How Waikato could steal a march on Auckland


If I were a planner or a politician at the Waikato Regional Council I’d be sizing up the opportunity to seize on the ineptitude of Auckland Council.

And I’d do so by announcing plans to rezone more rural land around Pokeno and along SH1 for housing and commercial activities.

Auckland’s pain is someone else’s gain. And at Pokeno the town is expanding so quickly that its hard not to notice. That speaks enormously to the sales potential that it presents. Lots of people, wanting affordable housing that is still within commuting distance from Auckland.   

Waikato shouldn’t worry too much about peeving off it’s friends up the road. It’s all business. It’s rating base and it’s opportunity and it’s jobs and growth in the Waikato region.

Even commercial activities will relocate as they are starting to do. Lack of land and affordable land does that sort of thing.

And a big new town just over the Bombay Hills isn’t a bad thing.

It’s a superb opportunity.


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  • Keeping Stock

    I’ve driven to Auckland past Pokeno a couple of times this year. Even between January and Easter, the pace of development out there is so fast as to be obvious; it’s going ahead in leaps and bounds.

    It’s a whole motorway closer to Coromandel too for those who like to spend their long weekends at the beach, and once the Waikato Expressway around Huntly is complete, beaches like Raglan will be easily accessible from there as well. Then you’ve got Hampton Downs and Meremere Dragway just down the road so it’s a great spot for those with a motorsport bent as well.

    The only downside that immediately comes to mind is the winter-time fog, but otherwise Pokeno and the northern part of Waikato in general ticks a lot of boxes.

  • LabTested

    ..and once the Phuoi-Warkworth motorway gets started we will find the same sort of thing in Kaiwaka – just out of the reach of Len / Geoff / & the Akl council

    • biscuit barrel

      When will that ‘get started’, its coming to 8 years since it was announced that it was RoNS ?
      “First Roads of National Significance identified
      The government has today announced the first seven Roads of National Significance, which have been singled out as essential routes that require priority treatment.”

      All of those on the list are either finished or underway ( using all the money)

      Except one, guess ?

  • Rebecca

    Auckland ratepayers would save a fortune if their Council paid Waikato a couple of mill to do it as well. Rather than pretending Auckland’s growth is a force of nature that’s going to hurt everybody, think smarter and look for a win-win.

  • Tom

    There is a desperate need for a “new Town ” near Auckland. It would be a much cheaper option than trying to expand in Auckland and you wouldnt have Auckland rates.

    • kereru

      Ormiston is already growing – forecast population 40,000. Already has some infrastructure in place.

  • Misfit

    Huntly they are saying is the next hot spot after Pokeno. I moved into the Hauraki plains area few months ago from Whangaparoa, prices are rising all the time around here, I was lucky to get in when I did and already made money on my place big time…

    • biscuit barrel

      These places only become desirable once a motorway bypasses them. having to see it regularly reminds people what a dump the place is

      • Misfit

        thats what they are planning, I dont know the details but some new bypass or extension is happening.

        • geoff3012

          It’s called the Waikato expressway

          • Misfit

            no need to be smart, , no its a new motorway project, real estate told me about it when I was looking in the area, I dont know the details

          • jack50

            It is called the Waikato Expressway it’s curently being built now
            all the houses along the river would be a good buy

    • Grizz30

      A lot would have to happen before Huntly becomes a desirable place to live and raise a family. I would have thought Te Kauwhata, Tuakau or a settlement on the beginning of SH2 would be next earmarked for growth. In fact I read the other day about people buying up new housing in Meremere. So it looks like there will be several Pokenos springing up with no real redeeming features other than being not Auckland.

      • Misfit

        I wouldnt go for Huntly either but houses are selling there, they have issues there with gangs, They will all link eventually much like botany did to Otara, Te Kauwhata is also being pushed as a place to buy, it has come up a few times in conversation with locals here, Im only passing on info Real estate told me, I went more for east Waikato.close to tauranga. It would take a long time for Huntly to shake its image but Onehunga did it.

        • Grizz30

          I think Huntly is more regarded as a satellite town of Hamilton. It would sit well down the pecking order for Auckland house buyers.

        • Usaywot

          I’ve heard that Te Kauwhata is riddled with druggies and beneficiaries.

  • Builder

    Pokeno has no redeeming features apart from the proximity to Auckland.

    • Doc45

      Hey, what about the bacon???

    • Usaywot

      Proximity? You have to be joking! it took two hours to get from Pokeno to Auckland on the motorway last week. What they’re saving on housing, they’re spending on fuel. They need some industry nearby.

  • Builder

    There’s still a huge amount of land north west and east of Auckland airport. Try rezoning that to high density residential. You could fit another 20,000 homes in there. You might need triple glazing for sound proofing but that would be a minor cost in the scheme of things.

    • no bullswool

      Most of that land is owned by Auckland Airport.Housing is not on the cards as they don’t want anything effecting their 24 hour operation.

      • Builder

        I have shares in the airport so nice to know they own such valuable land.

  • Sagacious Blonde

    Shsssh – we’re quite happy down here; there’s no life south of the Bombays :)

  • DangerMice

    No no, please don’t. The motorway is already bad enough Drury to Takanini!

  • Abjv

    They already drink the water before Auckland does.

  • David Moore

    I’m surprised no forward thinking property developer has teamed up with a rail company to create a Hamilton development around an express to Auckland city.