Beaches at Coast Papamoa, Tauranga, New Zealand

The fastest-growing lifestyle city in New Zealand

In 2011, Frasers Papamoa Limited had a vision to create an exclusive beachfront community in Tauranga, one of New Zealand’s fastest growing lifestyle cities.

After careful planning with the incorporation of pertinent provisions in the Tauranga City Plan, “Beaches” is the final 2.7-hectare jewel in the four-precinct Coast Papamoa crown, offering 23 exclusive sections positioned around a private reserve.

Situated on the cusp of Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, the Beaches precinct offers the best of both worlds, with direct beach access on foot through protected dunes to an unspoilt coastline, while only a short drive to the Tauranga City centre, one of New Zealand’s fastest growing lifestyle cities.

The unique greenfield site stretches from Papamoa Beach Road to the edge of an adjacent conservation zone. Approximately 1.45 hectares of the site is utilised for residential development, with the remaining area zoned for conservation purposes under the City Plan.

Aurecon provided planning, civil, traffic and geotechnical engineering and surveying services on the project. The multidisciplinary team was able to develop the unique site to provide for efficient use of ecologically and topographically sensitive beachfront land.

“The site is effectively the last beachfront block available for development along the Papamoa coastline. Consequently, we were delighted to have the opportunity to plan and develop something for future residents, which would integrate well with the surrounding dunes and ecology of conservation areas,” says Aurecon Environmental and Planning Principal, Aaron Collier.

The landform of the site was designed to maximise views from the properties while creating a private enclave through the use of terracing and retaining. The result is that each allotment has views towards the sea where possible, without being overly visible by users of Papamoa Beach Road.

The precinct features a central 1400 m2 shared reserve space with seating areas, a modern pergola structure, stainless steel water feature, specially designed picnic tables and benches, grass relaxation areas, rows of pohutukawa trees, a nikau palm feature planting and sculptural outdoor showers atop a wooden boardwalk – all complementing the coastal location.

Innovative master planning

The Beaches precinct design was based on an overall master plan and the development of detailed design guidelines, to provide homeowners with a variety of choice in terms of housing and architecture.

Additionally, during the design phase of the central shared space, the project team came up with an innovative solution to charging for the precinct’s water usage (water in Tauranga is paid for based on use), as well as power consumption of the streetlights around the ring road. Water consumption is monitored with a single water meter and the Council will bill each resident for a 23rd share.

To cover the cost of lighting, each dwelling has one streetlight connected to their household electrical system.

Sustainable design and materials

One of the main focus areas of the development was to preserve a culturally important dune. The project team implemented a unique mechanism to protect both the dune and the conservation area surrounding it by sharing the responsibility for maintaining the environment equally among the 23 property titles of the precinct.

Aurecon also developed a system of boardwalks and dune protection measures to ensure the long-term conservation of the dune system, as well as a sustainable system that enables on-site stormwater retention throughout the central reserve area.

The materials selected for the development of the site included stainless steel, hardwood timbers, natural stone and off-shutter concrete. The end result is a low maintenance, sustainable and beautiful facility for the residents to enjoy.

Planning and construction challenges

During the initial phases of the project, the Council undertook the construction of a roundabout. While this will provide safe access to the completed precinct, the work presented some challenges in terms of access to the precinct site during construction.

The roundabout was designed and managed by Aurecon, who coordinated construction activity to ensure that earthworks machinery could access the site without being hampered by the construction of the roundabout or damaging ecologically sensitive areas.

With consideration for the proximity of neighbouring residences and construction activity within a coastal environment, water tanks were installed on site and utilised for dust management.

As the region and its dunes contain significant Wahi Tapu sites, it is culturally important to the surrounding Maori community. Acknowledging this, Aurecon led a process of engagement with Nga Potiki which recognised their long-standing relationship with the site, and its significance as the start of a much longer traditional route from the coast through to the Papamoa Hills and beyond.

Rejuvenating a growing city

The development is the first of its kind in the area to involve the detailed planning and design of a new residential community by a single developer, resulting in a neighbourhood with distinctive character and amenity, and offering high-quality, exclusive lifestyle housing options to residents.

“Tauranga continues to experience a wave of development, which is leading the rejuvenation of the city with fresh vision and activity. It’s exciting to be a part of this transformation and reaffirms why so many people want to move here,” says Kranish Reddy, Frasers Property Development Manager.

Construction of the Beaches precinct commenced in January 2017 and was completed in December 2017.


The project has won the following awards:

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