Waiuku developers face hefty bill for wastewater treatment plant

3:39 pm on 2 February 2022

Auckland developers seeking to build 700 homes have been told they will have to foot the bill for a wastewater treatment plant and infrastructure before the project can go ahead.

A map of the planned development by Matoaka Holdings, Pokorua Limited and Gardon Trust.

A map of the planned development by Matoaka Holdings, Pokorua Limited and Gardon Trust. Photo: LDR

Auckland Council's planning committee is set to vote on the private plan change, which would allow the project in Waiuku's Constable Rd to proceed, on Thursday.

Matoaka Holdings, Pokorua Limited and Gardon Trust are seeking to rezone about 32.5 hectares of land to residential mixed housing urban.

The land is just 500 metres from Auckland's southern boundary and is made up of at least 46 percent 'prime' and 'elite' soils.

According to the council, Watercare has started work on a wastewater scheme in the area, but it wasn't designed to cope with the developers' plans.

"The applicant will need to ensure that there is capacity available for the entire plan change at the time of the plan change and will need to provide the funding and/or a funding agreement at the time of the plan change."

However, the scale of funding required for the upgrades identified by Watercare had not been quantified.

Auckland Council planning committee chairman Chris Darby said the developers' proposal had highlighted a number of major infrastructure issues.

Darby said the committee would make a submission outlining the council's concerns if it voted to accept the plan change proposal so it could be considered as part of an Auckland Unitary Plan change hearing.

Darby said the other issue with the proposal was the lack of access to public transport in the area.

"Over the last year the message from council has been very clear that we need to tell developers what we expect them to contribute towards the infrastructure for the benefits they receive and not the ratepayers of Auckland," he said.

"Subsidising developers has been a lark that's been going on for a long time and we're nipping it in the bud."

Darby said if the council accepted the private plan change on Thursday, he expected both Auckland Transport and Watercare to make submissions on it at any hearings.

In 2020, Auckland Council said it would oppose plans by developers Kiwi Property, Fulton Hogan and Oyster Capital to redevelop Drury unless they could reach an agreement to fund a $1 billion shortfall for infrastructure in the area.

The issue is still outstanding, with private plan change hearings expected to take place this year.

Matoaka Holdings and Pokorua Holdings director Conal Dempsey was approached for comment for this article. A spokeswoman for Gardon Trust declined to comment.

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