Auckland’s population is forecast to grow to 2 million over the next 20 years, necessitating a further 250,000 jobs within the region. Currently 34% of Auckland’s workforce, 240,000 people, are employed in businesses that operate in the construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and distribution sectors. In South Auckland, 43% of the workforce is employed in these industries; demonstrating the importance of the industrial sector to these communities.
Auckland is facing a shortage of industrial land. This has been identified in the Auckland Plan Discussion Document (Auckland Unleashed) released in March 2011, which identified that new greenfield capacity needs to be operational by 2021. Given the lead-times associated with the planning and infrastructure establishment processes, only projects that are well advanced, such as Drury South Crossing, will be able to meet this timeline.
Without the establishment of new industrial zones, Auckland will not have the land required for almost half of its assumed industrial job growth over the next 20 years. This translates to a lack of capacity for 26,400 industrial jobs by 2031. The Drury South Crossing will go some way towards mitigating this imbalance, reducing the expected shortfall in the south by approximately 20 – 25%.
The Drury basin is well suited to these industrial activities given its proximity to the Drury Quarry, SH1 and the southern infrastructure corridor (power, telecommunications and water). The project avoids the high-quality soils in South Auckland and is close to the residential growth centres of Takanini, Papakura and Pukekohe.
The Drury South Crossing will make direct provision for 6,900 jobs and facilitate an additional 12,200 jobs in the region. It is forecasted to make an annual contribution of $780m to regional GDP and facilitates flow-on annual GDP benefits of $2.3 billion. The construction of the site itself, as a one-off impact, will result in $620-$820m in regional GDP and provide for the equivalent of 8,700-11,500 jobs during its development.
Once operational, the project will reduce the forecasted 952 hectare South Auckland shortfall in industrial land by 20-25% and help to protect one of the region’s principal sources of aggregate. The Drury South Crossing will make efficient use of existing transport networks and protect the ecological and public access corridors along its boundaries and water ways. (All dollar figures from Market Economics, 2008.)