Woolshed chat now a reality at Ngarara

Woolshed chat now a reality at Ngarara
An artist’s impression of the new Ngarara housing development in Waikanae.

A conversation in the wool shed has led to a significant housing development in Waikanae that aims to add real value to the local area. Ngarara has been farmed by the Smith family for generations although its sandy soils meant it wasn’t prime farm land, says Jonathan Smith.
As the town grew up around the farm it made sense to look at other uses for the land and early conversations in the farm wool shed in 2003 have led to the significant development being undertaken by the family.
Having had no previous experience in development has meant it has been a challenging process at times but Jonathan says it has also led to a development with a difference.
“Our aspiration is to create a high-quality living environment which preserves the character of the natural landscape, places a high value on the unique protected 60 hectares of wetland and native bush, puts a greater emphasis on people than it does on cars and connects naturally with the surrounding neighbourhoods,” he explains.
“Having been born and bred on this land we know every part of it, which way the wind blows etc. Our unique connection to the land has influenced the planning decisions.”
Ngrara has been designed following Low Impact Urban Design & Development (LIUDD) principles.
Jonathan explains that the approach recognises that ecosystems have limitations and that we must work within those limitations if a development is to be sustainable.
He says this approach has guided all the decisions when designing the infrastructure across the development and has informed the approach from urban form, built form, landscape planting, open space planning and all the way down to how individual lots have been designed to interact with each other.
He says a cornerstone of the development has been looking at how Ngararacould benefit the local community.
“We want to share the benefits of Ngarara with the residents and wider community through good design and providing opportunities for a wide demographic of people to live here.”

Woolshed chat now a reality at Ngarara
Ngarara will one day comprise 1000 new homes. The first stage, called Waimeha, offers 50 homes including town houses and stand-alone homes.

Ngarara will one day comprise 1000 new homes. The first stage, called Waimeha, offers 50 homes including town houses and stand-alone homes. Four of the townhouses have recently been closed in and work has commenced on the first stand alone home.
A show home, which has a greenstar rating of seven, has been completed to demonstrate the development’s focus on high quality, warm, sustainable homes.
They 170 square metre show home comprises three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is clad in Colorsteel and Abodo timber, a unique product that is grown and made in New Zealand.
Rather than being chemically treated Abodo is heat treated making it safe for both people and the environment, says Jonathan. Low maintenance is also another focus of the subdivision and this is also demonstrated in the show home, he says.
All the homes in Ngarara are being designed and built by Maypole Homes, a housing company set up by the Smith family.
Jonathan says this will give good control over quality and timing of the project and also ensure the overall look and feel of the subdivision is maintained so homes all blend in with each other and the environment.
Purchasers can have input into the interiors of their home and a colour consultant is offered to help people select carpets, tiles, bathroom fittings etc.
“The homes have all been architecturally designed by leading local design firms. They are built for life and designed to adapt to the changing rhythms of seasons and family stages,” explains Jonathan.
The architecturally designed homes incorporate energy efficient solutions such as hot water heat pumps, hot water underfloor heating, thermally separated double glazed windows and some serious insulation.
The houses are also designed to be resilient with rainwater tanks and the ability for later addition of photovoltaic solutions.
Townhouses range from one to three bedrooms and 80-130sqm. Stand-alone homes are three or four bedrooms and range from 130-170sqm. An apartment complex is also in the pipeline.
Stage one will also include a small commercial development including a café and early childhood education centre creating a village hub, says Jonathan.
Located between Waikanae Beach and township, just 60 kilometres north of Wellington, Ngarara’s proximity to the M2PP expressway interchange and the imminent Transmission Gully Motorway creates the perfect opportunity for relaxed beachside living within reasonable transit of local amenities and Wellington, says Jonathan.
“With Ngarara our goal is to create somewhere not just to live, but to belong.”
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