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A C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R F O R M A N U K A U

B R O U G H T T O Y O U B Y PA C I F I C G A R D E N S

SO U T H

N°1


South is brought to you by Pacific Gardens, a new suburban oasis of terrace homes and apartments being developed in the heart of Manukau. Find out more at pacificgardens.co.nz


SOUTH

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Welcome to the first issue of South, the community newspaper which celebrates the people and places that make our neighbourhood special.

2 My perfect weekend in

14 Feature: Drawn to Water.

South Auckland: Ian Ferguson.

The team behind the Vector Wero Whitewater

4 Ask a Gardener: The Botanic

Park on the development

Gardens’ head of camellias,

of a world-class sports facility

Mark Fielder.

that also welcomes the neighbourhood in.

6 Feature: Real, Raw and Relatable. Author Maree

18 Best-kept secrets:

Steunebrink talks about the

Otuataua Stonefields and

hobby that became

Avocado Orchard.

a transformative project. 19 Meet the team behind 10 Why I Love My Job:

Pacific Gardens: Changda.

Kaitlin Hodgson at

S

TA N 20 The urban design C O M B E

Rainbow’s End.

vision for Pacific Gardens: 12 The Rockshop’s

RD

Anthony Flannery.

O R M Narbey Grahame I STO

N R D

on local music.

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13 Manukau’s latest eatery, S

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CAFÉ MIKO


4 8 HOU R S

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Auckland Botanic Gardens offers 64 hectares within which to walk, reflect and explore.

Olympic gold-medal champion canoeist and leader of water operations at the newly-opened Vector Wero Whitewater Park, Ian Ferguson talks about the local spots that make a weekend in Manukau special.

First thing Saturday morning, I’m

or if I’m with my family and the

usually… Often at my bach up north,

grandkids, we go to The Blacksmith

but if I’m in Auckland I go for a walk

in Takanini or Broncos in Manukau.

with my wife through the rose gardens

On Sunday morning, I am usually…

at the Auckland Botanic Gardens

Out doing the shopping at Westfield

(a particularly good idea if we have

Manukau, or going around the DIY

the grandkids staying with us).

shops. I love just looking in these

Breakfast/brunch is… A flat white

shops to get good ideas.

and a scone at Café Miko in the

I spend the rest of the day… If we

Botanic Gardens.

have the grandkids staying with us,

My favourite weekend activity is…

we often take them to Butterfly Creek.

Heading to Vector Wero for a paddle

My favourite Sunday dinner is…

down the rapids. Alternatively, we all

A roast: lamb, potatoes and pumpkin.

go on a bike ride through Totara Park.

I wind down on Sunday night by…

Saturday night out is… Often at Volaré

Drinking good wine and catching

Italian restaurant in the Gardens,

up on some TV.


SOUTH

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Café Miko proudly overlooks the Botanic Gardens.

Westfield Manukau offers shopping, dining, movies, children’s entertainment and more.

Rafting at Vector Wero Whitewater Park.

" ...the Auckland Botanic Gardens is a particularly good idea if we have the grandkids staying with us. " IAN FERGUSON


4

MANUKAU’S BACK GARDEN

MARK FIELDE R

Mark Fielder talks to South about Manukau’s beloved back garden, which receives nearly a million visitors each year.


SOUTH

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Mark Fielder, the Auckland Botanic Gardens’ collection curator of camellias and magnolias, has worked at the beautiful 64-hectare site since 2005. Well-versed in both horticulture and the topography

to the public, and then they put money

have been coming here since I first

towards some new sculptures in the

started in 2005. You see all their kids

gardens. They operate the Wiri Rambler,

growing up.

the little train that takes tours around the

What are the unique properties

gardens on weekends.

of the land in South Auckland,

And lastly, there’s the Te Araroa

from a gardening point of view?

of South Auckland, he talked to South about this

Walkway, the walking track that runs

It’s a sweeping terrain, with a lot of clay

beloved free attraction and answers some practical

the length of New Zealand and crosses

in the soil. That means we need a great

under the motorway, through the back

deal of compost and manure to create

of the Botanic Gardens on our forest

a fertile, fine soil to garden in. Because

trail and then to Totara Park. It has linked

of the heat and rain, in summer every-

everything up really well, and means that

thing grows like crazy – it just bolts.

questions for home gardeners.

people on the other side of the motorway

The good thing is, the gardens will

have walking access to us. We see a lot

always offer something to see. In summer

of people from overseas coming through

we have perennials, in autumn there are

now via the track.

deciduous trees with those beautiful

Apparently you’re getting nearly

golden leaves, and in spring there are

Can you introduce us to the Botanic

What else can people expect

a million visitors per year. What’s

daffodils and flowering cherries. In winter,

Gardens, and tell us a little about its

to find here?

the big drawcard?

we’ve got the camellias — which is my

background?

