Design Urban under Steve Thorne was appointed as master planner to plan a 1,000 Hectare site which forms part of the Future Urban Zone to the south of Metropolitan Auckland. Areas within the site are prone to occasional flooding, and these were designed and incorporated as recreation and storm water management corridors to add significant character to the development. Auranga will ultimately be home to 130,000 people. It enjoys a new railway station and a street-oriented town centre focused on an existing body of water.

Auranga is designed to facilitate sustainable living with a particular focus on access to employment. Two independent economic studies estimate more than 100% job self-sufficiency will be achieved. This will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of this community, as cycling and walking routes are prioritised. Dedicated bike paths are provided along all collector and arterial roads, and centres are spaced to provide convenient walking access to services and amenities.