Daisy – Let’s give them something to talk about

An elegant, six-storey building on the city end of Dominion Road, Daisy earned accolades – and opprobrium – for its revolutionary, sustainable approach to higher density city living.   

On its completion in 2018, Daisy hit headlines because it was an apartment building built without carparks. Instead, residents of Daisy’s 33 apartments live 80m from Auckland busiest bus route, have secure basement lockups for scooters and bikes and the use of a shared Cityhop vehicle. 

In a car-centric city like Auckland, this ruffled some fairly famous feathers. Broadcaster Mike Hosking penned a column in the New Zealand Herald decrying the absence of parking spaces: “Look at how many cars we have, look at the sales of cars, they're at record levels, why? Because we want and like cars, they suit our lives and the lives we choose to live.”  

Mike let his readers know that he wouldn’t buy an apartment unless it came with three carparks, and he also didn’t approve of the building’s name. “Daisy is the name of a cat or a dog – not a building,” The Hosk harrumphed. ”Buildings should have bold names like The Empire, or The Statesman.”

The publicity around The Hosk’s opinion piece created a noticeable spike in sales – so much so that Ockham sent him a bouquet of daisies when the development sold out soon after...

Soon, another media outlet, The Spinoff, chimed in. Publisher Duncan Greive came out in strongly in Daisy’s defence

“To Hosking, the removal of carparks is evidence of far-reaching and sinister anti-car agenda…” Duncan wrote. “Which is patently absurd. The removal of carparks from buildings with good access to public transport is practical, not ideological. Studies suggest carparks increase the cost of house construction by 25% or more, and require rents up to 63% higher.” 

Ockham captain Mark Todd then entered the fray, also in The Spinoff. “Aucklanders have the choice to live in well located buildings like Daisy without being forced to pay for a car park they may not want,” he wrote. "Daisy is pro-future, pro-choice and pro-environment.” 

New Zealand's only 10 Homestar rated apartment building

Ockham's Head of Architecture Tania Wong admits that it did take buyers some time to get their heads around a carpark-free building but, paradoxically, the publicity around Mike’s opinion piece created a noticeable spike in sales – to the extent Ockham sent him a bouquet of daisies when the development sold out soon after. 

"It was all good fun," Tania told Stuff. "But the carparking carry-on overshadowed the real innovations at Daisy. Every aspect of the building was designed and conceived to meet the highest possible environmental standards. We wanted to show it could be done." 

And it was done beautifully – Daisy was the first apartment building in New Zealand to achieve a 10 Homestar rating, thanks to a photovoltaic solar farm on the roof for on-site power generation, Zehnder heat recovery ventilation systems – which use less energy – and a rainwater harvesting system with basement storage tanks for reuse on-site. For further brownie points, the building’s Body Corporate tend to a community garden on an adjacent reserve. 

As for The Hosk’s aversion to the name, Todd’s reply in The Spinoff, neatly explained our decision.  “Daisy is located in Akepiro Street. Akepiro is a native tree colloquially known as New Zealand’s tree daisy. Seemed a no-brainer really – relevant, meaningful and beautiful, the antithesis of outmoded ideas…”