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Auckland housing designer honoured for Hobsonville Peninsula project

Dunedin – April 15, 2016

The Auckland Council and leading Auckland engineering and design consultants Harrison Grierson’s work on the Scott Point project on Auckland’s Hobsonville Peninsula tonight received a special New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) award.

The project, which sets the bar for design-led district planning, won the best practice award for district and regional at the NZPI’s annual conference in Dunedin.

NZPI chief executive Susan Houston says the project provided about 3000 new homes and established the long-term development framework for such a large greenfield area.

“This has been achieved by careful and thorough consultation with its complex and fragmented landownership and in collaboration with Auckland Council, which is also a landowner. It has also been achieved by the use of innovative planning techniques incorporating precinct based planning, logical distribution of housing density, sub-catchment based infrastructure planning and development agreement for implementation purposes.

“While it was a private plan change request and one of the first variation requests to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, it was prepared in collaboration with Auckland Council.

“A testament to the detail and depth of investigation, consultation and collaboration demonstrated by Harrison Grierson, is that the panel of Independent Commissioners decided in favour of the proposal without any significant modification.

“The success of the project means that Scott Point will become urbanised five years earlier than anticipated. It means that the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is considered the operative plan for the area. And it provides a unique opportunity to create a new urban development consistent with the Government’s objective to address Auckland’s housing shortage.”

Two other NZPI award winners were Otago University planning student Bill Harrington and Auckland’s Megan Couture. Harrington received the Wallace Ross Graduate Research Award Category for his postgraduate work relating to irrigation.

His research provided a wide range of insights into the challenges and pressures that rural New Zealand communities are facing in relation to irrigation and agricultural intensification. His masters thesis explored many of the planning challenges relating to large infrastructure projects and the building of socially sustainable rural communities.

Houston says the government has begun investing up to $400 million in private irrigation companies to help stimulate economic growth. The investment is designed to expedite the development of large scale irrigation projects for more intensive farming operations. Harrington used one of the projects which received government funding, the Hurunui Water Project to irrigate 60,000 hectares of land in North Canterbury, as a case study for his thesis.

MWH Global planner and former Fulbright scholar Couture won the Lance Leikis Award for her outstanding achievements in project planning. She has been involved in many major successful water and transport projects in Auckland, Clevedon, Tauranga, Pukekohe, Waikato, the SH3 Vickers to Auckland project, the Te Atatu road corridor, Waitemata transport routes, the Brigham Creek Road and the Auckland Catchment Planning Toolbox central system to support consistent approaches to catchment planning in Auckland.

For further information contact NZPI chief executive Susan Houston on 021 08345603 or Make Lemonade media specialist Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: NZPI chief executive Susan Houston

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