We hold workshops and events where

People come here to relax. It’s good for

department — flowering away. The aloes

It was originally farmland before it was

the public can come along and learn

your mind and body. It’s a very positive

and the African plants will be flowering

purchased by Manukau City Council.

about anything to do with gardening

place. I just walked past a couple of

too, and at the end of winter the magno-

It opened in 1982 and slowly flourished

— from what’s going on in the garden

people who didn’t know each other who

lias get going. And of course the natives,

into what it is now. It has changed a lot

industry, to garden maintenance, to

had got talking and were sharing pictures

with all their colours, textures and forms,

since then, and today we have 13 different

growing vegetables or pruning fruit trees.

of their trips. So yes, people meet and

are year-round.

collections within it — perennials, natives,

There is also a horticultural library open

chat here, and kids can run around.

a flax collection, spring blossom valley,

during the week for people to visit, and

edible and herb gardens, a trial garden,

they can talk to the gardeners as well

in anyone else’s way. There’s even an

roses, camellias, magnolias, conifers, aloes

— we’re always eager to help.

off-leash area down the back so their

and a children’s garden. There’s also a

The non-profit volunteer organis-

It’s so big that no one is getting

aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz

dogs can roam around. I have regular

New Zealand native ideas garden, to give

ation Friends of the Auckland Botanic

visitors who I say hello to every morning,

people inspiration for their own gardens.

Gardens has a garden shop selling plants

bang on time every day. Some of them

FAQ : A S K A G A R D E N E R

Mark Fielder is the curator of camellias and magnolias, two of the 13 collections at the Auckland

Help! Where do I start?

Botanic Gardens.

the different textures and colours

Getting the right plants for the

provide a nice contrast. Some

right situation is very important.

of the natives can be used as

Look at the size of the site and its

hedging too. The effect can be

environmental conditions. Where

very lush and colourful.

does the sun fall during the course of the day? Are you going to get

How do I prepare my

frosts? These days, sections are

garden before planting?

getting smaller, and people’s lives

There is a lot of clay in the soil

are very busy, so you also need

around Auckland, so to get a finer,

to think about what you can grow,

more fertile base you need to add

given your available space and

compost and manure rather than

time. Do your research and draw

planting straight into the clay.

a plan beforehand so you get the

" There’s also a New Zealand native ideas garden, to give people inspiration for their own gardens. " MARK FIELDER

spacing between plants right,

What’s your favourite

and balance elements like trees

trend in horticulture at

and groundcover (incidentally,

the moment?

many types of groundcover plants

People are getting into growing

provide good scent).

vegetables. They can harvest from their crops, their kids can learn

What grows best in the

a lot, save the seeds, plant them

local conditions?

again, watch them grow and eat

Totaras and other native plants

the produce at the end. It’s hugely

grow well without too much work,

popular, for a really good reason.

but subtropicals also work well in Auckland. You can mix them in with natives, because those often have big glossy leaves, and


6

F E AT U R E : R E A L , R A W A N D R E L ATA B L E

HUMANS OF

SOU T H AUC K L A N D


SOUTH

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The Humans of South Auckland book: Real, Raw and Relatable.

It was, says project manager Maree Steunebrink, initially just a Facebook page that “got out of control”. Today, the official Humans of South Auckland page stands at more than 25,000 followers.

The Humans of South Auckland, or HOSA

in the project’s early days to write the

was given to local intermediates and high

for short, Facebook page posts a new

accompanying profiles for Jenke’s

schools, libraries, GP clinics and NGOs

she says. “From that hobby Facebook

profile every Wednesday, many of which

photographs.

