The possibility of including the Penlink Road in the contract to be let for the Puhoi to Warkworth extension to State Highway One is being considered by Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and the NZ Transport Agency – a process that could fast track the building of the road from Whangaparaoa to Redvale.
Both the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Mayor Len Brown acknowledge that there have been preliminary discussions about including Penlink in the contract to be let for the Puhoi to Warkworth extension.
It is anticipated that this contract could be let before the next General Election, which may be held as early as September next year.
Mayor Len Brown says recent discussions with central Government indicate that the contract for the Puhoi-Warkworth extension and Penlink could be combined.
“It would be logical to get two for the price of one, in a PPP,” the Mayor says. “It’s early days, but the response so far has been positive and I’m supportive of the direction it’s going in.”
NZ Transport Agency’s regional director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town, says an appropriate business case is vital if the Transport Agency is to become involved. Mr Town says it is important to note that while no decisions have been made at this time, the Transport Agency is considering a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Puhoi to Warkworth extension, and possibly procuring Penlink in the same contact.
There has been a lot of activity behind the scenes related to Penlink since the Auckland Transport board received the updated business case for the project last month but the CCO remains tight lipped saying only that the board will discuss Penlink again early next year.
Hibiscus Matters understands that the board is seeking more information in the interim.
The updated business case is crucial, whether the road is to be built via a PPP or not. A plan entitled ‘Penlink Preferred layout’ prepared by Auckland Transport indicates that the CCO is favouring the option of a four-lane road, which is estimated to cost $200-$250 million. Currently, Auckland Transport’s 10 Year Plan includes around $28 million for the toll road, budgeted for 2021/22, with $10.5 million spread over the 2018-21 period.
Meanwhile a notice put up recently on Auckland Transport’s ‘Request for Proposal’, which seeks “to award a contract for supply of Planning Professional Services to implement the Penlink Planning Strategy to successfully complete an alteration to the designation and obtain all required consents”, closes on December 18.
However Hibiscus & Bays Local Board member, and Penlink Now campaigner Janet Fitzgerald says the messages coming from Auckland Transport are confusing.
She says while on the one hand there have been signs of greater impetus behind Penlink, a recent email to the Local Board indicated the CCO may want to stick with the original start date of 2021 that it has budgeted for.
The Local Board is meeting Auckland Transport this week to seek clarification.
Additional ferry services to Gulf Harbour look likely to be introduced in the New Year. Fairway Bay understands that from March 2014, a new timetable with 12 sailings per day will be introduced.
The Fairway Bay development in Gulf Harbour has been spearheading this campaign, by collecting survey information through a variety of channels to determine whether there is demand for more sailings in Gulf Harbour.
Development Consultant Michael Webb-Speight says that over 600 responses Ferry Survey have been received by Fairway Bay, which has been published in newspapers, online and handed out on public transport and at the Hobbs Wharf Markets.
“The results have shown a very clear trend giving firm evidence to Auckland Transport that the increased service would be viable. Auckland Transport now has the data they need to put together the business case for more Gulf Harbour ferry sailings.”
Once complete this business case will be put forward to the Auckland Transport board and NZTA for approval.
CEO Sean Pan is happy to see real progress being made in this area. “Every person commuting by ferry means one less car on the road, and this is good for all commuters – especially anyone travelling on the rush hour Whangaparaoa Peninsula route.”
Relaxing outside the cafe at Hobbs Wharf, looking at the big blue sky, the yachts at anchor and sparkle of sun on the water, you appreciate the wonder of Gulf Harbour.
Michael Webb-Speight is the development consultant to Top Harbour Limited, developer of the stretch of land between the marina and Gulf Harbour Country Club. Michael says it’s the ex-pats who sum it up best. ‘‘They look at all this and ask the obvious question, ‘Why would you want to live anywhere else in Auckland?’’’
Michael’s grand project is Fairway Bay, first stage of a high quality 31 hectare housing development designed to face both the marina and the golf course. This is magnificent land for building, nicely elevated, well drained and mostly north-facing with stunning views. It encompasses the ridge, headland, waterfront and harbour positions.
The promotion of Fairway Bay has been carefully planned, with the establishment of a popular Sunday market, a seven-day cafe, jetty and pontoons, along with numerous community events preceding the first release of land. Shades of Field of Dreams and ‘if you build it they will come’ perhaps, but it’s working – the Sunday market is averaging 900 visitors per week, and 3500 turned up for a recent Halloween event!
‘‘It’s all about building a community,’’ Michael says. ‘‘Fairway Bay owners will have a stake in communal facilities such as a club pavilion, 18-metre swimming pool, and tennis court. They’ll have a say in the management of common areas and the general integrity of the development.’’
Top Harbourhave also done their homework in terms of infrastructure. High on the list has been the petitioning of city authorities and ferry operators about increasing the ferry sailings to the Auckland CBD, with the aim of making it as commutable as Beachlands’ Pine Harbour.
Four building companies were invited to build showhomes at Fairway Bay. All four companies – GJ Gardner, Jennian, Landmark and Sentinel Homes – have taken up the option, as well as the purchase of four lots each. The Mayor poured the first slab for the GJ Gardner showhome, and even at this early stage 18 of the first 36 lots have been sold.
