Neighbourhood case study: Harbour View

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  • Waitakere City
  • higher density, mixed use, sustainably branded, higher cost, suburban greenfield
  • rated a medium sustainability neighbourhood by both the Observational Tool and Resident Self-Report Tool

Key positives

Key negatives

  • Good walking environment
  • Good range of services available locally
  • Protection of lower terrace from development
  • Stormwater mitigation
  • Slow narrow roads
  • Excellent provision of public space
  • High level of resident satisfaction with the degree of privacy, the condition of their house, their dwellings out door environment and parking amenities


  • Poor public transport service
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Very large dwellings
  • High run-off (however this is treated and detained)
  • Street trees ad hoc and in poor condition
  • Poor walking connection to western side of the peninsula and Rutherford high school and primary school
  • Low use of public transport, walking and cycling on journey to work
  • Low degree of neighbourhood social contact
  • High degree of use of services outside local area


The neighbourhood is reasonably affluent and characterised by large luxury dwellings near the waterfront and smaller higher density dwellings closer to the town centre. Section sizes are small and dwellings large; the rate of impermeable surfaces is therefore high. Densities increase towards the town centre and the development includes a group of smaller dwellings targeted at older persons near the town centre.

The housing stock should age well and the risk of dilapidation is considered to be low (leaky buildings aside).

Walking and public transport

The development is within easy walking distance (less than 800m) of the Te Atatu Peninsula town centre where a wide variety of shops, services, restaurants and cafes are available. Te Atatu Intermediate School is within walking distance. Rutherford College and Primary School are also nearby, but separated from the neighbourhood by  a four-lane road (Te Atatu Rd) without pedestrian crossings. Extensive walking tracks mean walking within the neighbourhood seems easy, safe and convenient.

There are bus stops available close by but the bus service available on the peninsula is poor.

Public spaces

Public open spaces seemed pleasant and largely cared for. All are overlooked by houses, providing passive surveillance to those public spaces. There are several small neighbourhood reserves in the development and these provide for a variety of activities, such as a small children’s playground, petanque and informal seating. The streetscape appears pleasant but it was noted that street trees are ad hoc and often in poor quality.


Amenities and services

There is a mixture of townhouses and free-standing dwellings, with a small number of apartments above a block of shops. The development also contains a commercial early childhood centre at the southern end.


The neighbourhood is part of a larger area that contains extensive wetlands and significant habitats for several native bird species on the lower terrace.

Stormwater is treated via stormwater ponds and wetlands in the lower terrace before being discharged into the sea. Access to the lower terrace is via boardwalks, therefore protecting ecologically sensitive areas. The walkways along the coast appear to be well used and extend to the south and north of the development.

Harbour View, Te Atatu, Auckland