2 Jul 2024

The 4th of September 2023, saw the blessing that marked the beginning of the Iona Havelock North Project, one of the largest property developments in Hawkes Bay.

The Iona precinct is a pivotal growth node for Havelock North and the greater Hawkes Bay region. Once complete, it will offer an expansive 55 hectares of residential opportunity, contributing to the flourishing future of this beautiful area.

CKL Director Bronwyn Rhynd and Environmental Engineer Joshua Raynes were honoured to be part of the blessing for a project whose journey began back in 2020, when CDL Land New Zealand Limited (CDL) purchased the property from the Lowe family. The blessing event celebrated the collective taken journey so far by all stakeholders involved.

CKL was brought onboard to the Iona development project thanks to their long-standing relationship with CDL, and their extensive experience and proven track record in stormwater and flood management.

Working in partnership with Hastings land development consultancy Development Nous, CKL ensured that environmental sustainability integration happened from the outset of the project.

Preventing Downstream Impacts with a Comprehensive Approach
Beginning in 2020, CKL’s initial task was to allocate space for essential stormwater infrastructure, such as basins, rain gardens, and wetlands. This phase involved detailed consultation with the council, leading to a comprehensive design and consenting process. By September 2023, the project progressed to the groundbreaking phase.

As part of CKL’s work, they have been involved in providing expertise and consultation with regional and local council, ensuring that all necessary parties have been brought into the early stages of the design, ensuring a comprehensive outcome that obtains buy-in from the whole community.

CKL's robust and resilient stormwater management plans met the council’s stringent requirements for water quality and system reliability.

CKL’s approach encompassed:
Catchment-Wide Perspective: CKL ensured that stormwater management solutions considered the entire catchment area, not just the immediate development site. This holistic approach helped protect the downstream environment from detrimental impacts and maintained natural water flow patterns.

Consultation and Collaboration: Engaging with both regional and local councils early in the process was key to aligning project goals with community needs. This facilitated a cohesive and comprehensive development plan.

Resilient and Low-Impact Solutions: CKL’s designs emphasised resilient systems that protected water quality and separated stormwater from groundwater, which was particularly important given the area’s past water challenges.

Integration with Urban Design: The environmental solutions were seamlessly integrated into the urban layout, creating green spaces that enhanced the liveability and aesthetics of the development while managing stormwater effectively.

Creating Harmonious Urban Landscapes with Sustainable Solutions
CKL’s expertise lies in creating resilient, low-impact developments that prioritise environmental protection. As CKL director Bronwyn Rhynd explains, their approach centres around safeguarding the environment and valuing the mana of water. This philosophy drives their work, ensuring they leave the environment better than they found it. CKL’s goal is to implement solutions that are sustainable and manageable for future owners and the surrounding community.

For CKL’s involvement in the Iona Project, this entailed designing green spaces around the urban environment, integrating natural land contours, and avoiding unnecessary earth movement which could disrupt the natural water pathways.

Josh and his team at CKL developed models to identify optimal locations for stormwater facilities, ensuring they fit seamlessly into the urban landscape. This integration prevented urban disruption and maintained the natural flow of water, creating a harmonious environment for residents. The design philosophy aimed to avoid intrusive elements like large retaining walls, instead fostering a sense of cohesion and natural beauty.

Successful Flood Mitigation in Action
A significant learning opportunity arose during the design of Stage Two when Cyclone Gabriel struck the area in early 2023. The real-life flooding provided a unique chance to validate CKL's flood modelling and design against actual events.

The models accurately predicted the flood behaviour, and CKL's design successfully mitigated downstream effects. This validation not only demonstrated the robustness and resilience of their designs but also showcased the practical effectiveness of their stormwater management solutions.

For instance, a road that historically flooded, will be moved to no longer experience such issues, proving the real-world application and benefits of CKL's work in conjunction with Development Nous’s infrastructure designs.

Continuing the Journey
The Iona Project has reached a significant milestone with construction well underway and the imminent release of stage 1 sections sales planned in the next one to two months. And CKL's role is far from complete. The current efforts are focused on delivering Stage One, the largest phase of the development, which stretches from the existing urban environment to Bull Hill, which features a distinctive statue of a bull (which will stay in place).

This stage is designed to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding area, filling in gaps and connecting two roads in a V shape to facilitate urban growth. Most of this stage has received the necessary consents and is ready for progression.

Looking ahead, CKL is also involved in the preliminary and concept designs for Stage Two, which includes applying for discharge and earthworks consents. This next phase comprises two parts: the main Stage Two and an additional plateau with terrace houses. The planning and delivery of these stages will continue over the next few years, ensuring the project's successful completion.

CKL’s involvement in the Iona Project demonstrates their commitment to adding value through sustainability, resilience in design, and continuous improvement. This approach transforms uncontrolled, muddy paddocks into urban environments that embrace green spaces and sustainable practices. The lessons learned from events like Cyclone Gabriel highlight the importance of resilient design, benefiting not only the development but also the wider community.

CKL is proud to be part of the Iona Havelock North project team and looks forward to the positive impact it will have on the Havelock North community. Stay tuned for further updates in the future as we continue to make progress on the Iona Project.

The Iona Project: A Milestone in Hawkes Bay's Sustainable Development