The $2.4 billion Government investment in new roads and rail in South Auckland will pave the way for New Zealand's first "new town" — a city that will ultimately be bigger than Napier — at Drury.
Located just off the motorway some 34km south of the Auckland CBD, Drury is suddenly the centre of attention and growth. The once-sleepy area will soon get two new railway stations, an electrified line through to Pukekohe, and the Mill Rd interchange to the motorway.
Major developers like Kiwi Property, Oyster Capital, Fulton Hogan and the Stevenson Group are under way with plans for a new town centre and commercial district, as well as residential homes and an industrial park. Another area being developed by Charles Ma will also sport eco islands.
Master plans have been developed and over time the developers expect up to 200,000 people will be hosted here.
Transport and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford, who has championed the "new town", says the $2.4b set aside in the Government's January 29 NZ Upgrade infrastructure package includes 1.35b to build Mill Rd, $371m to extend the electrified rail network to Pukekohe, $247m for new railway stations, a park-and-ride facility, a bus and rail interchange at Drury and $423m to improve SH1 between Papakura and Drury South.
• Clive Mackenzie on a new town centre for Drury
• Oyster's Cam Wilson explains how to unlock housing at Drury
• How to build a community from the ground up
• Demand for big South Auckland industrial park as Stevenson Group digs in
"This is a break from the ad hoc way we have previously planned our towns and suburbs," says Twyford in today's special NZ Herald publication Project Auckland. "Instead of transport infrastructure having to catch-up with housing development, we are investing in roads and rail from the outset.
"For the first time we are putting the horse before the cart."
"A new town at Drury will need schools and social and health services, and talks [on] future amenities are under way between government departments," adds Twyford.
WATCH: View a live stream here of Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff discussing Project Auckland from 12.30pm today.
Kiwi Property chief executive Clive Mackenzie says, "The Government has stepped forward and needs to be applauded for putting its money where its mouth is."
The Drury development is split among the developers:
At Drury South Crossing the Stevenson Group is developing an industrial park double the size of Auckland's Highbrook.
At Drury East, Kiwi Property — owner of Sylvia Park Shopping Centre — is building a large 50ha commercial centre with bulk retail, supermarkets and offices.
Fulton Hogan and Oyster Capital are also developing land at Drury East for new residential homes.
West of Drury village near the inner reaches of Manukau Harbour's Pahurehure Inlet, Charles Ma and his Made Group is developing a new community called Auranga with up to 2500 homes including an 85ha Special Housing Area.
Twyford stresses the development is part of a longer-term play: Drury is located in the economic geographic centre of the Golden Triangle of Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton.
"We know Auckland will expand south and that is why are are future-proofing against congestion by building essential transport infrastructure."
* The Twyford interview - and extensive coverage of Auckland's future plans - feature in today's Project Auckland liftout, available in the NZ Herald.