— anywhere they would be accessible

page, we became a trust, published a

are syndicated in the Manukau Courier.

to the community. Each of the ’Humans’

book, and are constantly seeing awesome

This is generating interest in the area

she says. “Jas was just going to put

involved got a copy, and the remainder

stuff come from the people we’ve inter-

and its colourful community around the

content on it when she had time. But

were put on sale, just to prove the book’s

viewed. The feedback from the public

country and beyond.

once we had an official Facebook page,

viability. They sold immediately, mostly

has been amazing, and for the people

we suddenly got 5,000 likes.”

in New Zealand and Australia but some

we profile, it’s a massive thing. They’re

went as far abroad as America and

so proud to be in print, and happy their

Saudi Arabia.

story is out there helping others.

The 10-person-strong group of volunteers that photograph, write,

“At the start, it was just a hobby,”

“It’s been an amazing, crazy ride,”

After that, news spread fast.

design, administer and carry out the

Australia’s Frankie magazine did a profile

many tasks associated with the charitable

on Jenke, followed by the television news

enterprise has also published a book of

show Seven Sharp, which covered one

the same name, 1,000 copies of which

of the HOSA stories. Shortly afterwards,

were first donated to the South Auckland

Armando Torrealba, a graphic designer

community.

from Chile, arrived to work in Auckland

HOSA was originally founded by Jasmine Jenke, a dance and media-

and called to ask about volunteering. “He said, ‘Hi, I design things’,

studies teacher at a local high school.

and we realised we needed a website,

Tragically, in her first year as a teacher,

so he did our first one for free,” says

one of the students she was close to

Steunebrink. “That’s when we finally

committed suicide. She started the

sat down and worked out who we were,

Facebook page as a way of moving

as well as our goals and how to achieve

forward, while also giving the people

them, because we were just a teacher

around her a reason to have a sense of

and a social worker — we had no experi-

purpose and hope in their community.

ence in doing something like this.”

Inspired by Humans of New York,

Jenke was subsequently hired on

“When I meet these individuals,

the back of her HOSA work for a full-time

I walk away inspired. I’m so proud to

" It reaffirms the fact that we live in an incredible place with incredible people. They’re just doing life, but the time and energy they give to others is incredible. " MAREE STEUNEBRINK

One of the first things the two

Brandon Stanton’s virally successful

decided on was publishing a book.

photoblog and New York Times' best-

“We were so naïve,” laughs Steunebrink.

selling book, she aimed to create a

“We just thought it would be fun and

position at the DHB, and will be launch-

be associated with HOSA. It reaffirms

similar project, one that celebrated

not that hard — totally sweet! Armando

ing a similar storytelling project called

the fact that we live in an incredible place

her neighbourhood by sharing portraits

volunteered to design it, so we figured

Humans of Aotearoa from her new base

with incredible people. They’re just doing

and stories of its overlooked achievers

it would be no problem.”

in Nelson. Meanwhile, Steunebrink stayed

life, but the time and energy they give

on to run the operation with a 10-person

to others is incredible. There’s just so

volunteer work, 120 humans and several

volunteer team — while also juggling

much good going on here.”

we were getting ourselves into,” says

funding rounds later, Humans of South

motherhood and her job as a children’s

Steunebrink, Jenke’s close friend and

Auckland: Real, Raw and Relatable was

social worker at Counties Manukau DHB

facebook.com/HOSAOfficial

cousin by marriage, who came on board

published. The bulk of the 2,000 copies

three days a week.

hosa.co.nz

and quiet role models. “We had literally no idea what

A year and a half of after-hours


8

REINA “I’m passionate about Pacific people

blog is to say, ‘Hey, there’s so much

in my community. As a lawyer, I feel

more to us!‘. Right now, I’m working

I have an amazing privilege where

on a series that showcases educated

I cannot only empathise with people’s

Pacific Island women who are

struggles and what they go through,

succeeding in their respective careers.

but I also have an opportunity to

I can’t say I’m sure what the

help them with what is often a really

future holds for me, but I have this

traumatic experience.

unwavering belief that my purpose

It’s part of the reason why I

is to help people in my community.

have my blog. I want to make Pacific

So I’m going to continue working

Island role models more accessible.

as hard as I can to do that.”

