Auckland wave pool project gets latest approval, eyes breaking ground this year

New Zealand’s first surf park, the Auckland Surf Park, has been granted resource consent by the Ministry of the Environment. The ruling means that construction on the project located on Dairy Flat Highway can start later this year. It’s good news for developers Aventuur who are moving ahead with their Perth wave pool which is expected to open in 2026.

In addition to the surfing amenities, the park will feature high-performance sports facilities, eco-cabins, a farm-to-table restaurant, and public outdoor amenities including walking and cycling trails. Anticipated to generate over 400 jobs during construction and over 100 full-time 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 this was an important milestone.

“This is an exciting day for Auckland, surfing in New Zealand, and for Aventuur,” said Richard. “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.”

Auckland wave pool render
Auckland wave pool render shows lush vegetation incorporated into the surf park design.

Developers said that sustainability is a key focus of the project, with plans for a co-located solar farm and a Spark data center. Notably, excess heat from the data center, powered by renewable energy sources including on-site generation from the solar farm, will be harnessed to warm the surfing lagoon year-round.

They will also use ‘zero embedded carbon’ concrete, rainwater harvesting, on-site organic waste composting, and eliminating single-use plastics. The project also aims to procure local materials and regenerate existing streams on the property, while naturescaping outdoor areas with endemic local species.

To engage with local iwi, a cultural advisor has been enlisted, with several hui already held and ongoing visits by iwi representatives to the Auckland Surf Park site. The project has received support from national and local organizations, as well as backing from professional surfers like Paige Hareb, Ricardo Christie, and Olympic competitors Billy Stairmand and Saffi Vette.

The ruling means that construction on the project located on Dairy Flat Highway can start later this year.

Additionally, Surfing New Zealand, Skateboarding New Zealand, Scholastic Surfing Auckland, and other groups have expressed their support for the Auckland Surf Park project.

All Black legend, mental health advocate and lifelong surfer Sir John Kirwan is a partner in the project with Aventuur.

“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,” said John. “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.”

Construction is expected to commence in late 2024, with the park opening to the public in 2027, pending further regulatory approvals.

The project is seen as a significant opportunity to invigorate the tourism sector, create employment opportunities, and bolster the economy of the Auckland region.