Henderson and Takapuna: the future of green? - Spaces NZ
Henderson and Takapuna: the future of green?

Henderson and Takapuna: the future of green?

Two Auckland neighbourhoods have been awarded the first Green Star - Communities ratings in New Zealand.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Two master-planned neighbourhoods in Auckland have received Green Star - Communities ratings, the first to be awarded in New Zealand.

Managed by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), the Green Star - Communities rating is a tool that assesses master planned communities for their commitment to sustainability, planning for climate change and building community resilience. 

The two projects, Henderson Opanuku and Unlock Takapuna, both managed by Auckland Council’s Panuku Development Auckland, achieved a 5 Green Star rating.

A 4 Star rating is considered best practice while a 6 Star rating is world-leading.

The Green Star rating has been used for several years in Australia, with similar versions used around the globe. It is one of a handful of internationally recognised sustainability rating tools for communities and precincts and is owned by the Green Building Council of Australia. The tool has been adapted in conjunction with the NZGBC for use in New Zealand.

Once Green Star certification is achieved, development projects must recertify every five years to demonstrate that commitments made at the planning and design stages are delivered.

The Unlock Takapuna project incorporates a number of sites for development. Image: Panuku Development Auckland.

The Henderson and Takapuna sites are both still in the pre-design phase, with the land to be sold to private developers who will manage the construction in line with the certified plans. 

“The Unlock Takapuna project spans two sites including the existing Anzac Street carpark and the Gasometer carpark. Currently underutilised, the development will see the use of these areas to create a town square as well as mixed use developments including residential, retail and commercial spaces,” Panuku Development’s Kristen Webster said.

“The vision for Takapuna is to make the most of its sea-and-lake location. We have several projects underway at the moment, including a new car park. Construction of the new multi-level Gasometer car park building on Huron Street has reached full height and the facades are currently being installed. The project is on track to be completed in mid-2020. When it opens, the car park will include 420 short-stay public parking spaces along with electric car charging stations, motorbike parking, bike storage, accessibility parking and changing rooms.

“The new car park will enable the existing car park at 40 Anzac Street and an adjacent site 38 Hurstmere Road to become a town square that will unify the heart of Takapuna and enable surrounding development. The new public space is currently being designed and it will include spaces for people to linger, new shops, businesses and homes. The design is being guided by placemaking at 38 Hurstmere Road – a temporary public space that has been used to trial design concepts.”

Part of achieving the Green Star - Communities rating is designing neighbourhoods that promote a sustainable lifestyle...
Panuku Development Auckland's Kristen Webster.

In Henderson, another underutilised area is destined for a mixed-use development that will incorporate green spaces, apartments, and a bridge and cycleway connecting two key areas of Henderson across the Opanuku Stream. 

“Part of achieving the Green Star - Communities rating is designing neighbourhoods that promote a sustainable lifestyle,” Kristen said.

“This means allowing for people to live an active lifestyle, ensuring there is good pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, that there is access to fresh food locally, as well as appropriate public transport links and safe public spaces.”

“The new walking and cycling connections in Henderson mean residents, commuters and visitors will be able to move more easily between Henderson town centre and train station, Opanuku Reserve, the Corban Estate Arts Centre and Henderson Park. Local improvements such as these support the development of high-quality, medium-density housing on nearby Auckland Council land, which will be coming in the future.”

Site works are currently underway in Henderson with contractors preparing to begin work on a road extension to facilitate the connections. “Once complete, this will provide a safe, well-lit connection making it easier for locals to access nearby streams, parks, walkways and lush green spaces.”

Top banner image credit: Panuku Development Auckland

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