We collaborate with our development and build partners to create innovative approaches to boost the quality and speed of delivery of new homes while maintaining affordability and ensuring health and wellbeing benefits for residents.

Our innovation teams already collaborate with Scion, BRANZ, Callaghan Innovation and other industry leaders. Opportunities we have been working on for new technologies, processes and products that have disruptive potential include: 

  • In-house research and development programmes for building materials and systems
  • A GIS platform to visualise flood, geotechnical and planning zones over 3D satellite imagery, allowing feasibility analysis of 3D building concepts
  • Replacing individual build contracts with multi-year Construction Partnering Agreements, providing our partners with the certainty they need to innovate and scale up
  • Speeding up consenting timeframes through standard, repeatable and pre-approved designs that are Lifemark and Homestar-rated
  • Partnering with Piritahi to streamline the civil works needed to get land ready for building on in our large-scale developments.

We are expanding the use of offsite manufacturing as a construction method, as well as using modular design and high-tech building materials such as cross-laminated timber.

Many of our older homes are damp and hard to heat. We’re modernising our existing housing stock and building new, modern homes that are more energy and water efficient. This will make our housing healthier for homeowners and the planet. Our new homes are exceeding Building Code requirements. Energy efficient lighting, water efficient fixtures, insulation, and double glazing makes our homes warmer and less expensive to live in.


As part of our commitment to sustainability and our overall contribution to the environment, Kāinga Ora has actively stepped into the global green building movement by committing all its new homes will be built to 6 Homestar standard.

This means homes will be built to be warmer, healthier, more energy efficient for tenants and their whānau.

Homestar, which is run by the New Zealand Green Building Council, is a national residential rating tool to evaluate homes in terms of their warmth, as well as their health, sustainability, energy and water efficiency qualities.

Our move to 6 Homestar means our new homes will far exceed Building Code standards for warmth, dryness and health.

Kāinga Ora’s massive new builds programme means there are already more than 3,000 public housing homes being built with this rating around New Zealand.

Read how one of our tenants is already feeling the benefits of his new 6 Homestar Christchurch home.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT)

In cities, we are building an increasing number of three-storey walk-ups made of cross laminated timber (CLT). This modern material has the structural strength of concrete or steel and can be cut into pre-fabricated panels in a factory – reducing construction time on site.

Watch this time-lapse video to see how quickly, quietly and efficiently a small CLT apartment building can be completed in established suburbs such as Auckland’s Ponsonby.

Page updated: 12 May 2020