Paerata Rise

Paerata, Auckland
February 2016 – January 2020
View of houses

Woods has been involved with the Paerata Rise project across all disciplines to help deliver a new community on land surrounding the existing Wesley College next to State Highway 16, north of Pukekohe in Auckland. It is a multi-stage greenfield, master planned development, and will provide for approximately 5000 homes.

Woods Involvement 

Our role expanded after the Plan Variation was granted from engineering and surveying services, to include planning, urban design, and architectural services.

To date, Woods have successfully obtained resource consents for several framework plans, staged subdivisions, bulk earthworks, infrastructure facilities, public amenities, stream reclamation, and contamination remediation. Woods have been involved in designing and consenting affordable homes within the development. Woods planning work closely with the client to ensure design, construction and consenting is running to schedule and to pre-empt future regulatory requirements. 

The Phase 1 framework plan established a linked street network, with two retained streams providing landscaped riparian margins. A central reserve provides a recreation space with a playground and an adjacent cafe/sales office. The blocks surrounding the park are rear-loaded duplexes, and the design minimises rear lots and provides a wide range of site sizes for housing diversity.

The Special Housing Area required Woods to provide for affordable housing. This has been achieved by providing duplex lots which appear in form and scale as similar to free-standing adjacent houses.


Paerata Rise n Shine Cafe

One component of the town was the development and build of the Paerata Rise n Shine Cafe. For this, Woods reused containers from Christchurch’s Re-start Mall to design a cafe/sales office adjacent to the neighbourhood park in Stage 1 of the Paerata Rise development.

Grafton Downs Ltd, the land developers of Paerata Rise on the existing Wesley College farm, were wanting to kick-start the Stage 1 subdivision, so they asked Woods to design this container cafe.

Woods rearranged a number of containers to offer flexibility for a cafe, and a kitchen/coolroom and sales showroom, with a separate reused toilet container accessible from a covered deck. With the existing sloping site, a large, elevated deck was placed on the north side with steps leading to the neighbourhood park.

The cafe opened in December 2018, and has rapidly become a focal point for Paerata Rise with customers coming from far afield. The cafe has provided a relaxed setting for section and house sales.

In August 2021, Paerata Rise opened what has become a popular children’s playground directly adjacent to the cafe.

Walking paths

Community Amenity

Paerata Rise has a heavy emphasis on landscape and amenities, with restored and landscaped stream edge park spaces comprising walkways and access to inter-connected development stages.

Existing natural wetlands are protected and enhanced for the community, and centralised rain gardens and new wetlands are developed for the mutual benefit of stormwater mitigation and community amenities.

Dedicated two-way cycleways are provided along Jonah Lomu Drive and will connect to the commuter cycle path that stretches from the northern extent of Paerata Rise, all the way south to the Paerata Train Station which is expected to be opened by Kiwirail in 2025.

The Woods master plan envisages more schools, neighbourhood park spaces, a central park, a town centre, and a high density precinct near the future train station. 


The 300Ha Paerata Rise site had no access to public water or wastewater, so new infrastructure had to be designed and extended 8km (wastewater), and 3km (water) along the length of State Highway 22. Additionally, a new water reservoir and wastewater pumping station was required to meet the demands of the first 1000 houses of the development.

Woods performance

With high quality landscaping, re-vegetated stream reserves for walking, and a separate cycle-path, the development sets the scene for the next 15 years of development.

Overall, five stages have been completed, delivering 394 houses, and the Paerata Primary School. Stages 7 and 8 are under construction and will provide a further 235 houses. Stages 9 to 12 are being processed for consent, with construction commencement targeted for February 2022, set to provide an additional 371 houses. This takes Paerata Rise to 1000 homes of the anticipated 5000. 

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