Each stage has been planned with a certain style of housing in mind, in respect to the land contours, space and the demands of the market. Property sizes range from townhouse lots to 3500 square metres for the headland sections with harbour and gulf views.
Michael says interest is widespread: from North Shore families eyeing the less-pressured lifestyle and the decile 10 schools; ex-pats returning to what they see as simply a beautiful place; and couples wanting to put up the ‘gone fishing’ sign.
‘‘We’re building now,’’ Michael says. Behind that statement is the suggestion that perhaps what is being built here is a great new community.
Hundreds of children participated in Halloween events, proving it’s not a dying fad although looking dead and finding graves on front lawns featured at Riverhead’s Fright Night.
“We had many fantastic costumes and face painted faces,” organiser Rachael Parkinson says. “The Dickson family came as zombies, but we had lots of non scary kids too. A group of young aerobic instructors danced their way around the streets.”
The township had a record number of 36 scare houses and safe houses, Rachael says. “It was great to see the houses dressed up in spider webs, graves and all things scary.”
The best scare house was Fran Heath’s Day of the Dead themed property.
More than lollies were offered with Donna Massey and friends providing icecream tubs, Sonia Oyston serving up mini hamburgers and a sausage sizzle offered at another home.
A big crowd also scared it up for Halloween at Hobbs Wharf Night Market, hailed a success by the Gulf Harbour community with people arriving for an evening of dress-ups, music and lolly scrambles. Firefighters turned over their truck to a horde of witches, wizards, monsters and zombies. Halloween visitor Rosalind Warren says it was the first Halloween evening she and son Jimmy, 5, had attended.
“No doubt some people just want to avoid having to answer the door, but we felt it was great to find a safe environment to enjoy the Halloween night,” Rosalind says.
“Both mum and my grandmother came too – so for us it was a great family night out.”
The event was sponsored by the adjacent Fairway Bay development.
“As we bring more families to the area the demand for this kind of activity will increase – so the markets venue will become more important over time,” chief executive officer Sean Pan says.
Organiser Debbie Morgan says other events include a Christmas shopping night on November 27 and a Christmas carols evening in December.
Fairway Bay at Whangaparaoa’s Gulf Harbour will eventually add 1000 new houses priced from $595,000 to $850,000.
Work is about to start on a $550 million 1000-house Auckland project by a company 45 per cent owned by Chinese billionaire and Shanghai Pengxin chairman Zhaobai Jiang. Top Harbour is building Fairway Bay at Whangaparaoa’s Gulf Harbour.
“Of the 37 lots in the first release, 17 have been sold, predominantly to local building companies including G.J. Gardner, Landmark Homes, Jennian Homes and SentinelHomes,” a Top Harbour spokesman said. “The average lot size is 528sqm.”
Fairway Bay places are priced from $595,000 but the spokesman said initial sales were from $725,000 for single-level houses to $850,000 for a four-bedroom two-level house. The first places will share a swimming pool, clubhouse and tennis court. A further 40 lots will be developed in summer.
Today marked a significant milestone for Top Harbour Ltd, developer of the largest remaining land holding at Gulf Harbour. Mayor of Auckland Len Brown lent a hand today to assist with pouring the foundation for the first of 1000 new homes to be built at Gulf Harbour.
CEO Sean Pan has brought his family to New Zealand to represent the shareholders and to be part of the project. The shareholders of Top Harbour are diversified property developers that construct and manage large residential, commercial, and retail properties in selected high-growth first-tier and second-tier cities in Mainland China.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Pan acknowledged the recent Auckland Housing Accord, and efforts of both Central Government and Auckland Council to address the shortage of housing in Auckland.
Len Brown also spoke applauding the progress made by Top Harbour encouraging the private-public cooperation with developers and Council to speed the delivery of housing throughout Auckland. Making Gulf Harbour more accessible to commuters was another key point made with more ferry services being highlighted as a key strategy for transport to the Peninsula.
Project Consultant Michael Webb-Speight added that providing housing choice is an important part of the Housing Accord strategy. “Fairway Bay will provide a range of builders, prices and housing options to choose from within this first stage. As we work through the later stages of development we will provide both smaller and larger homes as well as town houses, apartments and retirement living options. In this way we will provide widely different products at different price points to our primary buying market; existing home owners primarily from the North Shore and Whangaparaoa peninsula.”
Top Harbour’s intention is to provide a functional community with a wide range of active participants, all of whom will appreciate this special location and the lifestyle it offers.
The drought has murdered thousands of sunflowers destined to raise funds for Make-A-Wish but it’s also brought a silver lining.
Barely a few hundred of the 90,000 Gulf Harbour sunflowers were exchanged for donations before the drought either stunted their growth or wiped them out, despite watering.
But that hasn’t stopped the Make-A-Wish Field of Dreams Summer Festival being a success, even before it ends on March 24.
A text donation concept was quickly introduced instead and more than $22,000 was donated in just one morning after the sunflower saga screened on TV.