When I was growing up I wasn’t good at sport or performing arts…

hosa.co.nz/reina

I was a dork. The purpose of my

Reina

" I looked around me and saw a huge amount of untapped potential in our Pasifika and Maori youth. This inspired me to help revive my childhood football club. Hone

" HONE

LORELLE “I’m a classical pianist. It’s hard work.

images, to conjure up emotions, to

I have often felt isolated, anxious,

express myself in ways that words

vulnerable, not good enough, and

cannot, and to connect, communi-

with a huge (and unnecessary) need

cate and move audiences on a differ-

to please everyone and strive for

ent level. This is like no other feeling

perfection. Being an artist often

in the world.”

means sacrificing a lot – time, energy, money, stability… sanity?! But, no matter how many times I’ve almost given up, what always seems to draw me back is knowing that I have the ability to tell stories, to create

hosa.co.nz/lorelle-2


SOUTH

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JOSEPH

"

“When I was younger I read this

called ‘HopeWalkNZ‘. Our aim was

quote which gripped my heart –

to raise greater awareness around

‘What kind of person are you? You

suicide and promote suicide preven-

see, there are people who make

tion agencies, which are already in

things happen, there are people who

place. Our dream was that this ‘walk’

watch things happen, and there are

would grow into

people who wonder what happened.

a national walk of suicide awareness.

To be successful, you need to be a

My mother is my hero. " ZAC

Our dream has taken its first

person who makes things happen.‘

steps with our first walk completed

I was so gripped by this quote that I

in South Auckland. There was an

said to myself before God, let me be

amazing turnout of all ages and

a person who ‘makes things happen‘.

nationalities. Everyone marched in

I’m a big dreamer, I love

yellow together, as a sign of love,

making a difference. Six years ago

unity and awareness.“

I lost a good friend to suicide. Wanting to be someone who ‘makes things happen’, I started a movement

Zac

Joseph

" ‘I am an Iraqi boy. I am Iraqi to the bone. But this vessel of flesh and bone has been marinating in Kiwiana for the past 16 years and it has penetrated through to my heart and soul. " RANEEM

Raneem

Know a local Human you admire? Nominate them for inclusion: www.facebook.com/HOSAOfficial www.instagram.com/ humansofsouthauckland www.hosa.co.nz

hosa.co.nz/joseph-faafiu/


10

WHY I LOVE MY JOB

KAITLIN HODGSON

Kaitlin Hodgson, senior member of the front-line cashier team at Rainbow’s End, talks to South about why she loves her job.


SOUTH

Nº1

Who are you and what do you do?

11

So a new conversation is always

I’m Kaitlin. I’m 21 years old, and I’m a

being sparked up, because there are

senior member of the front-line cashier

so many different guests.

team at Rainbow’s End. I’ve been working here nearly three years.

Tell us your best work-related story. Our CEO, Chris Deere, has a quote:

What’s your favourite part

“It takes five seconds to make some-

of the job?

one’s day.” It’s the motto we use

It’s the unique culture. There are so

around here. On my first day at work,

many different departments and even

I had to walk from the car park to

though we’re all on different teams,

the head office on the other side of

we all come together as one. We get

the park, and I was a nervous wreck,

along outside of work as well, so that

trying to remember door codes and

positive spirit really builds up when

passwords.

you’re working here. One of the reasons it’s special about 16 years old through to their late

they were saying good morning or

20s, so it’s quite a youthful group. It’s

introducing themselves, and I just

vibrant and energetic in nature, and

felt so welcomed and that it was such

because we’re like that naturally, we

a friendly place, because they were

bring that to work. That’s the essence

all strangers.

Rainbow’s End offers entertainment for all ages.

The few seconds they took

How would you describe the

to do that made me feel great about

South Auckland community

working here, and I’ve carried that

and the people who visit

through from the beginning. I always

Rainbow’s End?

say ’hi’ to everyone, and that energy

It’s very diverse. The local customers

comes through to our customers, and

are mostly family-oriented people, and

we get such positive feedback from

we run a lot of children’s events as well.

them. So I guess it does just take five

We also have many tourists, who come

seconds to make someone’s day!

from everywhere in New Zealand, from from all over the world.

KAITLIN HODGSON

members from various departments and they all greeted me, whether

Dargaville to Invercargill, as well as

"

I passed at least eight staff

is that our front-line workers range from

of Rainbow’s End.

" Our CEO, Chris Deere, has a quote: ‘It takes five seconds to make someone’s day.‘ It’s the motto we use around here.

rainbowsend.co.nz

The roller coaster in action.


