- The Ihumatao area contains archaeological sites which are protected under the Historic Places Act. The open nature of the land between the Otuataua Stonefields and Oruarangi and Ihumatao Roads provides an important visual and cultural heritage context to the Stonefields.
(Quote from former Manukau Council publication)
BEWARE! Ihumatao will change from this:
- An area of land on Oruarangi Road, Ihumatao, Mangere has been added as one of three Special Housing Areas in the Mangere-Otahuhu community (see Wallace Block on map below).
- Foreign owned Fletchers Residential Ltd want to build 500 high density houses on the Wallace Block (see map), a public open green space.
- This location is adjacent to the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve, (link to Council information)a public green space, listed Heritage site , with a rich historical, environmental and cultural significance.
- It is right next to Ihumatao Pa, one of the last remaining original and livable papakainga in New Zealand.
- This development (using estimated numbers of a family of 5 per house, and 2 cars per house) would bring around 2,500 more people and 1,000 more vehicles to a small semi-rural community that does not have the amenities to cope with these numbers.
- Due to the airport closing the other road, there will only be one road in and one road out of the SHA area.
- The Situation:
- The Special Housing Areas of Auckland came about through the Auckland Housing Accord that was agreed by Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown to urgently increase the supply and affordability of housing in Auckland.
- This piece of land was once confiscated Maori land but has been under the ownership of a farming family for many generations and used as farmland. It is currently still privately owned and is adjacent to the open public space, a conservation area, the Otuataua Historic Stonefields Reserve.
The section of land targeted for the SHA was once under a rural/farmland zone and through court proceedings in the Environment Court, it was re-zoned to future urban. In order to create the SHA it will need to be re-zoned once more to Residential.
Some history leading up to these zone changes:
- The Auckland Regional Council (disbanded with the creation of the Auckland Council - super city) was heavily engaged in purchasing and protecting coastal lands for the long term recreational and heritage concerns of a rapidly growing Auckland District. These land purchases are the network of Regional Parks around Auckland that have proved to be a brilliantly forward thinking initiative. The ARC, thankfully, ensured that the Ihumatao Peninsula was retained as a rural zone.
In 2007 the Manukau City Council proposed zone changes to free up land for the expanding airport zone. The rural land between George Bolt Drive and Oruarangi Road was to be zoned for light industry and airport requirements. The rural land to the west of Oruarangi Rd and south of Ihumatao Rd was to stay rural. A Notice of Requirement (NOR) was placed on the land with the intention of the Manukau City Council purchasing the land to complete the Otuataua Historic Stonefield Reserve. The Wallace Block was zoned as Public Open Space and with provision of a strip of residential zoned land adjacent to the Ihumatao Papakainga for future village expansion.
- This zoning change became operative in July 2011. The land owners of the rural blocks appealed the zone change and in December 2012 the Environment Court ordered the extension of the Metropolitan Urban Limit to the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve boundary and the coastline.
- This decision has effectively ended 1000 years of continuous agricultural activity spanning the entire history of human occupation of the Auckland area. No small matter. It also removes the possibility of Te Waiohua ever regaining their land lost to confiscation in 1863. It also impacts on the future provision of public open space in New Zealand’s fastest growing city. The Auckland Council was required to draft appropriate amendments to the district plan.
This rezoning, and the application for a subdivision, is where SOUL hopes to overturn the decision of this SHA on Oruarangi Road. Unfortunately, due to SHA laws, there are no formal options for submission.
- SOUL recognises the need for more housing in Auckland, however the proposed location of this SHA is ill-thought out and does not even comply with the SHA criteria of ensuring available infrastructure and proper consideration of community and the local board.
545-561 Oruarangi Road - 33 hectares of countryside may turn into 500 houses
SOUL - rejects the Oruarangi SHA on the following grounds:
- The historical and cultural significance of this area is recognised as being unique to Auckland City. A development of this magnitude would diminish the historical and cultural significance of this area and remove its uniqueness
- Ihumatao is one of the last remaining original and liveable papakainga in Aotearoa. Five-hundred high-density houses in such close proximity to Ihumatao, means it will no longer be recognised as a papakainga but rather it will be colonised and swamped by this development, transforming it to urban space.
- Development will put the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve at major risk of further damage, desecration and pollution.
- Puketapapa/Pukeiti is a waahi tapu site and is of spiritual significance particularly to whanau of Ihumatao. Establishing a housing development in such close proximity will desecrate the sanctity of this of this waahi tapu site.
- Establishing a dense development in a community that has already faced decades of continuous injustices will further impact on the mentality and stability of its residents, where a strong connection to place and space is important to their overall health and well-being.
- Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board has been working to conserve the area and establish the Mangere Gateway Heritage Project. This SHA 62 ruins the historical, cultural and environmental aspects of this unique landscape which is only achievable by retaining the current state of the Otuataua Stonefields Public Reserve, Ihumatao and its community.
- This development would bring approximately 2,500 more people and 1,00 more vehicles to a small semi-rural community that does not have the amenities or services to cope with an added population and volume of traffic of this scale.
- There is no infrastructure (water or wastewater connections) to service a housing development such as this.
- Urban Sprawls are characterised by issues such as high density traffic, overcrowding, poor air quality, lack of access to parks, sports facilities and low connectivity.