October 2019 Public Meeting Notes

Minutes of the Public Meeting – Thursday, 24th October 2019 at The Club, Mangawhai

Our sincerest thanks to everyone who attended the public meeting. Thanks must also be extended to The Club staff and caterers for running things very smoothly on our behalf.

Mangawhai Central is a community-led project and we were again heartened by the strong level of interest. The evening was a chance to update the community on the project and to present the latest concepts for the main street, town centre and communal space.

If you missed the meeting, we hope these minutes capture everything. A reminder, these meetings are not for Mangawhai Central to ‘sell’ you a fixed concept – they are for presenting ideas and canvassing your feedback.

Opening:

The evening was opened by Bayleys in the North Owner/Director, Mark Macky (appointed real estate agency for Mangawhai Central). Mark welcomed and thanked everyone for attending, he introduced the presenters and reiterated that while some details remained commercially sensitive, as much information would be shared as possible.

Formal Presentations Commence:

Andrew Guest, Viranda Chairperson and Mangawhai Central project lead, thanked all for attending and acknowledged how special the project is for all involved. He explained that along with the last public meeting in April last year, there had been a further five public consultation meetings at the Library Hall, along with a questionnaire and poll sent out to the community. There is a process and timetable to adhere to when bringing a development of this scale to fruition.

Andrew added; “I’m sorry it’s taking time. I would dearly love to be onsite today opening everything, but the complexities are great, and the resources are short from a council, planning and NZ-wide point of view. The procedure by which consents are granted, engineering assessed and risk is managed is crucial. We know there is good community support and also there are detractors, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But we are trying to tread the balance between what a community is feeling, against achieving the best result possible.”

Andrew paid tribute to the community who have participated to date, along with Kaipara District Council who are doing everything possible to make this project happen. He expressed confidence in what has been achieved to date, particularly when Mangawhai Central has owned the land for less than 18 months.

Other points raised by Andrew Guest:

– Tonight’s presentation is about the MAIN STREET/RETAIL sector and will be presented by the project architects, Buchan Group.
– The intention is to have another public meeting in the first quarter of 2020 to focus on the service zone (known by some as light industrial), followed by another meeting in the second quarter to cover the retirement village.
– He advised that Bayleys have been appointed to proceed with expressions of interest from multiple retirement village operators who wish to produce a solution for Mangawhai Central.
– Andrew introduced the engineers, chief project manager, and architects Rob Guild and Arno Peters from Buchan Group. Buchan have been engaged to provide a concept for the retail sector. He also stressed that while there are concepts developed – it was a chance for the community to provide feedback.

Buchan Group presented an overview, including values for the project and design to date:

– Rob Guild from Buchan highlighted what a privilege it is to undertake the design of a town centre for Mangawhai. He introduced Arno Peters who has been involved from the very beginning stages of this project. He acknowledged Buchan Principal; Peter Zillman was unable to attend. Peter is a local and has done a lot of work behind the scenes on the project.

– Rob proceeded to share information about Buchan, explaining that it is an international company with over 300 staff, covering a full range of projects with a focus on retail in New Zealand. He then shared images of Mangawhai which have led their design e.g. its coastal vernacular, local flora & fauna, and other architectural icons.

– In terms of the concept, the retail sector will connect the Village and the Heads and the entrance to the town centre occurs quite quickly on arrival, so that’s been taken into consideration in terms of creating an icon as you come to the end of the road. Regarding the landscape, the development sits on a flat plain, enclosed by a basin, so architecturally it can be treated as something that stands up within that plain and acts as a focal point. The history of Mangawhai in terms of the wharves and the trading routes up and down the coast have also been recognised.

– Next, the plan was presented for the town centre. The anchor tenants e.g. supermarket is on the left hand side, with food & beverage in the centre. Success of a town centre relies on its anchor tenants and convenient carparking. There will be two large carparks on the east and west side that feed into the main street of the town centre. Weather protection is via wide verandahs, and street widths are narrow to make it easier to cross between shops.