ROCKSHOP

12

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK…

Grahame Narbey of the Rockshop is in the business of bringing

The Rockshop’s Grahame Narbey talks to South about Manukau’s diverse local music scene. With its red-leather sofa, tributes to

to schools that are restocking yearly.

Prince and David Bowie (RIP), and

We sell everything from high-end

huge wall of guitars ranging from

digital equipment to Cook Island

beautifully-made acoustic models to

log drums and erhus, a two-stringed

brightly-coloured electric numbers

Chinese violin with a haunting sound.

(as well as the odd ukulele and banjo),

And obviously, guitars. The only thing

the Rockshop does exactly what it says

we haven’t had here yet is bagpipes.”

on the label: it’s a shop in the business of bringing rock to Manukau. However, as well as providing

The business is also heavily involved with the Smokefree Rockquest, the nationwide, live,

a social hub for the thriving local music

original-music youth talent quest,

scene, the Rockshop’s reach is wide,

which over the course of the past

says manager Grahame Narbey, who

30 years has made stars out of a host

has worked in local music retail for

of young musicians, including Broods

almost 20 years and also has his own

and Ladyhawke.

covers band, Legend, which plays regularly in the local area. “We get everyone in here, from

Currently, says Narbey, his big sellers are acoustic guitars and ukuleles: “At the moment, ukuleles

parents buying a first guitar for their

are huge. They’ve had a massive resur-

five-year-olds, to professional

gence. They used to be frowned upon,

musicians playing regular gigs, to older

but now they’re cool again!”

guys who used to play guitar in their teens and are getting back into it,

rockshop.co.nz

rock to Manukau.

BEST PLACES FOR LIVE MUSIC IN MANUKAU OUR LOCAL

GUADA

The unpretentious sports bar is

Guada’s music offerings go

referred to as “El Local” by regulars,

all weekend, but Sunday is the

and hosts weekend gigs.

best time to catch its regular

254 Roscommon Road, Wiri

live session band.

ourlocal.org.nz

3 Ronwood Avenue guada.co.nz

NINETEEN EIGHTY ONE If you’re lucky you might catch

REPUBLIC BAR & KITCHEN

Narbey’s band, Legend, playing

This bustling spot has live acoustic

at this venue and eatery.

music on Fridays, starting at 5pm.

712 Great South Road

Westfield Manukau Mall

1981.co.nz

republicbar.co.nz


SOUTH

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T H E D A I LY G R I N D

One of Manukau’s newest food and drink openings, this South Auckland branch of original Vulcan Lane coffee-purveyor Melba is bright, airy and beautifully designed. Café Melba is always bustling with locals coming in for coffee, a chat and

and then they come back in the after-

something from the ever-changing

noon. We have people who work in

menu, which ranges from baked treats

the area, and people who used to work

to classic breakfast fare like smashed

around here but still come back to visit

avocado on toast or waffles. Lunch

Café Melba.

can range from the ‘Tokyo lunchbox‘ An ever-changing menu as well as cabinet food means you’re never short on choice.

“They come in the morning,

“Manukau has changed a great

of crispy sesame chicken, stone-oven

deal. There is so much going on these

pizzas to fish tacos.

days, and there are always new people

Lisa Holes is the manager of

arriving — they even come straight from

Café Melba and we sat down for a

the airport sometimes. We’re pretty

coffee to talk about her day.

much always busy.”

“The great thing about Manukau? I love the people. Most here are regulars, and I know them all by name, Café Melba combines

so it’s more of a friendship than a

a ’hip’ atmosphere with

customer-server relationship.

friendly staff.

CAFE MELBA


14

F E AT U R E : D R A W N T O W AT E R

V E C TO R WE RO

Vector Wero Whitewater Park is a world-class destination. It is New Zealand’s first facility to offer an artificial river and watercourse for recreation, sports, emergency services training, school programmes and youth development.


SOUTH

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Designed using international best practice, Vector Wero Whitewater Park combines high-grade whitewater courses for experienced rafters, with a large pond for younger groups to practise water-confidence skills. South talks to Ian Ferguson about how this new facility is a game-changer for Manukau.

