We discuss opportunities for innovative investment and partnership in Auckland with Kerrie Young, Director, Strategic Urban Partnerships at Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, as part of the New Zealand government’s collaborative approach to housing and urban development.
What is the importance of infrastructure in housing development and how does this fit with your business objectives?
Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities was established to provide high-quality housing options for all New Zealanders. We have two main roles. The first is to be a world-class public housing provider. The second is to work with communities to improve the urban development environment and develop land to provide more opportunities in the housing market.
Our regeneration projects and the public housing construction programme make us one of the largest developers in New Zealand. And as any developer will tell you, the provision of infrastructure, where and when it is needed to enable development and increased density, is vitally important.
We don’t just mean transport and water, but also community infrastructure, such as access to local shops and the amenities needed to support great communities.
What does private participation in infrastructure and housing transactions by capital providers look like to you?
It would be unusual to see private capital investors in infrastructure projects. If they were to participate in housing, then I’d hope it would be with ethical objectives around housing outcomes. I’d like to see institutional capital providers investigate and support financing for more innovative housing projects. For example, unlocking housing opportunity for Māori on their leasehold land or support for offsite housing manufacturers.
How could the challenge of finding available building skills for housing be eased?
The government has introduced measures to encourage young people into trades training to ease the pressure. I’d like to see more support for vocational training in our high schools and for tradespeople and building companies to employ young people.
What are Kāinga Ora’s initiatives to increase the availability of housing in Auckland?
We currently have large-scale urban regeneration projects in Mt Roskill, Māngere, Northcote, Oranga, Hobsonville Point, and Tāmaki. In total, over 1200 super lots will be available to developers over the next 15-plus years, delivering around 40,000 new homes on completion.
Each large-scale development delivers a mix of approximately a third state, a third market and a third affordable housing, such as KiwiBuild, across various typologies to increase housing quality and choice.
By removing old homes on state-owned land that are no longer fit-for-purpose, we’re able to build up rather than out. In Roskill Development, for example, this approach is enabling around 3000 old state homes to be replaced with 11,000 new warm, dry homes for Aucklanders.
What would your vision for Auckland be in this space?
I'd like to see a co-ordinated and collaborative approach from all levels of government and agreement on priority areas for urban development across Auckland. By aligning our collective budgets and programmes, infrastructure – both hard and community – could be provided when and where residents need it.
I’d also like to see greater availability and community reliance on public transport, prioritising this over development that encourages private vehicles.
Which Kāinga Ora initiatives are best suited to international developers, subcontractors or technology providers?
Kāinga Ora is open to exploring how we might enable the development of purpose-built rentals such as build to rent. There may be opportunities for international developers, ethical investors or socially responsible capital investors to enter the New Zealand market. Our mandate is broad, and we are open to opportunities and ideas.
What is the best way for international developers, subcontractors or technology providers to engage with you?
Kāinga Ora recently established a new Commercial Group, to provide a ‘front door’ for builders and developers interested in partnering with us. This will enable clearer, more streamlined ways of working, while allowing Kāinga Ora to keep abreast of new developments and innovations in the market.
Enquiries can be directed to Neil Mayo, Chief Commercial Officer CCO@kaingaora.govt.nz
Find out more
Given the substantial scale of housing delivery required in Auckland, there are opportunities for capital providers to participate at various levels through different structures.
Contact Investment Specialist Aldrin Thayalakal to learn more about investing in Auckland, New Zealand.
This article provides general information on potential investment opportunities in Auckland and is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial advice. The views and opinions expressed are those of the relevant author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Auckland Unlimited. Auckland Unlimited disclaims all liability in connection with any action that may be taken in reliance on this article, and for any error, deficiency, flaw or omission contained in it.