Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Changes in Albany ward a concern for residents

Albany ward, like much of Auckland, is growing.

Residents in the well-to-do ward, which stretches east of State Highway 1 from Waiwera south to Campbells Bay and then west to Whenuapai and Hobsonville - where thousands of new homes are being built as part of the new Hobsonville Pt community - are used to change.

But that change comes with worries: for the environment and the infrastructure already stretched by Auckland's housing boom.

READ MORE:
Public transport top of the list for Albert-Eden-Roskill ward
Safety a key issue for Manurewa-Papakura ward
Bill Ralston and Mike Lee fight it out for Waitemata and Gulf ward
Mayoral hopefuls share their vision for future of Auckland

As Albany man David Fryer told the Herald, apartment blocks are going up "like billy-o", but adequate infrastructure wasn't following.

Sitting councillors John Watson and Wayne Walker, both seeking re-election, and their main Auckland Future ticket challengers, former professional rugby league coach Graham Lowe and Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Lisa Whyte, all flagged managing growth as a priority. Penlink - a proposed road linking State Highway 1 to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula - was also seen as vital.

"There's big pressure on infrastructure, transport, wastewater," Walker said.

"Putting all that together in an integrated way and finding the money for it is a critical issue. It's not so obvious now, but it will be in the future."

The two remaining candidates are John Bensch and Alezix Heneti, who is also a mayoral candidate and is proposing a "Kiwi Disneyland" to bring jobs and visitors.

Campbells Bay Community Association co-chairman Max Thomson said residents feared green space would be swallowed up by housing. "It's the fear that in developing more dense housing they take away green space to do it, when the requirement for dense housing is that you need more green space."

But those struggling to buy are desperate to see more housing.

Video

Albany father-of-two Aws Alani said council consents took too long and held up development. Alani, who wants to buy a home for his family, said more small houses or apartments were needed.

"There should be more apartments. A lot of people would love to own a smaller house, especially first-home buyers."

Hobsonville woman Tara Jones said affordable housing was the most important issue for the council.

"One thing I'll be looking for the council to address is the issue of affordable housing in the area - making sure there's housing available for anyone of any income to own."

Not everyone welcomed the population boom.

Hobsonville mum Sally Alsakini was considering moving because her once "country-style" suburb had changed so much. Campbells Bay man and Forest and Bird North Shore branch chairman Richard Hursthouse said it was vital waterways were protected in the rush to develop. Hauraki Gulf was already affected by the city's growth.

"The reason people want to live here is we've got the gulf and they want to be able to catch a fish in it and swim in it."

Hibiscus and Bays local board chairwoman Julia Parfitt said the environment was a massive concern in the ward.

"When you live in a place like this, you want to keep it pristine."

YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR CHOICE

Monday: Auckland mayoral hopefuls share their vision
Tuesday: Waitemata
Wednesday: Albert-Eden-Roskill and Manurewa-Papakura
Thursday: Albany and Howick
Friday: Licensing trusts and DHBs
Next Tuesday: All the Auckland wards, plus regional highlights, in our local body election supplement

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 25 May 2017 01:43:22 Processing Time: 686ms