“People love being near water,” says

project finally ‘turned on the taps‘ in

Ferguson. “It’s something about the

March 2016, opening to the public late

movement of water that attracts people,

last year.

and the energy around it.” He should know. With five medals

Ferguson was initially inspired when he ‘fell in love with‘ the Sydney Olympic

to his name, the canoeist is New Zealand’s

whitewater course, which was the world’s

most successful Olympian athlete, and has

first. “People are drawn to water,” he says.

built his career and life in, on and around

“Everywhere they’ve put a whitewater

the rivers, lakes and competitive water-

park, property values have risen. Having

courses of our country and the world.

a body of water in your area changes it

Ferguson, or simply “Ferg” to his friends and colleagues at the Vector Wero

dramatically.” Today, on a breezy, bright afternoon

Whitewater Park, teamed up with CEO

in Manukau City, the park’s artificial rivers

Richard Jeffery to bring New Zealand’s

and lake are filled with bright-orange rafts

first (and so far, only) purpose-built white-

filled with excited school groups learning

water park project to Manukau. Fifteen

to brave the rapids in a controlled

years in the planning, the world-class

environment — continued on page 16

" Everywhere they’ve put a whitewater park, property values have risen. Having a body of water in your area changes it dramatically. " IAN FERGUSON


16

" Members of the public are free to enter the park and wander the well-landscaped grounds, which include a café and bar, barbecue areas and a bridge overlooking the 9,000-square-metre lake of clear, fresh aqua water...

other sports facilities, the park is busy

Maui’s waka and the shape of the plaza

and activated from the moment New

is the jawbone he used as a fish-hook.

Zealand’s top-level slalom team comes

We show a three-minute animation of Maui

to practice here at 7am until well after

pulling up the North Island from the sea to

the park closes to the public at 5pm.

all the kids when they come in, which ends

Alongside its water-centric

with the invitation: ‘Kia kaha: accept the

activities, Vector Wero operates as

challenge’. The park’s whole concept, and

a social enterprise, running the new

that of the trust behind it, is about giving

Momentum Hub, which gives office space

kids what they need to set goals.”

to youth-focused charities, from a block

The large cultural events like Diwali

of retrofitted shipping containers run

and the Chinese Lunar Festivals held at

by a Tesla solar-powered battery.

the Events Centre have turned it into the

“Basically, every person in a

region’s unofficial town hall, says Jeffery,

"

corporate group that visits helps one

who is working with LandSmart, Pacific

IAN FERGUSON

school pupil,” says Ferguson. “We use

Gardens’ development agency, on

that to support the community. But

building an urban plan in which each

because people don’t have to travel

feature is well integrated, and maintains natural connections and human flow.

and skilled kayakers navigating the sharp

and thrills even experienced kayakers.

down-country to get to a river, we’re still

turns and bollards of the advanced river

Designed by a global team including

the cheapest rafting in the country. It’s

course.

Waterwater Parks International (WPI) and

also far more exciting than a natural

place,” he says. “For the people who

experts in water movement from the Czech

river, because the danger has been taken

move into Pacific Gardens, it’ll be brilliant

to enter the park and wander the well-

Technical University of Prague, the park’s

out — but we can control the water to

— because as well as a town hall, they’ll

landscaped grounds, which include a

two rivers offer various degrees of challenge

make it rougher and more fun.”

have the water park, which will be like a

café and bar, barbecue areas and a bridge

for different levels of skill, catering to

overlooking the 9,000-square-metre lake

everyone from children learning essential

the park shares its precinct with the waka-

in for free and have a picnic or use the

of clear, fresh aqua water where school

water-survival methods to corporate

shaped Vodafone Events Centre and Pacific

café. When we started out, we wanted an

and corporate groups practise their water-

groups doing some aquatic team-building,

Gardens, whose residents will be able to

attraction that was internationally recog-

confidence skills.

to film crews working on special effects

walk straight to the lake on a path through

nised but still relevant to our community.

to emergency services training.

its dedicated green belt.

I believe we’ve achieved that.”

Members of the public are free

Just across the water, there’s the world’s highest man-made waterfall, a sheer 4.5-metre drop that challenges

What this means in a nutshell, say Ferguson and Jeffery, is that, unlike many

Located just off Great South Road,

“We want it to feel like it’s all one

country club for them. Anyone can walk

“The masterplan is all about the legend of Maui,” says Jeffery. “There’s

wero.org.nz


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17

VECTOR WERO BY NUMBERS

20 million L I T R E S O F W AT E R I N TOTA L

14,000 litres/second PUSHED THROUGH 4 GIANT PUMPS

300 metres ADVANCED RIVER-COURSE

The whitewater park boasts a poolside café and bar, housed in contemporary container architecture.