– Considerable time is spent on designing the streetscape (between client and council). Buchan’s aim is to make it open and friendly so it can be used for other community purposes and events such as market days.

More points raised by Buchan:

– The design presents an opportunity to engage with the local art society and school to commission a mural that will go on one of the walls.
– Arno Peters continues; for this design we capture the spirit of the area e.g. small town coastal NZ. How have we defined this and created a narrative to define it? Arno highlighted images that associate with coastal NZ. He then shared how that translates into relevant architecture and colour, street furniture, community involvement, art and sculpture.
– The next slide showed the resulting design based on Buchan’s research to date. He explained the directional signage tower is reflective of a lighthouse/beacon (announcing arrival to the sight), the large food & beverage building has an undulating white roof, which is a metaphor for the distil spit. The two structures form a threshold as you enter the main street. Air conditioning unit and other ugly items are hidden by architectural boxes/facades, which also act to give shape and interest – emulating baches along a coast. The roof slopes on one side to harvest rainwater. Rainwater is captured in long narrow water tanks which presents a large wall for local artist input. Buildings are low and unpretentious so it doesn’t feel like a large shopping centre or mall. There will be lots of landscaping on the terrain using natives and local grasses, plus street furniture to enjoy an ice cream and so on.
– In terms of injecting colour, pale ‘ice cream’ tones are appropriate to reflect a vacation vibe. Light steel for a nautical feel and weathered timber for a driftwood metaphor.

– Rob continued to explain the town centre will have a community playground located by the food & beverage area to capture a communal, safe place to hang out. He also briefly highlighted the New World building (2,600sqm) explaining it was a 2.0 model, community driven, with a focus on locally sourced product where possible. Design-wise it fits well with the main street – is not a concrete box and feels more like an oversized home. (Nb. Buchan is not the architect for this building).

Next up:

Mark Macky returned to the stage to open the floor for questions and answers (please see below for further details).

Closing:

The meeting concluded at 6:30pm.

If you have questions regarding the retirement village, we encourage you to contact the Bayleys team:
henry.napier@bayleys.co.nz or jan.hutcheson@bayleys.co.nz or steve.orr@bayleys.co.nz

On behalf of the project management team at Mangawhai Central, we appreciate your interest in this wonderful project.

QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE MEETING:

Where do you stand on sustainability? (Name not provided)

The spirit of MC is to be committed to sustainability, it is intrinsic to our plan. For now it comes down to timing. Our focus is currently on the concepts and planning process. Just days ago we held a meeting around solar, reticulation etc. but there is a limit to what we can do until we have an overall design that is acceptable to the community – then we can define and include the add-on services of sustainability. In summary, a clearly defined sustainability plan can follow once design, consent and planning processes are complete. The next public meeting will be an opportunity to present the sustainability plan with more detail.

How will the elderly (without a driver’s licence) get to Mangawhai Central? Gaye Burt.

That’s a huge question! We can be sympathetic to many issues and try to resolve things where possible. We have also demonstrated our support of local organisations within the community, but to answer that is not humanly possible today. If this is a suggestion that the development is going to inconvenience some people, yes, it may inconvenience some and introduce competition for others. But that’s the trade-off, this is a development for central Mangawhai and it will convenience many people. We’re sensitive to issues and recognise change, but change is inevitable. New World have home delivery, so that’s a start – solutions will become available along the way and we’re happy to facilitate those wherever possible. *Lesley mentioned she owns a private transport service and said she is open to discussing this issue and the possible solutions!

Please explain the roading and access into the development. Mike (surname not provided).

One roundabout was not possible as it would be fought over between Village versus Heads, so we had to come up with a roundabout each. It’s a modification of the roading plan and fundamentally it sits on Mangawhai Central land, over the fence. So it is the current road going round and we shift the transport over. Rest assured, it’s the subject of very detailed traffic management planning.

Water is an issue, if you take it from the current aquifer it will become salty. How will it be overcome? (Name not provided).

