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New Zealand’s First Surf Park Receives Resource Consent

Press Release from Aventuur:

New Zealand is one step closer to having its first surf park, with Aventuur today receiving resource consent for the Auckland Surf Park.

The consent was granted by the Ministry of the Environment, following the project’s referral to an expert consenting panel for consideration under the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 Recovery (Fast Track Consenting) Act 2020.

New Zealand Surf Park
An Auckland Surf Park rendering.

Located at 1350 Dairy Flat Highway, the Auckland Surf Park will create a world-class, sustainable surf park community in Dairy Flat, providing quality sport, recreation, hospitality, and tourism amenities that celebrate Aotearoa, its surfing heritage and culture, and the area’s rural character.

At the heart of the community is a 56-module Wavegarden “Cove” lagoon, offering unparalleled surfing and wellbeing experiences for everyone in a safe, controlled environment. The surf park will also feature high-performance sports and leisure facilities, eco-cabins and lodging accommodation, a farm-to-table restaurant and garden, and public outdoor amenities including walking and cycling trails.

Anticipated to generate over 400 jobs during construction and over 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions once operational, the Auckland Surf Park is poised to inject over $600 million into the local economy over the life of the project.

Aventuur Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer Richard Duff said he was delighted to reach this important milestone.

“This is an exciting day for Auckland, surfing in New Zealand, and for Aventuur. We are extremely thankful for all the support received to date, and with resource consent, we’re one step closer to delivering this iconic major leisure and lifestyle precinct,” Mr Duff said.

A look at another Aventuur project in Korea.

All Black legend, mental health advocate and lifelong surfer Sir John Kirwan is a partner in the project with Aventuur to deliver a surf park that is by, and for, Aotearoa.

“I’m delighted for us to achieve resource consent, as it enables us to deliver on our vision of a natural, inclusive surfing destination that is true to Aotearoa, and improves the lives of everyone we welcome to our community in Dairy Flat. We are committed to having a meaningful, positive impact on our planet by developing and operating the Auckland Surf Park sustainably, and across Auckland by employing locals and providing experiences that enhance wellbeing – including water safety, mental health and surf therapy programs.”

With a significant focus on sustainability, the masterplanned community includes a co-located solar farm and a Spark data center. Notably, excess heat from the Spark data center (planned to be powered by renewable energy, including on-site generation from the solar farm) will be harnessed to warm the surfing lagoon year-round – a world-first.

Spark New Zealand General Manager of Digital Infrastructure, Michael Stribling, said, “New technologies like AI are changing the way people connect, communicate, and do business. A critical enabler of these new technologies is the digital infrastructure that underpins it all – like data centres, which essentially house the large amounts of data needed for these high-tech tools to operate. We’re thrilled to be progressing further towards developing our innovative new data centre campus which will expand our capacity to support the growing demand from people and businesses in Aotearoa, in a more sustainable way.”

Other sustainability initiatives include intending to utilise ‘zero embedded carbon’ concrete for structures, harvesting rainwater from community buildings, composting organic waste on site, eliminating single use plastics, procuring local materials and products wherever possible, regenerate existing streams on the property, and naturescaping outdoor areas using only endemic local species.

To support our engagement with local iwi, we have engaged a widely-respected cultural advisor. A number of hui have been held, and these will be ongoing through the development process. Several iwi representatives have visited the Auckland Surf Park site.

The Auckland Surf Park has been backed by a range of national and local organisations who believe in its potential to enrich the lives of Aucklanders and visitors to New Zealand. Top Kiwi professional surfers Paige Hareb and Ricardo Christie, along with Paris 2024 Olympic competitors Billy Stairmand and Saffi Vette, have also got behind the project.

Surfing New Zealand, Skateboarding New Zealand, Scholastic Surfing Auckland and Micro Surf Academy have all extended their support for the project, citing opportunities to drive sporting participation and high-performance outcomes.

Ben Kennings, CEO of Surfing New Zealand, said “We believe the Auckland Surf Park will be hugely accretive for surfing in New Zealand, and will help to support athletes training for their Olympic and World Surf League campaigns, foster community engagement and participation in water-based activities, and promote physical and mental wellbeing.”

Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Water Safety New Zealand have also voiced their support for the world-class development. Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s CEO Steve Fisher stated, “Once developed, the Auckland Surf Park will play a pivotal role in promoting water safety, providing a unique venue where educational programs can be delivered in a safe environment to help reduce drowning rates.”

Paralympics New Zealand and Disabled Surfers Association New Zealand highlighted the transformative impact that the surf park can provide adaptive surfers, and people with disabilities. The organisations recognise the Auckland Surf Park’s potential to support paralympic surf training, increase participation in adaptive surf sports, and provide an accessible, inclusive venue for people of all abilities to enjoy.

Invest New Zealand of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise have also lent their support to the Auckland Surf Park. Invest New Zealand has recognised the project’s potential to invigorate the tourism sector, create employment opportunities, and bolster the Auckland region’s Economy.

Subject to further regulatory approvals being received, construction is expected to commence in late 2024, with the Auckland Surf Park opening to the public in 2027.

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