New houses means more than just homes
1 October 2021
One of the most critical milestones in a subdivision journey has been reached for the first lot of land parcels at Wharenui Rise in Rotorua.
Wharenui Rise landowner Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands recently attained subdivision completion certification (Section 223/224 Certificate) from Rotorua Lakes Council for the first stage of its new development, and with titles issued last week, 52 new homes are about to be added to the Rotorua housing market.
This is the first of three stages that are currently consented with civil works starting earlier this month on the second stage of 84 lots and it is expected that those titles will be issued at the end of 2022.
Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands General Manager Ray Morrison says that this development will provide a consistent flow of homes to the Rotorua housing market for years to come but sees the positive impact stretching well beyond just homes for people.
“We are really proud that through this development more locals will have access to homes but what often gets missed is the long tail of economic benefit that comes with housing growth.”
“We are seeing new housing companies arriving or returning to Rotorua, and those companies need new employees to staff offices and show homes. There is a whole industry of people that will benefit from these types of developments. You’ve got engineers, civil works, builders, plumbers, painters, real estate agents and even the shops where these workers buy their smoko. The economic impact on local supply chains is substantial.”
Earlier this year Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands announced that the development would include a portion of homes targeted at first home buyers. Each stage will have a percentage of homes that are of the same quality and specifications as per the covenants and design guidelines for the development, but would be slightly smaller to keep costs in line with affordable homes in the market.
Shareholders or people who whakapapa to Ngāti Whakaue have been given first preference to register their interest in the homes, and Mr Morrison says that they’ve had a positive response so far and that a ballot process closes in mid-October.
“Housing is the biggest issue this country is facing right now and every house you build has got to be a good thing. Owning a home can set you up for life, and at the moment housing affordability is becoming increasingly challenging. We feel that this is a wonderful opportunity that could really turn the tide for those whānau.”
“Long term, this development could produce 1000 lots and if a portion of those have helped local whānau onto the housing ladder, and provides an asset for life, then that is an achievement that will have a ripple effect in terms of benefits across the wider community.”
The development has been in the making for more than a decade, and both Council and Mr Morrison credits the smooth completion of this first stage to the professional working relationship between Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands, their designers Harrison Grierson, their earthworks and civil works team and Rotorua Lakes Council.
“This is a massive piece of work and of course you’re going to run into issues, but it’s been how Council has been open to overcoming issues and working with us and our team to resolve them,” says Mr Morrison.
“We’ve also had a great design team and we can’t speak highly enough of how they’ve worked for us. The efficiencies that have been worked out between that team and Council have got this first stage across the line in record time.”
District Development Deputy Chief Executive Jean-Paul Gaston says we are starting to see the beginning of a strong development pathway to support growth and Council is committed to helping to deliver the 6000 homes required by 2031.
“Working alongside developers is key to achieving sustainable, well designed housing growth, and Wharenui Rise has been a great example of what can be achieved when there is a good professional relationship between developers, technical experts and our planning team. This stage of the subdivision has been approved ahead of when we expected it to, and we chalk that up to some really good internal processes and all parties working to the same goal – more homes for our community.”
“Developments can also provide wider value than just homes and employment. This development has also helped to secure substantial Government funding. Last year the Government, through the Crown Infrastructure Partner fund, provided $55 million to support new housing growth in Eastside. That has resulted in Council and Waka Kotahi being able to commit to transport network and stormwater upgrades that will support more housing but will also benefit the wider community.”
- 52 lots in Stage One.
- 84 lots in Stage Two.
- 76 lots in Stage Three
- A portion of the homes will be targeted to first home buyers at a cost which is competitive with the current median house price in Rotorua.
- Potential for up to 1000 new lots to be developed.