Mayor Smith at the site meeting with Viranda’s co-founder and chairman, Andrew Guest, along with Viranda team: Mark Bridgman, Brian Chin, Oliver Wills, Brandon Morley, Duncan Napier, community representative Colin Gallagher, and McKenzie and Co contract engineer, James Bufty

Mangawhai mega-project begins

by Paul Campbell

After years in the planning, earthworks formation for Kaipara’s biggest-ever single commercial and residential development has begun with the Mangawhai Central project now underway. Heavy machinery arrived at the site last week after Kaipara Mayor Jason Smith ‘turned the first sod’.

The project lies on the strip of land between the existing township and Mangawhai Heads and will bring the two sections together through a collection of amenities, recreational facilities and housing options.

‘Mangawhai Central will be the heartbeat of the area, designed to include a town square, supermarket, hardware store, a light industrial precinct, and future provisions for schooling, retirement living and health care. These amenities will be supported by the creation of residential sites,’ says the developer, Viranda Holdings.

Mayor Smith attended a ‘first turn of the spade’ meeting on-site last week, along with Viranda’s co-founder and chairman, Andrew Guest and other officials.

“Mangawhai Central is the largest development ever for the Mangawhai community and for processes of Kaipara District Council.

“In my view it’s also a coming of age project for KDC in its 30th anniversary year, pointing towards our fast-growing future. It is a great honour to share the first sod turning and consider the thousands of people who will enjoy this Mangawhai Central site for generations to come and make this special place their own. Much of the early planning and engineering of the development has taken place around the council and planner’s table.

The 130-hectare development is expected to be built in stages over the next five to 10 years.

Stage one is planned to include a bulk retail outlet, the industrial precinct, childcare facility, petrol station and a supermarket. Stage two will feature a town centre with boutique and neighbourhood retail premises and retirement village zones.

Future stages would introduce housing, and a KDC report says Mangawhai’s local population was expected to grow by 3,000 residents during the coming decade and its annual peak holiday population by some 8,000 people.

The new commercial centre is likely to have a catchment area from Langs Beach and Waipu in the north, to Wellsford and Kaiwaka.

Auckland-based Viranda Partners advises that the land at Mangawhai Central is now a construction site with restricted access. For further information, visit