4.5 metres THE HIGHEST MAN-MADE W AT E R FA L L I N T H E W O R L D

The rapids in action.


O T U AT A U A

18

M A N U K A U ’ S B E S T- K E P T S E C R E T: O T U ATA U A S T O N E F I E L D S A N D A V O C A D O O R C H A R D This 100-hectare volcanic reserve was

The stonefields are sacred

established to protect the large-scale

to descendants of Te Wai O Hua and

archaeological remains of the com-

Waikato iwi of the Tainui waka, so

munities that lived on this land for

please be respectful when visiting and

hundreds of years. There is also a

keep to the marked walks. Tangata

community avocado orchard, where

whenua has requested that no food

visitors are permitted to harvest the

be consumed on the reserve, though

fruit for free between November and

water bottles are acceptable.

March (with a five-per-person limit).

" There is also a community avocado orchard, where visitors are permitted to harvest the fruit for free between November and March. "

Each visitor is allowed to pick up to five avocados free of charge.


Nº1

CHANGDA

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19

"

Mr Yanbing Liu, General Manager NZ, Changda International Development Ltd.

[Pacific Gardens‘] location, proximity to Manukau City Centre... and readiness for development all made it the perfect site for compact,

Pacific Gardens‘ project leadership team.

well-designed, high-density living. " M R YA N B I N G L I U

MEET THE DEVELOPER OF MANUKAU’S N E W N E I G H B O U R H O O D : PA C I F I C G A R D E N S

Changda International Development Ltd is the developer behind Pacific Gardens. Its grandparent company, Weifang Changda Construction Group, has almost 70 years’ experience in China. South spoke with Mr Yanbing Liu, General Manager of Changda, about his company and their latest project.

Changda is more than a property

and readiness for development all

development company: it has subsidiaries

make it the perfect site for compact,

that develop infrastructure projects,

well-designed, high-density living.

civic and commercial buildings and parks, industrial complexes and other

What makes your housing developments so successful?

subsidiaries that manufacture materials

Changda’s philosophy is that the key

and components.

to the success of any new community

Tell us about your latest project

is long-term investment at a level that

in Manukau.

ensures both quality and affordability

When completed, Pacific Gardens will be made up of over 1,200 beautiful

for the home-owner. With all our developments, and

new homes. These will be a mix of

especially Pacific Gardens, our team has

stand- alone houses, terrace homes,

a consistent vision for a sustainable and

walk-up apartments and six- to eight-

enduring community. This vision drives

Tell us a bit about Changda –

in Albany, although we will be moving

storey apartment blocks interspersed

how the development will function,

where are you located?

to larger premises soon, as we are

with green spaces and gardens.

both now and in 30 years’ time.

We are a subsidiary of Weifang Changda Construction Group Co. Ltd, which was

growing quickly. What does Changda do?

This is the second large-scale

Our overarching goal is for

residential project that Changda has

Pacific Gardens to become part of the

established in 1949. Our home base is

Changda is a large-scale property

initiated in New Zealand. We’ve worked

wider Manukau community, building

in Weifang city in central Shandong

development and construction company

here since 2013, when we began the

on its rich cultural and commercial

province, near China’s eastern seaboard,

of around 3,200 people. The Group

Sunny Heights development of more

history. We are also determined to build

but we have operations worldwide. In

integrates planning and design,

than 300 homes in Orewa.

a flagship example for living in this

conjunction with local governments and

investment, real estate development,

corporations, we are involved in large

construction, civil construction and

recognised the Manukau site’s untapped

engineering and construction projects in

construction material manufacturing

potential. Its location, proximity to

Israel, Guinea, Mongolia, Korea, Japan,

in China and around the world. We

Manukau City Centre and community

the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

even have our own Design Architecture

assets like the Botanic Gardens and

Education Institute and our own

Vector Wero Whitewater Park, access

building industrial park in Weifang.

to public transport, rail and the airport,

We have been in New Zealand for four years now and our office is located

Once in Auckland, we quickly

up-and-coming region. pacificgardens.co.nz


20

ANT HONY FLANNE RY

South talked to Anthony Flannery, the Urban Designer and Strategic Planner behind Pacific Gardens — Manukau’s newest neighbourhood.

