Auckland Council has spent $46.4 million on 35 new parks and open spaces in the past year.

A full list of the open spaces - 31.5ha of parks, walkways, cycleways and conservation areas - will be presented to councillors at a meeting today.

Council budgeted $47.9 million to spend on open spaces but snuck under that for the 2016/17 financial year after spending $46.4 million.

Council's environment and community committee deputy chairman Alf Filipaina said council had done "really well" to stay under budget.


He felt they had got the balance between the types of spaces right.

"Our community will hold us accountable," he said.

The most expensive piece of real estate was a 70,000sq m park in Hingaia, Papakura costing just over $6 million.

Residents in Rodney will be the biggest benefactors of the newly acquired spaces, with nine of the 31 being located in the area.

Next highest is Papakura with five, then Hibiscus and Bays with four and Upper Harbour and Devonport-Takapuna with three each.

Council acquired 11 of the parks and open spaces - a combined land area of about 1.3ha - for free. Maintenance costs for the free land will total $99,629 a year.

The majority of the spaces acquired are neighbourhood parks, with 14 of the 35 serving that purpose.

Three of the spaces are additions to existing parks, two are walkways and Auckland Council's senior policy manager for parks and recreation policy Paul Marriott-Lloyd said there are two sport parks on the list - a $3.2 million part payment for ongoing negotiations for space on Clark Rd, Hobsonville, and the multi-purpose park in Hingaia.

"It's always a balancing act," he said.

"Suburb parks will be home to a mix of different experiences. The issue with sports fields is that they are big spaces."

Auckland Council general manager for parks, sport and recreation Mace Ward said the quality of parks available to Auckland had been "really improved" during the past year.

"It's important we're continuing to connect Aucklanders to areas that they love," he said.

Manurewa-Papakura ward councillor Daniel Newman said council needs to find a "balance" between neighbourhood and sport parks.

"Auckland Council needs to balance the need [for] neighbourhood parks, which are essential for the wellbeing of every resident, with the need to acquire land for sports parks and active playing surfaces.

"In addition, Auckland Council needs to direct its budget to include better drainage, irrigation and lighting to maximise the utility of our fields and courts to cater for Auckland's growing sport and recreational needs."

Newman said the budget for acquiring open spaces needed to be increased.

"Unless we change the contributions policy, we will not be able to afford the increasingly scarce and expensive land necessary to cater for the sport and recreational needs of Aucklanders."

Marriott-Lloyd said Auckland currently has 241 sports parks, with "about 800 fields across them".

Rodney Local Board deputy chairman Phelan Pirrie said establishing more parks had been "hard fought for".

"All those parks are in places that are being developed, that's a good thing. It's just a sign that we've got a bit of growth going on and we will for the next 15 years.

"In the area, because it's semi-rural, people see a lot of green space but a lot of that is privately owned."

Apart from the spaces acquired at no cost, the cheapest piece of land was for a cycleway on Ormiston Rd in Flat Bush, costing $156,000.

Marriott-Lloyd said council was "doing great" with their open space acquisitions.

"There's 31.2 hectares and these are spaces that Aucklanders will use constantly ... they're fabulous assets."

Kumeu-Huapai Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman Pete Sinton told the Herald he was unhappy with the lack of sports fields in Rodney, and said the parks acquired by council in the past year do not help as they are mainly suburban.

Councillors will be asked to approve the development of ways to promote and highlight the new parks and open spaces at their meeting on Tuesday.

Elected members also took part in a workshop at the end of May with the aim of gaining a better understanding of policy regarding open spaces.

In 2016, Auckland Council announced it would no longer purchase land for parks and reserves in suburbs - apart from new subdivisions - but would continue to buy land mostly in undeveloped areas.