Auckland project under threat after Lochinver deal fail

  • 18/09/2015
Auckland project under threat after Lochinver deal fail

By Dianna Vezich

The development of a massive industrial park and a special housing area in south Auckland are under threat after the Government blocked the sale of Lochinver Station to Chinese buyers.

Stevenson Group was due to start building in Drury next year, but now it has a funding problem.

"This is 360 hectares of land that's going to be one of the biggest commercial developments in New Zealand's history," says Franklin councillor Bill Cashmore.

But the $300 million Drury South project is under threat after the Government blocked the $88 million sale of Lochinver Station.

Lochinver's owner Stevenson's had earmarked the cash for Drury South.

Today, concerned councillors met with the company's boss.

"I'm hoping that they'll find a way forward for this particular project. It's absolutely fundamental for the southern area now," says councillor Calum Penrose.

Stevenson Group chief executive Mark Franklin didn't want to appear on camera today but he told 3 News the company is still very committed to the project.

They hope to start the first stages of development next year, but of course still need to find a way to bridge the funding gap.

The project is expected to add just under 7000 direct jobs to the area and almost 20,000 across the region.

It's also set to boost Auckland's economy by $2.3 billion.

It brings major infrastructure to the area, infrastructure that put a recently announced 1000 home special housing area on the fast track.

"We're not just bringing new houses on stream but we are ensuring the infrastructure and the services are there for these to be wonderful communities in the future," Housing Minister Nick Smith said in July.

Local officials told 3 News they're concerned a delay in Drury South could push back the housing development.

But Paula Bennett, the minister who blocked the Lochinver deal , is standing by her claim that it had no benefit to New Zealand.

3 News