Nearly 98 per cent of submissions on Housing New Zealand's proposal to build state houses on a section of land in Northland are opposed to the development.

Housing New Zealand last month lodged a resource consent application with Whangārei District Council to build 37 mostly one- and two-bedroom houses on land on Puriri Park Rd in Maunu. The application includes an assessment of environmental effects.

HNZ wants to build 15 one-bedroom duplexes, four two-bedroom duplexes, one three-bedroom standalone, six three-bedroom duplexes, eight four-bedroom duplexes and three five-bedroom standalone homes.

Another application has been made to Northland Regional Council for earthworks, stormwater discharge and other activities associated with the planned development. About 4971cu m of earthworks is required for the plan.

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WDC publicly notified HNZ's application and submissions closed on June 6. Of the 346 written submissions WDC received, 340 opposed the application and six supported it, with 262 not wishing to be heard while 84 want to be heard on their submissions.

The Northland Regional Council received 10 submissions with eight opposing HNZ's application. Nine of those submitters do not wish to be heard.

Both councils will arrange hearing dates and times for submitters who wish to be heard.

Concerned residents at a drop-in session in February organised by Housing New Zealand on a section of Puriri Park. Photo / John Stone Photo/John Stone
Concerned residents at a drop-in session in February organised by Housing New Zealand on a section of Puriri Park. Photo / John Stone Photo/John Stone

Puriri Park and Maunu Residents Society is fighting to stop the development and 200 people attended a public meeting organised by Save Puriri Park last month.

The meeting was held to explain to the community how they could make submissions on HNZ's resource consent application.

Society chairman Trevor Reader said opposition to the proposed development and loss of valuable green space continued to grow.

He said the park was one of the few accessible local parks in Maunu and that residents were concerned they would loose the only green space the many retirees in the area could access with their grandchildren.

However, the land is zoned for residential housing, rather than green space, although that has been its de facto use as it is adjacent to Puriri Park. It was formerly Ministry of Education land which was bought by Housing New Zealand last year for $1.35 million.

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Maunu residents, he said, were worried the proposed development was to build 37 multi-storey flats on a very small space.

"Not only does the development take away a valued community park, but it is also very intensive and out of character with the area," he said.

The society has raised enough money to employ an urban designer and a planner but need to raise between $20,000 and $25,000 to hire a lawyer.

He said his members have incorporated the society so people could be assured that funds would be well managed and spent solely on saving their park.

Figures released in February by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development show 445 people were on the public housing register in Northland in the December quarter last year - an increase of 117 per cent compared with 191 people at the end of 2017.