Project manager David Thomas is delighted with the result and says the festival continues to be well supported and people are encouraged to text DREAM to 5338 to donate $3.
The festival symbol, fabric sunflowers in two sizes are offered for a donation starting at this weekend’s festival events and some real ones are still available.
The sunny weather has also brought thousands of people to the events.
About 2000 people were at a fishing contest at Hobbs Wharf on Sunday, and a record 400 attended the outdoor Saturday night movie at Fairway Bay. Dragon boat racing the previous weekend also attracted about 2000 spectators.
Movies continue tonight from 8pm through to Sunday, and again next week, with entry a $5 donation.
A Coastguard Northern Region display, featuring smoke flare and lifejacket demonstrations, is sure to bring crowds back this Sunday, along with continuing Sunday market days, all from 10am. The day also offers a chance to get in a Coastguard training boat obstacle course drive.
The final big weekend sees some of the region’s best bands, like Tantrum and duo Danielle and Ainslie Davies, CremeBrulee and Craig McTavish perform on March 24 from 10am to 2pm. Visitors are invited to bring picnic rugs, friends, family and dancing shoes.
The festival is one of the most ambitious fundraising programmes undertaken by Make-A-Wish New Zealand, its chief executive officer Carolyn MacDonell says.
“It has the potential to raise more money and fulfil more wishes than many other activities the organisation has undertaken.” Funds help grant wishes to sick Kiwi children.
Go to makeawish.org.nz, fairwaybay.co.nz and hobbswharf.com for more information.
Suburban Newspapers, publisher of the Rodney Times, is supporting Make-A-Wish New Zealand.
Market stall holders and the public returned to the Hobbs Wharf development in Gulf Harbour last weekend, bringing life to an area that has been fenced off and virtually abandoned for more than two years.
The Hobbs Wharf food and craft market ran alongside the marina for two years, closing in November 2010 due to the collapse of the owners of the development, Gulf Corporation.
The new market, which was opened by the development’s new owners, Top Harbour Ltd on January 27, features around 25 stalls and also has a café that is going to be open seven mornings a week.
Market manager Debbie Morgan says the market’s mix of high quality fresh produce, food and arts and crafts will create a similar feel to the earlier
market on the site, which attracted a strong following.
Live music will keep things humming along, and there will be children’s entertainment including a bouncy castle.
Top Harbour has permission to move a mature pohutukawa onto the site, to provide shelter and shade for a family picnic area.
The market is on every Sunday, at The Anchorage, 10am–2pm.
Having recently re-opened its Sunday market, the Hobbs Wharf development owners Top Harbour have partnered with a charity organisation in running a four week festival from February 28 to March 24.
The Field of Dreams Summer Festival, which takes place in and around the marina development in Gulf Harbour, is one of most ambitious fundraising programmes ever undertaken by Make-A-Wish NZ andincludes the planting of thousands of sunflowers and inviting the public to view outdoor movies and dragon boat racing.
The movies will be set up behind Hobbs Wharf Market at The Anchorage (off Pinecrest Drive), where a grassy bank forms a natural amphitheatre. The screenings begin on February 29 and run each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting at 8pm. A donation of $5 from movie-goers goes to Make-A-Wish.
A demonstration of the power and energy of dragon boat racing will be held in the marina on March 3. Auckland Dragon Boat Association events manager Natalie Fowlie says four of the Association’s 10-person dragon boats will compete in a series of 200m races.
She says spectators can expect noise, excitement and a highly competitive spirit as the teams are in the middle of their build up to their regional competitions next month, and the Nationals in April.
Following the races, there will be an opportunity to try dragon boat racing.
Make-A-Wish NZ chief executive Carolyn MacDonell says the festival could raise more money than any other activity the organisation has undertaken. Make-A-Wish NZ’s mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
A field of wishes waits to be granted for seriously ill children.
Sunflowers among about 90,000 growing on a Gulf Harbour hillside can be picked by visitors to the Field of Dreams Summer Festival there from February 28 to March 24. A gold coin donation for every flower goes to the children’s charity Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The festival at Gulf Harbour Marina’s Fairway Bay and Hobbs Wharf will raise funds so the foundation can grant the wishes of children with life- threatening medical conditions. This is one of the most ambitious fundraising programmes undertaken by the foundation, Make-A-Wish New Zealand chief executive officer Carolyn MacDonell says.
“It has the potential to raise more money, which will fulfil more wishes, than many other activities the organisation has previously undertaken,” she says. Visitors can dine at cafes, play in the water, shop at markets, picnic, and enjoy open-air movies every evening from Thursday to Sunday, with family movies playing on Saturday.
MrsMacDonell says Make-A-Wish is thrilled with the support coming from organisations in the Auckland region and around Whangaparaoa.
“We’re so excited to be able to use Fairway Bay for these activities,” she says. “It’s a beautiful setting right next to the water which makes it a brilliant place to run these events that will be fun for everyone.”
MrsMacDonell says wishes are essential for sick children. The impact of a wish is not limited to the immediate emotional effects on recipients, as it also impacts “thousands of people” who have been involved with Make-A-Wish, she says. “Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
Make-A-Wish expects to grant more than 200 wishes this year.