Westfield Manukau offers entertainment for the whole family


SOUTH

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21

Pacific Gardens will be built over the next five to seven years, eventually housing around 3,000 people.

Urban design, done well, is a powerful tool for turning a large development from a collection of buildings into a thriving ecosystem of people and place.

What is urban design?

the masterplan and begin crafting a nar-

architects to incorporate special features

rative for Pacific Gardens before it’s built.

like landmarks, so people can tell stories

What is unique about Pacific Gardens

about how to get around. Really, what

from an urban design point of view?

I’m trying to create is a memorable place

It is a comprehensive mixed-use develop-

that people will tell stories about.

ment connected through ribbons and

Circulation and movement within

oases of green. It will have big houses,

the development is important. There are

small houses, townhouses, terraces

lots of different ways of getting around,

and apartments, offering a wide range

including streets, laneways, footpaths,

of housing types for a broad variety of

shared spaces and green corridors —

residents, including old people, young

all of which have been designed with

people and families. Non-residential

high standards of pedestrian amenity.

representatives and decision-makers

development includes hotels, restaurants

Urban design is, essentially, the art of

from council, education and the DHB;

and bars, as well as civic and community

of architecture firms, because we don’t

creating memorable places — and the

property development experts; architects,

facilities. Developments of this scale

want one company doing everything.

thing about memorable places is that

landscape architects and ecologists;

are rare in New Zealand, but they will

In all, there will be around four or five

they’re the same as memorable people.

students, and; other potential future

become more commonplace as our cities

different architect firms with whom we

We use the same words to describe them:

residents.

grow denser. We are designing ideal

will build a shared learning journey.

colourful, dynamic, exciting, interesting. We assign both physical and

It was like making a map. We said, ’Who are the people that might be

emotional characteristics to define what

involved in this? Who might buy

we like and don’t like. We understand

property? Who might play here? Who

a place the same way we understand

might fund it? Who is the key stakeholder

a person. That’s a very human response,

next door? Who are our neighbours?’

yet district plans attempt to separate

It gave us a lens on the culture and social

the two.

architecture of the place.

How have urban design principles

We're working with a number

" The key to the success of Pacific Gardens is the ability to build connection and community.

We use a concept called ‘meta-

been used to optimise the

story‘. It’s the idea that in every place

liveability of Pacific Gardens?

in the world there exists a live story

"

The key to the success of Pacific Gardens

of the past, the present and the future,

is the ability to build connection and

and this is encapsulated in the myriad

community. Therefore, the masterplan

of simultaneous conversations that are

has been designed to enhance the

happening in the community at any

accommodation here for all sorts of

We want variety and, at the same time,

experience of engaging with the

one time. We bring in writers to help

people and we will develop it so that

we want something with a coherent

community. How can we create a good

give voice to story and help reveal the

it’s nice and safe and beautiful.

identity: a certain etiquette, a certain

first impression for those seeing Pacific

imagined future vision of the community.

How does architecture fit in with

Gardens for the first time? How can we

We then deconstruct the story and begin

your urban design considerations?

enhance their engagement with the

to reverse-engineer, effectively walking

It’s a big development of over 1,200

lighting designers and engineers will

community as they move around?

ANTHONY FLANNERY

culture, a certain energy. Architects, landscape architects,

backwards in time from the future, so

homes which will accommodate about

be expected to contribute to a shared

What’s your process when tackling

that we can work out what we need to

3,000 people. The architecture of each

purpose, and set of beliefs and values.

a project of this scale?

do to make the story come true.

set of houses or apartments will therefore

What they each do will be very different,

need to be memorable so people don’t

but why they do it won’t be. We’re

We ran a workshop with 36 people which

This vision, encapsulated in the

encompassed a wide range of interests,

narration of the community’s ‘meta-story’,

get lost. In the masterplan there are

bringing together a team who share

including: local board members;

effectively sets the stage for us to create

certain places where we’re requiring our

the ‘why‘, if that makes sense.


SO U T H B R O U G H T TO Y O U B Y PA C I F I C G A R D E N S

Pacific Gardens Autumn 2017  
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