ARC West Auckland Decision A Chance For Better Public Transport


Let’s hope public transport in the northern area of Waitakere city gets a boost now that there has been clarification about how that area can grow.

The Waitakere council has been identifying for years the area around Massey North, Westgate and Hobsonville as a potential area for further urban development but has been waiting for the ARC to make a decision on what’s called the Metropolitan Urban Limit (MUL) which determines how cities can grow.

The ARC’s decision to allow that shift in the north west of its city frees up an extra 435 hectares for strategic urban development and, in the council’s language, means the area is now very much ‘open for business’.

Of that 435 hectares, 125.5 will be industrial, 30.5 commercial and 95 residential. Seventeen hectares will be used for community facilities, including a library and 36 for mixed use with roads and reserves taking up160 hectares.

Councillor Linda Cooper, says this decision ensures regional economic growth and a number of social and transport benefits for the Westgate to Hobsonville area and its immediate community.

Already the extension to State Highway 18 is well on track, earthworks have started for a major residential development around the old Hobsonville airbase and there are plans for a revamped and extended Westgate centre.

The council says about 20,000 jobs will be created by industrial development at Hobsonville Village and the airbase with another 10,000 at Westgate, a new town centre (linking over the road with the current centre) which will also offer shopping, business, education and community and leisure services.

Of interest to us, the council talks of plans for “cycle, pedestrian, motor vehicle and public transport to be integrated and connected and the development will be one of the most significant and complex projects in New Zealand.”

Now is certainly the time to get serious about public transport needs in this area and not just let it be dominated by the major motorway work being done there.

Let’s hope the opportunity is takes for some innovative public transport solutions.



  1. max says:

    Waitakere’s cycle and walking funding is a mixed bag like all the other Councils - though they certainly try, and have had the greatest cycling growth within Auckland in last years counts.

    But recent GPS cuts by government have deferred several of their cycling route programs. To their credit, Waitakere is still plowing on with a few, such as on Triangle Road and Central Park Drive (as WCC recently announced in a press release to their cycling community).

  2. Matt L says:

    Just another reason why a proper busway should be built alongside the Northwestern motorway at the same time it is being widened/upgraded. It would be much better than shoulder lanes which means that buses have to merge in and out of traffic at each interchange. The government say West Auckland is already served by the western train line but that doesn’t get anywhere near the areas of Te Atatu, Massey or Westgate which all have a large number of residential properties.

    Stations could easily be put at Western Springs, Pt Chev, Te Atatu, Lincoln Rd, Royal Rd and Westgate. There is also lots of land around Te Atatu, Lincoln Rd and at Westgate for park and ride facilities.

  3. max says:

    “Just another reason why a proper busway should be built alongside the Northwestern motorway at the same time it is being widened/upgraded.”

    I submitted for the Transportation Group on this. Officers’ comments was that the level of buses didn’t merit it, if I remember right.

  4. Matt L says:

    Max - Yeah I saw that answer. Of course the level won’t merit it. It never will till its built so its a bit of a chicken or the egg argument, its a shame these council officers don’t have much vision. I know a number of people near the motorway who would prefer to catch a bus or train to work but don’t because it is to far for them to go or the service near them is to infrequent.

  5. Jeremy Harris says:

    This is exciting develop if done well and remains inside the motorway, the last thing we need is another East Auckland…
    The NW Busway is the most obvious missing part of the PT picture in Auckland after a Botany rail line, in the meeting I had with the NZTA about the idea they seemed open to leaving room for a NW Busway through the entrys/exits and interchanges if the ARC would upgrade the route to an RTN…

  6. Dr Nigel says:

    Rapid light rail alongside the western motorway should be put in place. The travel times from lincoln north and te atatu would justify this inclusion, the western motorway is going to restrictive for the future commuter demands without the increased capacity offered by light rail along this corrodor.


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