Putting sustainability at the core of our new communities
Sustainability measures have been ‘baked into’ Hobsonville Point - Auckland’s fastest-growing new township - since its inception ten years ago.
This series of videos showcases what we’ve learnt along the way, and how those learnings will help us to build sustainable, thriving communities across Tāmaki Makaurau.
01 An introduction from HLC’s CEO
Sustainability is at the core of the Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point development and community. It underpins everything from the design and construction of buildings, to waste, water, and energy management, to public transport and safety, to the ways in which residents interact with one another and their environment every day.
The Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point Sustainable Development Framework has been integral to the delivery of the project over the past 10 years and counting. It’s a founding vision and an ongoing way of measuring the success of the development against our four sustainability spheres: Environmental, Economic, Social and Cultural. These are the pillars on which a strong, vibrant, sustainable community is built.
We are pleased to present the 10th Hobsonville Point Sustainability Report, which shows that the development is meeting and, in many cases, exceeding the objectives of the framework, based on the annual residents’ survey as well as Vector and Watercare data.
Highlights from the report include:
- 93% of residents say that Hobsonville Point is a great place to live
- More than one new house is built every day at Hobsonville Point
- 32% of all homes sold to date are ‘affordable’
- Hobsonville Point residents use 25% less energy and 32% less water than the Auckland average
Join us as we track the progress Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is making against a range of ambitious sustainability measures. We believe Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is setting new standards for environmentally-focussed urban development in Aotearoa.
"As Auckland goes through its growing pains in the next 20-30 years there will be more intensified living, and the understanding of the creation of place and putting people and communities at the centre of development when you have a higher-density environment, will be our key learning that we will take forward into our new projects,” says Chris Aiken, HLC CEO.
The most satisfying findings in the report, however, are those that capture the residents’ enthusiasm for, and appreciation of, Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point - a place that they are happy to call home
02 Stepping lightly on the land
Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point borders the glistening Waitematā Harbour, a picturesque and ecologically-sensitive coastal area. It’s just one of the reasons why it’s important that the development minimises its impact on the environment through the careful use and management of water, energy and resources, and by working in partnership with mana whenua as kaitiaki of this rohe (area).
“That is really around ensuring that the water that enters the harbour is as clean as possible, that we look after the ecological health of the land here and that we give people good choices around transport and energy use that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Katja Lietz, HLC’s General Manager Masterplanning and Placemaking.
Environmental sustainability has been a major priority at every stage of the development and, today, Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is already operating much more efficiently than wider Tāmaki Makaurau. Residents at Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point use 25% less electricity and 32% less water than the Tāmaki Makaurau average. This has been achieved by building high-quality homes that have better insulation and double glazing than what’s required by the Building Code, as well as passive heating from concrete slabs. Homes are fitted with dual flush toilets and low flow showers and taps, as well as 3000-litre rainwater tanks that residents use for everyday tasks like doing laundry and watering the garden.
Stormwater is processed using an innovative “treatment train” approach, which ensures the water entering the harbour is as clean as possible. There have also been more than 10,000 locally-sourced native plants grown on-site for use in the development, with many of them being planted along the coastal edge. The plants act as a natural buffer between land and sea, help to increase native biodiversity, and enhance the scenery along the popular coastal walkway.
03 Building a thriving local economy
Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is a thriving, highly-connected community and business hub where more people are enjoying the freedom of working close to home.
“One of the aims of the development is to ensure local business opportunities and that means creating local jobs for local people,” says Caroline McDowell, Hobsonville Point Precinct Director.
The Farmers Market’s hours have been extended due to popular demand and new cafes, restaurants, a microbrewery and a coworking office space have opened at Catalina Bay. Businesses are well-supported by the community with 90% of residents saying they shop locally. One of our guiding principles is around creating employment opportunities in the community so it’s great to see a 10% increase in the number of residents working locally since 2016.
HLC has been working hard to accelerate the supply of quality homes to the Tāmaki Makaurau housing market, exceeding our target of building one new home every working day with 403 new homes completed in the year to June 2018. We’re on track to complete more than 460 new homes in the year to June 2019.
Reducing residents’ reliance on cars and encouraging the use of public transport has also been a key driver for Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point. We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible for residents with 75% of houses built within 400 metres of a bus stop and 90% within 800m. We’ve also supported the ferry service to the city centre and Beach Haven, which now runs 7 days a week. In the past three years, the proportion of people using cars to travel to work has dropped from 79% to just 46% - well on the way to our 2026 goal of 40%.
04 Helping friendships grow
Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is a place where neighbours know one another, children play unsupervised in public spaces, and the sense of community is alive and well.
“HLC’s social vision for Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point has been around creating a very strong and vibrant community,” says Kathleen Waldock, HLC Programme Manager, Placemaking.
The report shows that this vision is being realised with 93% of residents saying that Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is a great place to live, 95% reporting positive contact with neighbours that goes beyond a simple “hello”, and more than 80% using a public park or facility in the last month.
This has been achieved by encouraging diversity through design and providing housing options at a range of price points to suit people of different ages and backgrounds. There has been a special focus on providing opportunities for first home buyers and long-term renters.
