The family recently moved in to their new three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse in Rotorua – one of the first KiwiBuild homes to be built in the city.

“This home is one of our biggest achievements,” says Venkat.

“We are so happy and so glad. Our daughter is excited, she is running everywhere. At our other place we didn’t have much space for her to run and play. We wanted to buy a home for her future.”

Venkat and Sowmya’s property is one of the first eight KiwiBuild homes in Rotorua’s new Mountview Green neighbourhood, which is being built by property development company Watchman Capital.

Construction is about to begin on another 27 KiwiBuild homes in Stage Two of Mountview Green. When the development is complete there will be 35 KiwiBuild homes in total.

Prior to purchasing, Venkat and Sowmya were renting and also spent time living with another Rotorua family.

“It was really challenging to buy a home within our budget, and I think our chances would have been only 10 percent without KiwiBuild,” says Venkat, who works as a Practice Manager for a local dental surgery.

Jenna outside of her new home

A few doors down, Jenna is also settling into her new KiwiBuild home. The 28-year-old bought the property by herself, after saving since university.

“I started looking to buy in 2020 after COVID stalled my OE plans, so I decided to put my savings towards a home,” says Jenna, who moved to Rotorua in 2017.

“It’s really exciting. I am also aware that I am lucky, as without the KiwiBuild opportunity I would probably not own a home. I would have been very limited with what I could buy.”

Caroline McDowall, Kāinga Ora General Manager Commercial, says the 35 new KiwiBuild homes at Mountview Green will provide much needed affordable housing for Rotorua.

“We are pleased to partner with Watchman Capital to bring new, affordable homes to the Rotorua community.

“These KiwiBuild properties will give more whānau and individuals the opportunity to achieve the security of home ownership, while increasing the supply of homes in a region with high housing need.”

Watchman Capital Directors Marcus and Andrea Jacobson says first home buyers are an important part of the Mountview Green development.

“We want to help get more families into their first homes. It has been hugely satisfying to see the first KiwiBuild buyers move in,” says Andrea, adding the homes have been designed with families in mind.

“We have three kids of our own, so we know what a family needs, while still being affordable. Practical things like storage and a kitchen that is big enough for a family to cook in.”

Kāinga Ora administers the KiwiBuild programme on behalf of the Government. It involves Kāinga Ora partnering with residential developers to expedite the delivery of new and affordable homes in areas of demand.

As of 28 February 2022, around 1,300 KiwiBuild homes have been built throughout the country, with more than 900 under construction across multiple developments.

Learn more about the KiwiBuild programme(external link)

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Page updated: 14 April 2022