Manukau is the largest and most established of Auckland's nodes outside of the city centre. Its civic, retail, education and cultural facilities provide for the wider population of the south.
Close proximity to key distribution and transport links, including the southern and north-eastern motorways, the inland Port at Wiri and the Auckland International Airport, underpin a strong employment base and local economy.
Manukau and the surrounding business area produce about 14 per cent of Auckland's gross domestic product (Gross domestic product is for the combined local board areas of Māngere- Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Manurewa. It is measured in 2010 prices.'). (Infometrics, 2016)
Manukau is currently undergoing major transformation that fosters and builds on the existing pride, values and culture of its people. The momentum of change and development in this area will drive demand for a more diverse range of services and activities.
The Manukau area
Similar to other nodes such as Albany, Manukau centre was planned in the 1960s. It was designed as a major administrative and commercial centre that would service southern Auckland, at a time when the area was predominantly rural.
From the outset Manukau received significant public and private investment, which allowed it to develop over time into a large centre. It played an important role of servicing a fast growing population in the southern part of Auckland.
Several government functions and service agencies were shifted into purpose-built office buildings well before the wider area developed. The Manukau mall followed in 1976 and Rainbow's End theme park opened in 1982.
The last decade has seen Manukau mature in its role as the commercial, cultural and educational node for southern Auckland.
Recent developments in the centre include:
- public space improvements
- the building of residential apartments
- expansion of the shopping centre
- completion of a multi-purpose events centre.
In April 2012 a fully integrated rail station and university campus development was completed and Manukau was connected to the Auckland rail network.