Otahuhu linkages Otahuhu linkages

Auckland Transport and Auckland Council with key stakeholders have produced a design framework to guide future streetscape upgrades in Otahuhu town centre. The framework ensures the delivery of high-quality, accessible, connected streets and public spaces.

Project status: Complete
Project zone: South

Project purpose

The framework guides the design of any future upgrades as funding becomes available, ensuring a consistent and coordinated delivery of streetscape projects in Otahuhu town centre. 

There are 4 key parts to the framework:

  • Analysis of the existing Otahuhu town centre to identify key constraints and opportunities.
  • A vision for the future of the town centre.
  • Design strategies and principles to deliver the vision.
  • Street design guides for the key streets.

Area covered by the framework.

Area of Otahuhu covered by the design framework

Developing the design framework

The framework was developed through:

  • reviewing what the community, key stakeholders and partners told us as part of the development of the Mangere-Otahuhu Area Plan and the design of the Otahuhu Bus Train interchange.
  • assessment of the existing Otahuhu town centre and key constraints and opportunities identified.
  • a consideration of current projects proposed in the areas, such as the Otahuhu Recreation Precinct and the Otahuhu Bus Train interchange.
  • a vision for what the streets and public spaces in the town centre would be like in the future.
  • the creation of a strategy guided by design principles and street guidelines to ensure delivery of the vision.

Otahuhu sense of place timeline.

Sense Of Place Otahuhu Timeline

Vision for Otahuhu town centre

Otahuhu is a safe and thriving town centre. The area is a  place to shop, invest, meet, work, live and play. It also has legible and high quality linkages to local neighbourhoods, community facilities, public transport, and green spaces.

The vision:

  • Sets out what Otahuhu town centre could be like in the future.
  • Builds on outcomes from the Otahuhu town centre in the Mangere-Otahuhu area plan.
  • Is based on an analysis and understanding of the existing opportunities and constraints.
  • Raises aspirations by establishing positive, yet achievable objectives for the area and for all those who will influence its future.
  • Provides a benchmark against which specific proposals for the area can be assessed.

Neighbourhoods/town centre/station links concept.

Neighborouhoods/town centre/station links concept

Design framework strategy

The strategy to take the town centre from its current state towards the vision includes:

  • A spatial concept for Otahuhu town centre.
  • Identifying precinct and character areas as well as principles on how to enhance and strengthen these precincts.
  • Key principles for enhancing the legibility and quality of the streets.
  • Identifying street character types based on land use and principles on how these can be enhanced to create a coherent identity for the centre.
  • A strategy for enhancing the public realm including materials and street planting.
  • Principles to ensure streets encourage walking, cycling and public transport as well as cars.

Project details

Design guidelines were developed for the key town centre streets. They set out the objectives for each street that need to be considered when designing any upgrade. They also provide an indicative concept that shows how these objectives could be achieved. 

Note: the concepts presented here were only for illustrative purposes to encourage ideas and help the planning process:

Great South Road

  • Introduce high quality and consistent footpaths, street planting, lighting and street furniture. 
  • Enhance Criterion Square providing a well designed place to gather and hold events.
  • Improve the entrance points to the town centre, creating clear gateways.
  • Improve accessibility and safety for all users.

Great South Road concept

Great South Road concept art

  1. Main Street unobstructed footpath.
  2. Indented parking bay between buildouts.
  3. Carriageway for general traffic.
  4. Infrastructure strip - linear zone accoomodating trees, lighting, signage, street furniture and indented car parking.
  5. Enhanced street lighting design, coordinated with street tree planting arrangements.

Criterion Square concept

Existing Central Plaza - (Criterion Street)            Central Plaza- Criterion Street sketch concept

  1. Plaza created through an unified public realm as an extension of the Main Street extending across Criterion Street. Provides flexible open space for public events and space for wayfinding cues and artworks.
  2. Tree planting to provide structure and shade for permanent amenities such as seating and integration of centrally located public toilet facilities.
  3. Access for general traffic discouraged, service access retained.

Station Road, part of Atkinson Avenue and Princes Street

These three streets provide critical entrances into the town centre and have retail and commercial offerings. The aim is to improve the layout and design of the streets:

  • Create tree lined streets with high quality footpaths, lighting and street furniture.
  • Provide enhanced visual and physical links to Great South Road for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and cars.
  • Provide high quality connections between the Bus Train Interchange and Great South Road.
  • Improve the entrance points to the town centre – create gateways at key points.
  • Improve accessibility and safety for all users.

Tree lined streets: Station Road (West)

Tree lines streets: Station Road (West)

  1. Unobstructed footpath.
  2. Protected cycleway.
  3. Indented parking bay between planted build outs.
  4. General traffic and buses - 3.25m each way.
  5. Coordinated lighting columns/tree planting design.

(Note: Assumes undergrounding of exisitng overhead electricity supply).

Mason Avenue and High Street

These two streets include key community facilities and are used frequently by the community. The aim for these streets is to improve the layout and design of the streets:

  • Through introducing high quality footpaths, lighting and street furniture.
  • To provide safe and attractive connections between community facilities, Great South Road and public transport.

Mason Ave concept art

Community Streets Mason Ave concept art

  1. Unobstructed footpath.
  2. Protected cycleway level with footpath.
  3. Indented parking bay between planted build outs.
  4. General traffic and buses - 3.25m each way.
  5. Safe crossing provision.
  6. Coordinated lighting columns/tree planting design.

Community streets plan

Community Streets Plan


The design framework provides a consistent direction to the delivery of high quality accessible, connected streets and spaces in Otahuhu over time. It isn't proposed to deliver all the aspirations detailed within the framework at once.

The focus is on delivering a streetscape upgrade of the top of Mason Avenue.

This ensures a quality pedestrian environment connecting the Otahuhu Recreation precinct to the town centre. It will also adjoin a Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board funded project providing a safe pedestrian walkway through the Mason Avenue car park. This links Station Road to Mason Avenue.

The Mason Avenue Developed Concept overview

Mason Avenue Developed Concept Masterplan

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport