First off the ground: civil construction completed in Roskill South

01 Dec 2023
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Driving home through Roskill South now means travelling along 32,000 square metres of upgraded roads.

Nearly 150 new streetlights guide the way, framing those roads in place of power poles removed as electricity was fed underground – among 28 kilometres of new utility lines.

More than 5km of new mains connect homes with fresh water, and 4.5km of new wastewater pipes see to its safe removal. Rainfall is prevented from flooding nearby homes thanks to nearly 9km of new stormwater pipes and an upgraded Freeland Reserve, where you’ll find many of Roskill South’s almost 28,500 new plants and 370 additional trees.

After five years of work, this is just some of what has been delivered for the neighbourhood, and that neighbourhood is just one of 18 in the 162-hectare Roskill Development – itself just one of the Kāinga Ora large-scale projects set to deliver tens-of-thousands of new homes.

“Across all of our large-scale projects, Roskill South was the second to start and we’re the first to finish our civil infrastructure,” says Lucy Smith, Kāinga Ora Senior Development Manager for Roskill Development.

“Kāinga Ora and our civil construction partner LEAD Alliance have delivered more than $150 million worth of this work in Roskill South alone.”

All of that work lays the foundation for hundreds of new homes to be built in the neighbourhood over a number of years under Roskill Development. It also means Kāinga Ora build partners can deliver it at a faster rate than before.

“You could say it’s like decorating your bedroom,” says Lucy. “When you start, you have to spend a lot of time doing the prep, sanding, priming and filling. That’s the civil construction. All of that prep means your painting – or, in our case, the house builds – can actually happen quite quickly, but that’s where you see the biggest transformation.”

Kāinga Ora and its development partners have removed or relocated 265 older houses in Roskill South, with 970 new homes to be delivered across a range of sizes and types. Those new homes will be a mix of public housing and homes for sale both at market rates and more affordable price points.

Already, Kāinga Ora has completed about 350 homes in Roskill South, including almost all of the new public housing planned for the neighbourhood. 

And all of that civil construction is not just for the benefit of the new homes delivered through Roskill Development, says Sikander Malik, Kāinga Ora Senior Project Manager – Infrastructure and Civil Construction.

“Infrastructure is the key to success for any development. It’s the foundation of a housing project and for Kāinga Ora we build infrastructure not just for the new homes we have planned, but to support future private development and to provide better services for the homes that are already here,” he says.

“When we started in Roskill South, we quickly found that it was a much bigger job than earlier studies had suggested – with things like stormwater infrastructure, we found the pipe size suited the weather patterns of the 1950s, for example, so it was already unsuitable for existing homes, let alone this community’s future growth.”

For Lucy, who has worked in Roskill South since the project began, the drive to deliver for the neighbourhood goes beyond upgraded services and new homes.

“These new homes are crucial for the neighbourhood, but Roskill Development is so much more than that – the built form, it’s carefully designed and you hope everybody will like it – but all of this is about delivering health and wellbeing outcomes for this community,” she says.

“That's why I love what I do.”

Roskill South – by the numbers:

  • $150 million in new and upgraded infrastructure.
  • 970 new homes in total – a mix of public housing and homes for sale both at market rates and more affordable price points.
  • 350 homes completed so far, including most of the public housing planned for Roskill South.
  • 620 more new homes to be delivered over the course of the development.
  • 265 older homes removed or relocated.
  • 32,020 square metres of upgraded roads.
  • 28,443 plants and 368 new trees.
  • 2,621 square metres of new footpaths.
  • 8,897 metres of new stormwater pipes.
  • 4,572 metres of new wastewater pipes.
  • 5,421 metres of new water mains.
  • 28,443 metres of new utility lines underground.
  • 102 power poles removed.
  • 148 new streetlights.
  • One new, and one upgraded greenspace.

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