Auckland: Hobsonville
Thu 24 Nov 2016 by Gareth Kiernan in Regional Hotspots

This article is part of the Regional Hotspots report. To find out more about the report and other hotspots, click here


  • Population growth 2013-2023: 254% (12,390 people)
  • Population growth will accelerate as new housing supply expands and as the Northwestern Motorway and Waterview Connection becomes operational in 2017.
  • Almost 8,000 dwellings in the Hobsonville area are planned. Around 7,400 are within the Hobsonville Point development.
  • A substantial business park employing around 4,000 people is planned in Hobsonville while a planned marine industry precinct could employ 2,000 people.
  • Significant additional infrastructure investment in the area will be necessary.

Residential development in Hobsonville and Whenuapai means that this area is set to record some of the country’s fastest population growth, not just over the coming decade, but throughout the next 25 years. Development of the former airfield at Hobsonville Point is transforming what was previously a rural and lifestyle area of Auckland into a large new suburban centre accompanied by retail and commercial facilities.

Completion of the Upper Harbour Motorway in 2011 helped improve road access into the area, and this access will be further enhanced by work to the south along the Northwestern Motorway and the Waterview Connection, much of which will be operational in 2017. Ferry services to Hobsonville Point over the last four years have also increased the connectivity of the area into the CBD.

Population growth has been relatively modest to date, but will accelerate as the area’s supply of new housing expands. Almost 8,000 dwellings in the Hobsonville area are planned within Special Housing Areas, with about 7,400 of those dwellings falling within the Hobsonville Point development.

One of the key features of the development occurring at Hobsonville Point is the relatively high-density nature of much of the new housing. The suburb will contain a mix of apartments, terraced houses, and standalone houses, although even the standalone houses will be on relatively small sections. There are also requirements for a minimum proportion of affordable housing within the development.

In anticipation of rapid population growth, the NorthWest Shopping Centre opened in late 2015 as part of the Westgate Town Centre, which will also include a new library in 2017. A substantial business park is planned on the north side of Hobsonville Road employing about 4,000 people, while a marine industry precinct that is planned could employ as many as 2,000 people.

Even though the Whenuapai Air Force base is set to remain operational for the foreseeable future, there will still be considerable development on the northern side of the Upper Harbour Motorway as well.

Auckland Council is heavily involved in the planning process for this part of the city, aiming to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to cope with the area’s projected exponential population growth. There has already been some work done on the likes of water and wastewater provision, focused on servicing the Special Housing Areas. However, it is clear that significant additional infrastructure will be necessary, including further water and wastewater capacity, medium-term expansion of transport networks, additional public transport services, new schools, and the provision of new civic facilities such as community centres, parks, etc.

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