Manaaki. A new community in Auckland's oldest neighbourhood

Ockham’s 16th development – and first foray into Onehunga – is the acclaimed Auckland apartment builder’s biggest project yet. Ockham captain Mark Todd explains why Onehunga is a wonderful community for Ockham to join, and why Manaaki is a great option for the older buyer.

Set beside Jordan Park, bordered by a no-exit cul-de-sac, Manaaki – 210 apartments across four buildings – is just 400m from Onehunga Mall. The proximity to what Mark Todd considers is Auckland’s “most interesting and mildly eccentric main street” is one reason Ockham is so excited to be building in Onehunga. “I spent a day wandering slowly up one side of the Mall, then ambling back down the other,” he says. “I visited manufacturing jewellers, picture-framers, screen printers, curtain makers, sewing machine repairers, Pasifikan clothes merchants, tā moko tattooists, wedding dress purveyors and the greatest concentration of fine barber shops in the country. Onehunga has a little bit of everything. It’s diverse. Abuzz. It’s fantastic!”

Building within dynamic, well-connected neighbourhoods is a cornerstone philosophy at Ockham.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the wider Onehunga whānau,” Todd continues. “Of course, Manaaki will become its own wee community too. It’s shaping to have a lovely, almost old school Auckland demographic. Residents from a range of ages and stages of life. “We’ve sold most of our 87 KiwiBuild apartments, mostly to first-home buyers (and mostly to young couples and families). But we’re seeing heavy demand from older folk for the development’s 123 open-market apartments.” Indeed, the 60+ demographic is the company’s single greatest cohort across its 12 completed developments. “Some are ‘downsizers’: the kids have left home, and mum and dad are hankering for a simpler, streamlined life. They want to be closer to the action: close to public transport, close to shops, libraries and parks. They don’t want the ongoing slog of maintaining a standalone house and section way out in the ‘burbs. “They’re also keenly aware that their home is their single-most important asset. And that’s one of the advantages of buying an Ockham apartment. You own – it’s yours. As its value appreciates over time, you reap the rewards.”

“We take the long-term view at Ockham. We like to say: we make apartments, but we build communities. It’s why our shared facilities are centrepieces, not after-thoughts.”

Ockham captain, Mark Todd

A commitment to community

But there’s an even more powerful draw for older buyers. A desire for connection – for community – is something older Ockham buyers often share with him. “There’s an epidemic of loneliness out there,” Todd says. “It’s been the subject of numerous studies. It is now recognised as the biggest mental health issue in the western world.”

Society has become more atomised. “A lot of the bonds that bound us together – the churches, the clubs, the community dances – have frayed. And people miss that sense of being part of a village.”

We take the long-term view at Ockham,” Todd continues. “We like to say: we make apartments, but we build communities. It’s why our shared facilities are centrepieces, not after-thoughts.”

Manaaki takes this commitment to another level. A pool set within sub-tropical gardens. A sizeable residents’ lounge. Work-from-home offices in each of the four buildings. And an in-house café for residents and the wider community.

“Apartment living – when it’s done properly –gives the best of all worlds,” Todd says. “You can join in the communal buzz of the building when you want to, but have your own haven when you want time for quiet contemplation and Netflix!

“And then – at Manaaki – you have marvellously eclectic Onehunga on your doorstep, Auckland’s greatest parks just a short walk away. It’s simply a wonderful lifestyle.”

First published in Onehunga Community News, Thursday 6 May 2021.