Copyright Natural Habitats 2016

Onehunga Foreshore

Forshore creation

Onehunga Foreshore


– ability to work in a consortium on a project of significant community importance

– expertise in recreating unique, natural habitats

– resources to handle the large scale planting and construction requirements of the project

Since the mid-1970s, the Onehunga community lost access to its beachfront and all the recreational activities it entailed on the Manukau Harbour when the Southwestern Motorway (SH20) was constructed.That connection has been restored in late 2015 in what has been described as the largest reclamation to be undertaken for recreational rather than commercial purposes in New Zealand.

The three-year, $28 million restoration project was completed by a consortium of companies led by Fulton Hogan’s Chris Marshall and with Isthmus Group’s Sean Burke as the landscape designer while Natural Habitats was contracted for the soft landscaping under the leadership of Barry Locke.

350,000 cubic metres of fill and the planting of some 140,000 plants and 350 trees later, Fulton Hogan and Natural Habitats have built a more natural environment for flora and fauna and the local community complete with:

  • 1.4km of new coastline including nine beaches nestled between rocky headlands (three sandy beaches for swimming and six gravel)
  • a 6.8 hectare seaside park on reclaimed land
  • a pedestrian and cycle bridge over SH20 to connect Onehunga Bay Reserve to the foreshore
  • a new boat ramp
  • pathways, park furniture, car park and a toilet block
  • grassy open spaces for picnics and recreation

The extensive planting of mainly natives will beautify the foreshore and enhance biodiversity, while the gravel/rocky beaches are already providing an improved habitat for birdlife including the endangered New Zealand dotterel which is already returning to the area in breeding pairs.

For our project leader, Barry Locke, the project site was a challenge as our team had to work alongside critical infrastructure including power, gas, telecommunication and water lines, and the motorway.

“Having large expansive areas of land available to us to stabilise then plant made this job a pleasure to work on,” explains Barry. “We were able to get in there and get stuck in making sure we were right in behind the civil works. The late addition of the 400 Pohutukawas’s along the roadside has given the job much more immediate impact. Fulton Hogan were a pleasure to work with on this. “