The passage of the Point England Development Enabling Bill through Parliament this evening will benefit Auckland with additional housing, help resolve Ngāti Paoa’s Treaty claim and improve the local environment and recreation facilities, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“The current Point England Reserve is not good use of public land, with 18 hectares fenced off for over 30 years for grazing cows, the Omaru Creek being one of the most polluted in Auckland and old, rundown recreational facilities. The Bill requires the cows to be evicted, uses 12ha for housing, 2ha for a Ngāti Paoa marae and increases the recreational and amenity space by 4ha. All of the Crown proceeds from the housing development are to be invested in the local community, with enhanced recreational facilities, improved playing fields and for cleaning up the Omaru Creek.
“The 300-home development on 12ha of the land is a significant contribution to Auckland’s housing needs. The next step will be finalising a development agreement with Ngāti Paoa that will require a minimum 20 per cent social housing and 20 per cent affordable housing. These new homes are particularly important because of their close proximity to the city and the role they can play in accelerating the redevelopment of thousands of new houses in the adjacent Tāmaki Redevelopment Project.
“I commend Ngāti Paoa in initiating this project in the negotiations of their Treaty settlement. This is ancestral land that had one of the largest Māori settlements anywhere in New Zealand in the early 19th century. It is quite appropriate that 2ha be provided for a marae on this iconic, central city, coastal site.
“The Government is keen to engage with the community, Auckland Council and Ngāti Paoa on the detailed plans for enhancing the recreational facilities, amenity and environment of the remaining reserve. The Bill specifically requires the current 8.4ha of playing fields is retained and the intention is that they be enhanced, with proper drainage and lighting. We also want to ensure areas are protected for coastal birds like the New Zealand dotterel.
“The primary solution to Auckland’s housing challenges is building more homes. We have made great progress in lifting the house build rate from 4000 a year to 10,000 a year. Practical initiatives like this partnership with Ngāti Paoa at Pt England will ensure we maintain this momentum.”