Manawa Gardens - Intergenerational Housing Legacy Project

Structural Engineering Traffic & transportationSurveyingLand DevelopmentThree Waters

Manawa Gardens is an intergenerational housing project targeting affordable rental housing for Rotorua.

It is being built over three stages (comprising 240 units in total), on 16 Hectares of Māori land owned by Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands.

The development will provide a community-focused, and environmentally friendly living space with affordable homes and kaumatua housing. 

The design and layout promote open space and community-oriented living with shared community gardens and ample green space. At the heart of the development will be kaumatua units, which have been designed for universal access. The development will also house a live-in manager and a community facility or hauora (health) centre which will be used to deliver health, social and pastoral care services.

Stage one of the project (the first 80 units) is progressing with the assistance of Government funding towards the required infrastructure works and house construction. Land development is underway with house construction due to start in 2023-24.

Harrison Grierson

Our services

We are providing a full suite of technical services in this multi-million-dollar legacy project.

This includes everything from:

  • Resource consenting

  • Detailed engineering design

  • Traffic assessment

  • Structural design

  • Infrastructure design

  • Stormwater modelling

  • Construction monitoring

  • Surveying


Commencing in mid-2022, we immediately faced an extremely tight timeframe to obtain all consents and start civil construction on site to enable building construction to start by the end of 2023. This involved close collaboration with Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council. When required, we split consents to enable key approvals to be issued.

Stormwater is particularly challenging at Manawa Gardens as we are working in a new stormwater catchment with little existing modelling work.  We designed and undertook extensive infrastructure works including a Water Supply Booster Pump Station, extensive stormwater ponds and swales and road upgrades.  Manawa Gardens is located above an existing residential area and with an existing stream nearby.  Accordingly, we carefully modelled upstream and downstream catchments and designed overland flow paths to ensure future resilience and safety. As the development will remain in private ownership, we were very mindful of full lifecycle costs including ongoing maintenance requirements for Ngati Whakaue.

Harrison Grierson


We successfully met the tight deadline and obtained consent for Stage 1 (Residential Development) and the wider earthworks and stormwater treatment for the entire 3-stage development.  Works have commenced on site and are expected to be ready for house construction in December 2023.

We undertook all consent preparation, technical reporting, detailed design, structural design and obtained all consents which included earthworks, permanent stormwater discharge, contamination, land use, building consents, engineering approvals within 9 months of initiating project.  We’re proud to be part of this important project.


Delivering such a unique project is a collaborative effort, involving Rotorua Lakes Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, NWTL and the lead contractors. Our engineers and surveyors are onsite many times each week, working closely with everyone to deliver a successful and important project.

NOTE:  Manawa Gardens neighbours Wharenui Rise - the largest residential housing project in Rotorua, addressing the housing shortage in the wider Bay of Plenty. The $100 million (est.) residential development by NWTL is initially providing 200 homes and then a further 800 by 2030 Each stage incorporates homes targeting first home buyers, and in Stage 1 (completed in 2021), 8 out of the 52 lots were made available to first home buyers only (3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom), and which were capped at a price of $500,000, including GST.

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