This kind of large-scale urban development is complex, requiring strong partnership and collaboration between multiple parties. While the outlook for transformation is over the long-term (20 years plus), the relevant agencies are already working on what needs to be done to make it happen.

The recently established North-West PDA Central and Local Government Leads group is made up of representatives from agencies including Auckland Council and council-owned organisations, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Education, NZ Transport Agency, and the Ministry of Transport. The group recently took some time out to tour the North-West PDA (Redhills, Whenuapai and Westgate) and discuss opportunities and challenges.

The North-West spatial priority area as outlined in the Auckland Future Development Strategy

Kāinga Ora Centre Development Manager, Jaine Lovell-Gadd, who co-chairs the group alongside the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, said it was a great opportunity to “walk and talk” and for the agencies to discuss where we are at in the process.

“Having the North-West identified as a priority area offers a good level of certainty and provides the relevant agencies direction on where to align investment of funding and resource to achieve maximum impact.

“We know each agency has their own set of priorities, especially when it comes to funding. That’s why it’s important we come together in the early stages, to outline what these priorities and challenges are, and look at how we can work together to overcome hurdles and ensure maximum efficiencies. It’s about us all being together ‘around the table’ from the outset so we can ensure we’re aligned.”

John Dunshea, General Manager Development Planning Office at Auckland Council, agrees:

“The spatial priority areas were identified in the Future Development Strategy(external link) to provide focus for developer, Crown and Auckland Council investment. It is great to have all these parties coming together to discuss their development plans for the North-West and to ensure we are on the same page from the beginning.”

Private sector aspirations are also being taken into account.

“On the tour, in addition to hearing from members of the group, we also heard from developers who have a high degree of interest in seeing the North-West flourish. It was hugely valuable to get their perspectives, hear about their development plans and get a better understanding of how the North-West PDA can bring together the public and private sectors to help achieve mutually desired outcomes,” says Jaine.

2024 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the group, having identified three important milestones to reach by 31 December:

  • Develop a North-West economic masterplan(external link) (led by Tātaki Auckland)
  • Draft the North-West Development Contribution Policy (led by Auckland Council)
  • Prepare the detailed business case for the North-West Rapid Transit Network (led by NZTA)

“There is a lot of mahi to get on with, but the good news is there’s existing work we can draw from and build upon, including the Development Contribution Policy for Drury, the Southern Auckland Economic Masterplan, and the Northern busway.

“By achieving these milestones by the end of the year, we’ll be in really good shape to start planning out the future of the region,” says Jaine.