Urban Regeneration on Steroids

Civil EngineeringPlanningLand DevelopmentDevelopment AdvisorySurveyingStructural Engineering Three Waters

Piritahi is an alliance of some of Aotearoa, New Zealand’s leading land development specialists formed to undertake the design, consenting, and civil works required to support the Auckland Housing Programme for Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities.

Harrison Grierson is one of six companies in the Alliance, which is responsible for preparing build-ready land in large urban regeneration developments across Auckland, including Catalina Bay at Hobsonville, Northcote, Mt Roskill, Mangere, Oranga and Tamaki. 

As part of the Alliance, we’re working on the biggest housing change in New Zealand since World War 2.

The planning, complexity, and size of this transformational $1.4 billion urban development project is impressive.  We (Piritahi) develop land and deliver new infrastructure and amenity that will support in the order of 40, 000 homes over 20 years. We work across eight neighbourhoods that total 52 sq. km2 - equivalent to an area the size of Hamilton.

Piritahi was formed by Kāinga Ora in 2019 as a new way of approaching the complex and major task of preparing build-ready land in a brown-field environment, where residents continue to live their daily lives.  It has one client - Kāinga Ora. Alongside Kāinga Ora, we work in collaboration with our Alliance partners Dempsey Wood, Hick Bros Group, Woods, and Tonkin + Taylor.

A first for HG

Piritahi is HG’s first alliance. Our Head of Strategic Initiatives, Glen Cornelius, is a Piritahi Board member and says that being involved in such a transformational project reflects HG’s core value of helping to create better communities for everyone.  

“Since our inception 138 years ago, HG’s been involved in building the nation,” says Glen.  “We’re honoured to continue that tradition and be part of this important urban development regeneration.” 

Glen says that working together to help create better communities is embedded in HG’s DNA. “After 138 years, it’s what sets us apart.”

What we do

Piritahi has planned, designed, coordinated, consented, and is building infrastructure across the Kāinga Ora large-scale urban developments.  

Piritahi streamlines land development, laying the groundwork for dramatically improved neighbourhoods that capture a range of positive social and environmental outcomes.

This includes preparing land for development and delivering new and upgraded infrastructure and amenities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Geotechnical investigation

  • Surveying

  • Civil design and infrastructure planning

  • Removal of old state housing

  • Land remediation

  • Arranging consents for earthworks and infrastructure

  • Civil construction (including roads, parks, and utilities)

  • Construction Phase Support (CPS)

  • Stakeholder engagement

  • HG undertakes survey, engineering design, consenting, planning, and construction observation for Piritahi.

"Since our inception 138 years ago, HG’s been involved in building the nation, and we're honoured to be part of this important urban development regeneration."

Glen CorneliusChief Executive


There are over 30 projects currently being delivered with dozens of projects in the pipeline within the Piritahi programme of work.

For example, Piritahi is remediating residential land on sites across Auckland including Mt Roskill, Mangere, Oranga, Tamaki and Northcote. Rather than following the standard industry approach - engaging testing companies, waiting on results, and then engaging contractors to strip or encapsulate soil within individual sites, Piritahi is optimising this end-to-end process by leveraging the value of its programme, upskilling in-house and purchasing state of the art equipment to speed up the operation. The result is an estimated cost saving of $5 million over the life of the programme in this discipline alone.

Piritahi is also leveraging global consents and has strong working relationships with council-controlled organisations, helping them to deliver upon their infrastructure commitments to Auckland within the Kāinga Ora development neighbourhoods, faster. For example, Piritahi constructed Roskill South’s Freeland Reserve stormwater flood attenuation upgrade for Healthy Waters and is delivering Lake Road’s water main upgrade for Watercare in Northcote, among other infrastructure and public amenity projects.

Supreme Award Win

We’re proud to be part of the winning team at Piritahi, scooping up two awards, including the ultimate prize at the IPWEA NZ Public Works Excellence Awards.

The Piritahi House Removal Programme won the Kōmata O Te Rangi, Supreme Asset Management Excellence Award, as well as the Excellence in Environment and Sustainability Award for our work removing state housing from large scale project areas and collaboratively applying industry-leading waste minimisation practices. This critical work is enabling significantly increased intensification and sustainable housing outcomes for Kāinga Ora: Homes and Communities.

Congratulations to everyone in our award-winning team including Piritahi, Tonkin + Taylor, Dempsey Wood, Hick Bros Group, Kāinga Ora, and Woods.

Note: The national asset management excellence awards recognise New Zealand’s best public works and infrastructure projects. They celebrate “the often-invisible efforts and achievements of the public works sector including local government, central government, consultants, contractors and suppliers around Aotearoa.”

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