Wharenui Rise and Brent Farm Development

SurveyingPlanningCivil EngineeringStructural Engineering Land DevelopmentThree WatersDesign Studio

Wharenui Rise is the largest residential housing project in Rotorua, addressing the housing shortage in the Bay of Plenty.

The estimated $100 million residential development by Whakaue Property Trust, a subsidiary of Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands (NWTL), is initially providing 200 homes and then a further 800 by 2030. 

Each stage incorporates homes targeting first home buyers. In Stage 1 which was completed in 2021, 8 of the 52 lots were made available to first home buyers only (3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom homes), and were capped at $500,000, including GST. 

As well as residential sections, the 110ha development at Owhata will have an extensive network of formal and informal reserves, footpaths, and cycleways, and supporting infrastructure. The project aims to create a mixed-density residential development that incorporates high-quality living amenity outcomes alongside landscaped amenity and recreation areas.

Wharenui Rise won the Sustainable Remediation Project recognition Award at the Annual Industry Excellence Awards 2020 (Australasian Land and Groundwater Association) for the sustainable way the ground contamination has been addressed.

Our services

We’ve been involved with this project since the late 2000s when we undertook the Wharenui Road Development Area Plan Change for the site and wider area, and successfully rezoned the Brent Farm section from rural into residential and commercial zones.

Our team has provided the following services for this important project:

  • Urban design

  • Landscape architecture

  • Planning

  • Stormwater

  • Transportation

  • Earthworks design and construction

  • Civil design and construction

  • Structural design and construction. 

We’ve provided tailored solutions for:

  • Earth dams

  • Stormwater ponds

  • A water supply booster pump station

  • Neighbourhood reserves

  • General services reticulation.

  • And we collaborated closely with other consultants to successfully manage on-site contamination and geotechnical constraints.

  • We obtained multiple regional and district council consents for the first three stages, plus land transfer survey inputs for Stage 1 which comprises 52 residential lots.

  • We also worked closely with Rotorua Lakes Council to incorporate the Eastside stormwater community storage requirements to ensure the ongoing stormwater management for future stages is incorporated into any upfront works.

  • Delivering titles for Stage 1 included consenting of Stages 1 – 3, detailed engineering design, and construction, plus council sign-off and land transfer tasks.

  • Stage 1 required significant upfront infrastructure, including a water supply booster pump station to cater for Stages 1 – 3, a stormwater attenuation pond, intersection upgrades, internal retaining wall design, and landscaping design of street reserves and open spaces.

Harrison Grierson

Good urban design 

We used an Urban Design Guide to ensure a high-quality outcome for the subdivision. The Design Guide provides flexibility for future house builders, ensures minimum standards are met, and provides the council with the assurances associated with ongoing quality. The development includes a mix of open spaces and reserves for recreation, as well as a range of dwellings. It incorporates recreational walkways and cycle routes through the entire development, along with local commercial centres.


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

Housing whanau

The affordable housing scheme is part of NWTL’s wider housing strategy which also aims to support whānau through long term rental accommodation and kaumātua who may be interested in papakāinga housing options at the neighbouring Manawa Gardens Development.  We are pleased to be part of this project, being built over three stages in the next six years and targeting public and affordable intergenerational housing.

Award winning

Wharenui Rise won the Sustainable Remediation Project recognition Award at the Annual Industry Excellence Awards 2020 (Australasian Land and Groundwater Association) for the sustainable way the ground contamination has been addressed. This award recognised the approach to dealing with on-site contamination within a containment cell and was a recognition of the excellent collaboration between the client, consultants, and district and regional councils.

Related projects