The outcomes we are asked to achieve as Kāinga Ora go beyond being a social landlord or urban development agency, and our legislative framework puts in place operating principles that enable us to have a much larger impact on New Zealand and the quality of New Zealanders’ lives.

This mandate is reflected in our Vision Statement:

Building better, brighter homes, communities and lives.

We’ve been given a broader range of responsibilities, customers and stakeholders to work with, and the foundations for our success begin with a deep understanding of communities and the challenges they face right across New Zealand.

Fundamentally we are an organisation that cares and aligned to our values of:

Manaakitanga - People at the heart

Mahi Tahi - Better together

Whanake - Be bold

Our core purpose as an organisation is to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

The gift of our name

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities is a special name and it’s significant because of the mahi (work) we are setting ourselves up to do, working in partnership with Māori.

‘Kāinga’ is about a home, rather than a whare (house).

‘Kāinga Ora’ is about well-being.

Kāinga Ora means: wellbeing through places and communities.

To understand more about how we got our name and the meaning behind it,  Te Ariki Pihama – Te Ringa Raupa - Chief Advisor Māori at Kāinga Ora popped in to have a kōrero with Minister Nanaia Mahuta at Parliament.

Watch the video(external link) or download Kāinga Ora - how to say our name [PDF, 64 KB].

World-class public housing landlord

Kāinga Ora provides tenancy services to nearly 200,000 customers and their whānau and owns and maintains nearly 69,000 public houses while also providing home ownership products and other services. We are focusing on prioritising our tenants’ wellbeing, and provide tenants with good quality, warm, dry and healthy homes.

Urban development

Kāinga Ora is also focused on delivering quality urban developments that connect homes with jobs, transport, open spaces and the facilities that communities need. This includes accelerating the availability of build-ready land, and building a mix of housing including public housing, affordable housing, homes for first home buyers and market housing of different types, sizes and tenures.

We have delivered nearly 7,000 homes in the past four and half years, the vast majority being newly built homes and our assets are worth nearly $40 billion.

Through our large-scale developments up to 40,000 public, affordable and market homes will be delivered over the next 10-15 years.


Kāinga Ora can not do all this alone. We are partnering with others, including councils, government agencies, local government, Māori and mana whenua, infrastructure providers, private developers, and community housing providers. We will enable and complement, rather than compete with, the private market.

Partnering with Māori

One of our key functions is to understand, support and enable Māori aspirations for urban development. This means operating in a way that provides for early and meaningful engagement with Māori when doing urban development, understanding Maori perspectives and the active pursuit of opportunities for Māori to participate in urban development.

Our place in the public housing system

Kāinga Ora and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development have complementary roles in housing and urban development. The Ministry is responsible for leadership in the housing and urban development system, policy, monitoring and advising the Government on strategic direction.

We also work closely with the Ministry of Social Development, which is responsible for working with people who need housing, income and employment support and helping people access and sustain long-term accommodation, and help meet the cost of short-term, emergency accommodation.


Page updated: 8 June 2022