exists in Onehunga. This economy is distinguished by its industrial, creative and innovative nature. We’re discussing the placement of industrial land and the potential to create hubs of business and activity, based around particular industries.
In 2018, we purchased Onehunga Wharf on behalf of Auckland Council, meaning we can progress our plans to redevelop it as a water’s-edge destination. Mana whenua are also interested in development opportunities at the wharf, and we will work closely with them on any future plans.