A piece of land in Wainui that came to the public’s attention in 2008 when it had a special zone created so that it could be used for filming purposes, is again before Auckland Council as the owners seek consent for a subdivision.
The proposal for 1502 Weranui Road is for a 28 lot residential subdivision, with two larger rural lots, along with protection of 64ha of bush (more than half of which is deemed to be a Significant Ecological Area) and the revegetation of a further 66ha.
A large film studio and 4ha of surrounding land will be retained for use in movie production.
The Palliser Downs proposal is a joint venture between Cabra Rural Developments and Rahopara Farms, who own the 310ha property. Rahopara Farms director Jeremy Dillon says that when the two companies acquired the property, about five years ago, the film industry was in recession. However, he says that recent use of the film studio has been steady, with both the NZ Film Commission and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) promoting and supporting it.
The application is an amended version of one originally lodged last year, with a key difference being the inclusion of the Auckland Unitary Plan’s Bush Covenanting and Revegetation rules.
Mr Dillon says because significant areas of revegetation and bush protection have also been undertaken on an adjoining property by an associated company (Monowai Properties), together the two sites will provide a significant area of fully protected native bush in Wainui.
Under the Auckland Unitary Plan, the Kelly Park Film Village zoning has gone, to be replaced with Rural/Rural Production. Because this Unitary Plan zoning is not yet operative, the proposal will be assessed under the provisions of both zonings, according to Council’s Northern resource consenting manager Ian Dobson.
The application was publicly notified and can be found at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz, which is where submissions can also be made. The information is also available at local libraries. Submissions close June 21.