The 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom homes were blessed on Thursday 25 November. The homes have been built on land owned by Kāinga Ora that has been vacant for some time.

The four homes are some of the first new public housing to be built in Kaiti since the 1980s. A ‘whatever it takes approach’ is being used to address the housing crisis in Tairāwhiti says Naomi Whitewood (Ngāti Porou, Ngapuhi), Kāinga Ora Regional Director. “We are looking at how we can build new, modern homes that make best use of the land we hold, and deliver homes of different sizes that best meet the current housing needs of the community.”

“Kāinga Ora is working with a range of build partners to get suitable housing on our vacant sections. We are having success with this approach. Two families moved into new four-bedroom homes in Dennis Street last month and 20 new public homes will have been completed in Kaiti in the next six months.”

Iconiq Construction, who run a building academy based in Gisborne, have built the Dennis and Oxford Street homes. The Ministry for Social Development (MSD) has funded the academy from the Māori Trades and Training Fund. Eight local building apprentices are assisting with the building of the homes.

The Iconiq Build Academy is also building relocatable homes at their Dunstan Road facility. When the homes are finished, they are moved to their permanent location. This month Iconiq Construction will move the first of these homes onto a Kāinga Ora section in Martin Road.

Other new Kaiti homes have been built off site and will be relocated onto Kāinga Ora sections.

Blessing of the new homes in Kaiti

In Daphne Street, two 2-bedroom homes were moved earlier this year. They were built at a build academy based at Springhill Corrections Facility near Huntly and transported to Gisborne.

Another new home was relocated onto a second vacant section in Martin Road in June. It was built by a building academy based at Massey High School in Auckland.

Local company Currie Construction is also building new homes for Kāinga Ora in Kaiti.

They are building nine new public homes in London Street including two that will be completed before Christmas. Currie Construction are also building seven new public homes in Tyndall Road. These are under construction and will be completed by mid-2022.

They have also built four homes in Alice Street in the last couple of years.

There are whānau who are really suffering out there because they have nowhere suitable to live, Naomi says. “These 20 new homes will all provide warm, dry and healthy homes for Tairāwhiti whānau and their tamariki to live well. Five years ago, we had an oversupply of public housing here and no new homes were being built. Now we have more than 500 applicants on the housing register. That is why we are working at pace to provide suitable housing to address that urgent need.”

All the new homes are built to 6 Homestar standard. This means the homes are healthier and more energy efficient for tenants and their whānau. Homestar, which is run by the New Zealand Green Building Council, is a national residential rating tool to evaluate homes in terms of their warmth, as well as their health, sustainability, energy and water efficiency qualities. Kāinga Ora has committed to ensuring all its new builds deliver at least to the 6 Homestar standard exceeding Building Code standards for warmth, dryness and health.

MSD matches whānau on the Public Housing Register with the suitability of the new homes. Obviously, larger or extended families are housed in the 4-bedroom homes. In some cases, we rehouse current tenants into something more suitable. For instance, we may rehouse a couple living in a 3-bedroom home into a one bedroom home.

More information

Kāinga Ora training and apprenticeships

Spring Hill and Rolleston Refurbishment Programme

East Cape/Tairāwhiti regioal developments

Media Contact

Page updated: 1 December 2021