Carmen is a social issues and rural reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Consents issued for new Tauranga suburb surge 76pc

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The number of consents issued for one of Tauranga's newest suburbs at Papamoa East have jumped 76 per cent in less than a year, new figures show.

It is predicted that 7400 people could be living at Wairakei by 2028 with plans for a 21ha town centre and a new retirement village.

Tauranga City Council strategic planner Ayv Greenway said 518 residential consents had been issued for Wairakei to March 31 - up 76 per cent from 294 in June 2015.

The suburb, which covered about 420ha, was at 13 per cent capacity with another 3418 dwellings planned, he said.

Hawridge Developments (Palm Springs) and Bluehaven Management (Golden Sands) were the major developers and other large landowners proposing residential development via Special Housing Area provisions included Zariba Properties and Nga Potiki.

Big projects on the cards encompassed a town centre, schools, neighbourhood reserves, local shops and a shopping centre while the development would have huge spinoffs.

"Development of this nature provides significant economic benefits to the city. Wairakei forms a significant portion of the urban land demand required to satisfy continued population growth over the next ten years," Mr Greenway said.

Development contributions for Wairakei were about $75.8 million, not including infrastructure built by developers and vested in council.

Golden Sands sales and marketing manager Mark Day said interest had been strong and there had been an increase in families moving into Wairakei.

"We have had as many as four groups of siblings and their families move into the neighbourhood and then two groups of parents attached to those families."

Hawridge Developments Palm Springs sales and marketing manager James Garratt said it had sold more than 250 sections and demand was ahead of its initial projections.

"With many developers trying to keep up with demand, this is only going to further increase property values as migration into the Bay of Plenty keeps rising."

The development off the new Te Okuroa Drive extension in Papamoa by Zariba Properties involved 380 residential lots known as Terrace Views.

Stage one of the development comprised 90 lots with the majority pre-sold, largely to builders with the rest snapped up by buyers in March.

Managing director Dwayne Roper said Terrace Views was being marketed as a lifestyle community.

Meanwhile, Papamoa hapu Nga Potiki plans to develop a 27ha block into affordable housing at Wairakei on about 460 sections and may also include a retirement village.

House and land packages would target Nga Potiki's people, first-home buyers, and low to modest-income families struggling to get on to the property ladder. Its plans also call for affordable social housing for working families and a commitment to "supported living" in which the hapu retained ownership of properties.

Spokeswoman Victoria Kingi said it was "a legacy project for Nga Potiki and it's important to us that it be an exemplar development that encourages a sense of community and quality housing".

Nga Potiki's Te Houhou block was acquired as part of its commercial and cultural redress after Crown breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Wairakei Developers:

- Bluehaven Management 149ha
- Hawridge Developments 103ha
- Nga Potiki 27ha
- Zariba Properties 22ha

Enjoying the lifestyle change

Brenda Littlejohn (pictured, with her grandaughter, Riley) has always had a close affinity with Papamoa, with many happy childhood memories linked to the seaside suburb.
Her grandfather had a "bach" in the Bay.

"Papamoa has always been close to my heart ... as a kid I spent all my holidays there."
About 12 years ago her Mum and Dad chose to retire here and that prompted Ms Littlejohn to think about a lifestyle change.

Next month, she will celebrate two years in a modern, contemporary home built by Venture Developments at Papamoa East and is looking forward to the future expansion of Wairakei.

"I previously lived at Whangaparoa for 30 years ... and it was a big thing to leave my three adult children in Auckland," she said.

However, Ms Littlejohn is rapt as daughter Shaylene, son-in-law Simon and granddaughter Riley, who had been staying with her, were building a house in Golden Sands that would be finished in July. Meanwhile, another daughter had plans to build a home in the future.

"I love it here, I love being near the beach and I've made some really good friends as it's a very friendly community."

The retirement village manager, who was fortunate enough to be able to transfer her job, said developments at Wairakei "will definitely be good", especially with all the amenities that were mooted.

- Carmen Hall

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