Our waste minimisation programme prioritises house relocation and deconstruction over demolition, wherever possible. Relocation enables a whole house to be repurposed, while deconstruction allows for greater reuse of materials.

Relocation involves the transportation of existing public houses from development areas and providing them to training and afforable home ownership organisations, iwi and other groups who have the ability to refurbish them. This programme provides housing options for families with access to land, while also extending the life of public homes.

Deconstruction is a way of breaking down building materials for reuse and recycling. Its main focus is on reuse, which requires more sorting of materials, but also minimises the need for expensive, and noisy, heavy machinery like diggers.

Demolition relies more heavily on machinery to remove existing houses and will still be used for specific purposes. For example, when contaminants are found to be present, or when fire damage has occurred.

Leading the change

We have committed to relocating at least 10% of public houses from development areas nationally.

Within our deconstruction and demolition programmes, we aim to reuse or recycle 80% of uncontaminated materials by weight in Auckland and Northland development areas, and 60% of uncontaminated materials in all other regions. In the last year we diverted over 33,000 tonnes from landfill.

As well as putting targets in place, Kāinga Ora has established a national site clearance panel, which includes house relocation, deconstruction and demolition contractors.

Through the panel, we also aim to increase the number of businesses that are building capacity and capability in delivering sustainable site clearance services, which they can then offer to the wider market.

House relocation process

We have an expression of interest register for access to the public houses that are suitable to be relocated on land we will develop. Priority groups are training organisations and affordable home ownership organisations to ensure broader outcomes are achieved through relocating and refurbishing a house. In order of priority, we will then allocate homes to Māori, community housing providers, non-governmental organisations and private sector groups with land suitable for the houses to be relocated to.

Kāinga Ora will sell the house for $1 and will provide some financial assistance towards transport costs to all priority groups. This does not apply to private applicants who will be required to pay the market value for the house and cover any transport costs themselves.

To enable affordable home ownership, Training and Affordable Home Ownership organisations are able to sell the home once it has been refurbished at an affordable price to recover the refurbishment costs.  To monitor this, there are reporting requirements included in the agreement for Training and Affordable Home Ownership organisations.

House relocation Expression of Interest Register

Register your interest here(external link)

All registrations will need to provide evidence of:

  • Land ownership or licence to occupy.
  • Infrastructure, or planned infrastructure, is completed or underway.
  • Funds are available to consent, permanently pile and refurbish the home.

Infrastructure must be in place before the house is moved and successful applicants must ensure they have contacted the local council in advance of the relocation to apply for the relevant consent(s).


If you have any queries about the relocation programme, please email: relocationenquiries@kaingaora.govt.nz

Page updated: 20 November 2023