What goes into ‘building a community’

People standing round at an opening ceremony of a housing development

Opening of Coburg Street development in Auckland

Kāinga Ora builds effective and collaborative partnerships so we can understand how best to serve a community’s needs for urban development and renewal, as well as housing. Putting the community at the centre of development is essential to creating a sense of ownership and pride of place for residents, both old and new.

We recognise that every new development Kāinga Ora undertakes has an impact on the people who live there. That means we can only be successful by involving the community in the development process from the outset in a way that’s meaningful to them.

Kāinga Ora works alongside stakeholders such as mana whenua, residents, schools, local government and community groups to understand the unique needs of each development area. We use a range of tools to work with communities such as community reference groups, design labs, and public information days.

Our approach to working with the community

We understand that development works can be disruptive for people living nearby so we recognise it’s important to keep in touch.

We inform neighbours and stakeholders about what’s happening at each stage of a new development and answer any queries that people may have.

Our team of staff includes development managers who can answer questions relating to any technical aspect of a project while our stakeholder relationship managers ensure the lines of communication are kept open at all times on a range of other issues.

We communicate with neighbours in many ways, including in person and by mail. Our stakeholder team will write to neighbours and inform them about the various stages of a development. This communication includes:

  • Sharing draft plans
  • Sharing completed site plans
  • Letting residents know when a resource consent has been granted
  • Confirming when demolition works will start
Some of the ways we communicate with our neighbours

Some of the ways we communicate with our neighbours

Engaging with the wider community may include hosting meetings and community information sessions. These sessions can involve local schools, early childhood centres, local businesses, local churches and faith-based organisations, residents associations, MPs, and local government, community groups, iwi/mana whenua representatives, and any other organisation or individual who wants to be informed or involved.

Our Community Development team will often organise open home and “meet your neighbour” events before families move into new state homes and will assist tenants to settle into their homes.

Find out more about small to medium-scale development opportunities we are exploring.

Tenants' choice to return

To meet growing demand for warm, dry state houses, Kāinga Ora is building thousands of new homes on land we own. Before we can start though, we often have to rehouse tenants into another home to make way for redevelopment.

The importance of community

We understand that leaving your community can be stressful and disruptive so Housing New Zealand has created a policy to provide all tenants affected by redevelopment, the choice to return to their local community as soon as possible.

What happens if we plan to redevelop

If you are affected by redevelopment and have to be rehoused, a Tenancy Liaison Officer will ask you about your preferences for areas to live in. They will take into account the location of places you need to visit often such as schools, workplaces, doctors, churches, etc.

That means if we have to rehouse you we will try our best to:

  • Find a permanent home in your current community, if that’s what you prefer.
  • If we can’t find a suitable home in your local community straight away, we will move you temporarily and prioritise the search for a replacement home for you.
  • If you don’t want to remain in your local community, or if you find you are happy in a home outside the area, you will not have to return to the original suburb.

The Choice to Return policy has been created to house as many of our tenants as possible in communities that fit with their lives. It might take time to find the house that does fit but freeing up land to build more homes ultimately increases the prospects for everyone. If you are affected by one of our redevelopments and have to move, the decision on which community you live in will be lead by you.

Leasing your home to us

From time to time, Kāinga Ora will lease a privately owned property to meet demand for suitable housing in certain areas. Our Home Lease product gives property owners stable, long term, continuous income regardless of the status of vacancies. We lease from a range of property investors, from individual residential owners to larger property developers.

Find out more information on leasing your home(external link).

Page updated: 12 May 2020