Safety is also a key measure of quality of life and something that we’ve worked hard at in the planning and creation of public spaces. It’s pleasing to find that 90% of people feel that their neighbourhood is safe for children to play unsupervised, and 97% say it’s safe for pedestrians.
“We’ve done that through creating public spaces that are close to their homes - they are an extension of their backyards,” says Waldock.
The opening of the 5-kilometre Coastal Walkway has provided a safe, car-free space for pedestrians and cyclists to use and is also proving to be a popular attraction for weekend visitors. The walkway connects land to sea and passes through several neighbourhoods and the business precinct at Catalina Bay.
05 Ka mua ka muri Looking to the past to build a better future
HLC and Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point are guided by the Māori proverb “Ka mua ka muri”, which, in essence, means we’re looking to the past in order to build a better future. We’ve placed an emphasis on working with mana whenua as our treaty partners, which has resulted in the retention and celebration of the rich Māori heritage of the area. This creates a distinctive identity for Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point and promotes a sense of belonging for mana whenua, residents and visitors alike.
“What we’re creating here is a sense of place and tūrangawaewae for locals but also in recognising the role of local iwi as kaitiaki,” says Sarah Chapman, HLC’s Head of Maori Housing Outcomes.
The report shows that, as a result of our relationship with Mana Whenua and the commitment to prioritise the sustainability of te taiao (the environment), 71% of residents feel a sense of community at Hobsonville Point, 67% have taken action in the past year to improve the natural environment, and more than half participate in community activities.
Our partnership with Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara and Te Kawerau a Maki ensures that we preserve not only the history of the area, but that we restore and amplify the whakapapa of the whenua and the natural eco-systems in the environment.
We’ve also acknowledged the military history of the area by retaining former RAF officers’ houses on Sunderland Ave and Marlborough Oval. Aircraft hangars and other heritage buildings have also been preserved and refurbished and are available for the community to use for birthday parties and social gatherings.
The whakapapa of Onekiritea has been remembered through all place names drawn from mana whenua and the community, with at least one public artwork in each precinct and oral and written histories captured and displayed at points of interest throughout the development. At every turn, the past is reflected in the design of Hobsonville Point, which ensures that its vibrant history remains a part of its future.
06 He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point has come to life through the collaborative, creative efforts and shared vision of HLC, our building and development partners, mana whenua, local government, community groups and residents. As the famous Māori proverb says: “He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata” (What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people). It is people working together that has made Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point possible.
“The sustainability vision for Hobsonville Point is ambitious and we will only be able to achieve it through partnership with others,” says Caroline McDowell, Hobsonville Point Precinct Director.
Working closely with our builder and developer partners has allowed us to deliver quality, healthy homes to the Tāmaki Makaurau housing market quickly - at a rate of close to two new houses every working day in the year to June 2018.
A partnership with innovative property company New Ground Living has seen us provide long-term rental options at Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point, with leases having been granted for three-, four- and even seven-year terms. This gives residents peace of mind knowing they have a safe, healthy home to enjoy with guaranteed security of tenure.
The weekend trial ferry service is a great example of the community leading the way and working with Auckland Transport and our builder partners to make it happen. The service - part-funded by residents - is going well and has excellent support from the community.
HLC’s shared vision and work with the Kaipatiki Project has seen more than 10,000 trees planted on site, as well as other sustainability initiatives, such as the Upper Harbour Eco Fun Day.
We enjoy positive relationships with mana whenua, schools, Auckland Council, Hobsonville Point Residents’ Society, Waterview Retirement Village and residents. Collaboration and cooperation has been essential to Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point’s success and will continue to be a key driving force moving forward.
07 Looking forward
The latest Sustainability Report shows that we are achieving our ambitious vision for Onekiritea -Hobsonville Point and helps to set the course for the coming months and years.
“All of the evidence we now have from 10 years of measuring data here gives us a high degree of confidence that the wellbeing framework, by which we’re developing, will deliver the results that people expect,” says Chris Aiken, HLC CEO.
Looking forward, key areas of focus include working with Willis Bond in the continued development of Catalina Bay; working with mana whenua, development partners and the community to build on our regular schedule or neighbourhood and gatherings; and promoting alternative modes of transport.
Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is a living, growing case study for what sustainable development can be in the 21st Century. The greatest learning HLC has taken from this project, other than a deep respect for people and community, is the ability to create medium-density development that works. We call this style of development “the missing middle” - the space between tall high rises and small, standalone dwellings. It’s a smart, sustainable balance seen in many of the best European cities.
As this report shows, Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point is about much more than housing. It’s about creating a place in which people feel safe, connected, with a strong sense of belonging, and part of a vibrant community - a place they can call home.
“The place is now as important as the home in which you live within that place,” Aiken says. “People don’t live in their house at Hobsonville Point, they live in Hobsonville Point the place, as do people who live in the great cities of the world.”
HLC is applying the learnings from Onekiritea-Hobsonville Point to our other masterplanned developments in the Auckland Housing Programme, such as Northcote, Mangere and Mt Roskill, always working towards our goal of creating great places to live.