Throughout New Zealand the demand for both market and state housing is increasing. This means innovative approaches are needed to deliver more quality homes, at a faster rate, and with the best possible outcomes for people, communities, and the construction industry.

Off-site manufacturing (OSM) is one build method that we are scaling up. It’s a key strategy in our 2019-2023 Statement of Intent and Building Momentum–Construction Plan for Future Homes, and an OSM Plan is being developed to drive innovation and output.

OSM products can range from panels and modular room pods to complete homes that can be manufactured offsite, then transported and installed at the build site. OSM construction is comparable in cost to traditional builds but produces less waste and can be installed on sites faster.  Importantly, these homes meet quality and sustainability thresholds expected of a traditional build in New Zealand, including 6 Homestar ratings and Healthy Homes standards.

Over the last two years an OSM pilot programme has allowed opportunities to trial and evaluate more offsite products and design solutions.

One standout pilot is the 18-home Busby Street development in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, built by Miles Construction. The three-storey walk-up apartment buildings combine a mix of OSM technology, including Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels from Xlam. Engineered light timber frame panels and factory-built bathroom pods from Concision are also used.  Busby Street has also become our second development to achieve a 7 Homestar rating.

Nick Maling, General Manager National Services, expects to see a significant increase of OSM in Kāinga Ora housing developments over the coming years.

“Kāinga Ora is New Zealand’s largest housing provider and is delivering the highest number of newly built state homes in over 20 years.  Though we are in the early stages of scaling up OSM as part our build programme, already about 15 percent of homes currently under construction or in design within our developments utilise OSM techniques.”

“Top of mind for us is the increasing number of people and families requiring a warm, dry and safe place to live.  As we continue to respond to this need we have to think differently about how we match demand with supply.”

“Over the next 12 months we are intending to intensify use of volumetric modular OSM in particular, as a means of further accelerating immediate housing supply. The key to success will be collaboration and cooperation.”

The Construction and Innovation unit is investigating the capacity of OSM suppliers around New Zealand to supply OSM homes at scale. If you’re a supplier of OSM homes in New Zealand and would like to know more about the type of OSM homes Kāinga Ora needs, please email

Kāinga Ora is also supporting the PrefabNZ COLAB21 conference(external link) in October this year, and staff look forward to engaging with OSM suppliers then. 

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Page updated: 8 July 2021