 A lot of time and money is going into water. Yes we need water, we’re capturing every drop from rooflines, and the engineering process is robust. It’s our problem to resolve and demonstrate sustainability. We will be taking everything that is dropped, everything that can be processed or renewed, and we won’t let the aquifers dry out. Plus we’re investigating additional bores. This is a technical issue and we have to demonstrate to KDC that we are resolving it. This takes time and effort (and is part of the reason things are delayed onsite), but we are quietly confident it is being resolved.

Power outage is currently an issue, has back-up power been considered? Ros (surname not provided).

We want to establish back up power (likely via solar energy through battery packs), but we’re not yet at full agreement as to how that looks. This will go on our agenda alongside sustainability so we can have the debate at our next public meeting.

How do you keep buildings cohesive with the architectural vision? Grant (surname not provided).

We’re very conscious of this, and the short answer is it’s controlled via contracts and a design approval process, but we do have to accommodate and consider options along the way. No one will have the right to acquire land and then put in something that is not in the spirit of the overall design. Tenant mix is extremely important and Bayleys are ready to register interest.

What have you taken into account to combat future climate change and sea level rising, especially given the fact Mangawhai Central sits about 1 metre above the high water tide mark, above the harbour. What are your plans? Peter Wethey.

Andrew deferred this question to senior engineer with McKenzie & Co; James Dufty. James replied that Molesworth Drive does have an issue when it rains and they are tackling this with a very detailed stormwater network which can deal with a typical 10 to 20 year event, but also a 100-year event. Without getting too technical regarding climate change, allowance is being made for an increase and intensity in rainfall in the stormwater design, and pipes are sized accordingly. All of these projections are built into the design.

Will you utilise the services of local tradespeople? Nicky Wilson.

Definitely, that’s the plan, and it has been raised at the last two meetings and during our public consultations. Of course, anyone we use has to be competitive, meet delivery timeframes and complete work to a very high level.

We are concerned about the sewerage system (already at capacity). Where will you put your waste? Will you use our system, or will you have a separate system all together? Clive Boonham.

The system will be overloaded whether MC goes ahead or not, this is an attractive place to be and population is growing regardless. What’s going to happen in 10 years’ time? This is an issue that KDC has to deal with. The project can be participants in it because we are capital contributors to KDC. It’s a valuable question and it has to be dealt with, and if we can be a positive contributor we will do so. Engineer, James Dufty added that there is a pumping main that runs down Molesworth Drive to the disposable fields – at the moment there are no isolation valves on that line, we see that as a risk to Mangawhai, so as part of our works, we’ll be installing isolation valves so that if maintenance is required it can be easily switched off – it’s part of making the development a lot safer for everyone.

Please explain the mechanics of run-off, where does it go and how is it handled? Claire (surname not provided).

James Dufty explained – the treatment of stormwater in the main street is via rain gardens, there are no curbs in the main street as they’re seen as trip hazards. Nice flat grades, slow velocity, running the water into large gardens where naturally it filtrates all the hydro carbons and toxic out of the stormwater, and then it will be discharged into the estuary. So we are really taking care of that downstream environment. Any grease from a takeaway or café is captured in a special device which will go into the sewerage, so nothing nasty is getting into the estuary.

Can you tell us how many residential homes are planned? (Name not supplied).

This is a moving target and will be the subject of further debate at upcoming public meetings. It will align with future growth projections, but it is not the focus for tonight’s presentation.

Are you considering any overseas models when building this development? For example, Ijburg in Amsterdam is a new environmentally friendly, self-sustainable model worthy of consideration. Beverley Revell.

Without promising the detail, that’s very much our spirit for Mangawhai Central and we are investigating all of these ideas. If we didn’t have that spirit, we wouldn’t have consulted with the community. Out of this, you can be reassured we want to feel the pulse of this community and address it. Some things may not be viable, but that’s what we are aiming for and we will report back on it as the details become more finalised.

 In terms of solar energy for sustainability of power etc, have the buildings and rooflines been designed to assist with this? Phil Tap.

Yes. That’s definitely a consideration here, we are light on detail at this stage, but at the next meeting we will share more on this.