Neighbourhood sustainability tools

Case study: Hobsonville Point

Hobsonville Point is a large master-planned development in West Auckland with a vision:

To build a strong, vibrant community that sets new benchmarks for quality and accessible urban development with an environmentally responsible focus.

As it grows, developer Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities (formerly HLC Homes Land Community) is asking ‘How well is the development delivering on this vision?‘ Kāinga Ora is using the Neighbourhood Sustainability Resident Survey to assess their progress. And they haven’t just used it once: Beacon has undertaken this survey in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2020. Rather than looking at a point in time, Kāinga Ora is getting the benefit of looking at progress longitudinally.

2020 results

Our latest survey in 2020 found that, overall, Hobsonville Point continues to achieve highly in relation to its vision.

It rates highly in terms of neighbourhood satisfaction, with 96% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that Hobsonville Point is a great place to live, an increase from 91% in 2016.

Sense of community also rates highly – 75% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that their community has a strong sense of community. This is a slight increase from the 71% in the 2018 survey of Hobsonville Point and significantly higher than for Auckland (50%, 2018 Quality of Life survey).

“Interesting community with people from many countries. Good community spirit in general”

“I feel very secure in my home, the Point feels like a safe & friendly place to live”

Perceptions of safety in Hobsonville Point are much higher than for Auckland (Quality of Life Survey 2018), with most people feeling fairly or very safe in their home during the day (98%), in their home after dark (96%) and when out walking were also high (96%). Safety, security and crime were frequently mentioned as what people most liked or most disliked about living at Hobsonville Point. While some residents reported unease about crime, perceptions of safety in Hobsonville Point are much higher than for Auckland generally. 72% of residents felt safe walking alone at night compared to 62% of Aucklanders in the Quality of Life Survey 2018.

As with previous years, transport continued to feature highly in the list of things that people most disliked about living at Hobsonville Point, mostly about carparking. Residents perceived a lack of parking, inconsiderate parking and people not using their garage for parking as problems for their neighbourhood. Car travel to work or study continues to dominate over previous years, although it has dropped to 60% from 67% in 2018 and 2016. Public transport is slowly rising with travel by ferry going up to 11% from 7% in 2016.

“It’s unique, in that you can live a ‘world away’, but stress-free travel to work and to the city without using a car”

“Because the house is very warm, we need to run a cooling system all night to allow us to sleep”

This year’s survey had a focus on house quality and performance – most households (72%) found it easy or very easy to heat their home in winter and to keep it dry and free from mould (78%); however, a quarter of residents reported difficulty cooling their homes in summer.

The survey also focused on the local amenities, exploring which amenities were used and how near they needed to be for people to use alternative means of travel to reach them. Parks and reserves (Bomb Point Reserve, Coastal walkway, other parks and reserves) were the facilities that were most visited on a daily basis. They were also the facilities that were most highly valued by households.

“Nice environment, nice neighbourhood, ability to walk/cycle to exercise (Bomb Point/coastal walkway)”

The results clearly identify areas of perceived strength as well as areas that could be improved. Hobsonville Point neighbourhoods are setting a high standard of sustainability in both the physical and social environments. Residents continue to rate the liveability of Hobsonville Point highly, and are enthusiastic and appreciative of their neighbourhood. This provides the basis to develop relevant and long-lasting local initiatives that can help to enhance, sustain and grow local connections and neighbourliness.

Download the Hobsonville surveys: