New Lynn boosts housing capacity with a little help from their friends

Publish Date : 16 Apr 2024
New Lynn Transport Hub
New Lynn Transport Hub
Peter Lange Artwork In New Lynn (1)
Tokens from the Game artwork by Peter Lange.

It takes a village to enable new housing in Auckland’s growing suburbs. In New Lynn, even the local kindergarten was part of the support crew. 

In August 2022, a tunnel boring machine was about to start work underground as part of the Clinker and Ambrico Place stormwater improvement project.

The Auckland Council Healthy Waters team were set to future-proof the stormwater network to serve an upcoming 11.5 hectare New Lynn housing development, and the Auckland Council Community Facilities team were building a new park for the people who would live in thousands of new homes soon to be built here.  

The children of New Lynn Kindergarten were asked to wish the tunnel boring machine well, applying their painted hand-prints to its surface and giving it a special name which made the 6 o’clock news.

Local drill machine directed by local kids.

View the TV news story on Newshub here.

The children named the tunnel boring machine Princess Twilight Superworm, inspired by one of their favourite storybooks. They voted on three options and Princess Twilight Superworm, democratically, became the winner.

Auckland Council and contractors Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure Limited worked together to involve the local community.

Handprints on the drill machine by local kids.

Auckland Council Healthy Waters General Manager Craig McIlroy recognised at the time that big infrastructure projects with major benefits could also create disruption.

“It’s wonderful to be able to enhance the experience for New Lynn Kindergarten and I’d like to thank them and the local community for their patience while we carry out our work in the area,” he said.

In 2023 the work was complete. The machine had tunnelled a distance of 550m underground from Rankin Avenue, New Lynn to an outfall in Manawa Wetland Reserve, enabling a large-scale residential housing development to begin.

Boosting housing capacity

The Auckland Unitary Plan made bold changes in 2016 to boost Auckland’s housing capacity with more apartment and townhouse living. This shift enabled a substantial increase in new homes and greater housing choices near public transport and town centres.

Local construction site.

With more people choosing to live in New Lynn, with a busy rail station on its doorstep, the council is prioritising infrastructure delivery to support the new housing and businesses locating there.

A variety of housing gives people more choices to live closer to jobs, shops, schools, and community amenities like parks, libraries, and playgrounds and take advantage of alternative commuting options like walking, cycling or public transport. It also creates an increasing number of employment opportunities in local areas by bringing homes and jobs closer together.

This helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and congestion. It improves people’s health and wellbeing with more walking and cycling opportunities and fewer harmful emissions.

When households and business are located close together it provides the support that many businesses need to survive and grow. It means investment in more local jobs, shops, cafes, and other services closer to home, and overall productivity and economic benefits increase.

Greater housing choices also caters to people’s different life stages. Young professionals wanting their first home can keep commuting costs down, while those downsizing to smaller homes have more options allowing them to stay connected to the communities where they raised their families.

Enabling more housing density plays a pivotal role in improving affordability. It lowers the development costs for each house and contributes to more housing supply, which helps to improve housing and rental affordability over time.

Read more here about the children of New Lynn Kindergarten and their role in helping support Auckland’s growth. 

New Lynn Transit Cloud artwork by Gregor Kregar, Sara Hughes and Davor Popadich

New Lynn Transit Cloud artwork by Gregor Kregar, Sara Hughes and Davor Popadich

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