Ministers check out innovative new homes in Avondale
31 March 2022
Just before the first customers move into their brand new, two-bedroom Kāinga Ora homes in Avondale, a handful of special guests took a sneak preview.
Associate Minister for Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni, New Lynn MP Deborah Russell and Kāinga Ora board member Penny Hulse joined staff for a tour of the newly finished 18 home Taramea St complex.
The three-storey development, which took two years to complete, was built using a combination of traditional building methods, as well as more innovative off-site manufacturing (OSM) approaches, explained Director Delivery, Ken Lotu-Iiga.
All 18-bathroom pods were made using OSM and lifted into place on site. The development also uses cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, which are similarly manufactured off-site. CLT is a low-energy material which enables reduced embodied carbon emissions, Ken said.
The complex is the third of four Kāinga Ora developments to use CLT and OSM techniques; nearby Canal Rd in Avondale, and Busby Rd in Blockhouse Bay are now complete. Work on Woodward Rd in Mt Albert began in late 2021.
“OSM has a role to play as we work to increase public housing stock through new builds,” Ken said, adding Kāinga Ora is currently using OSM techniques in about 15 to 20 percent of new builds, and is looking to increase that by 20 percent year on year.
Ken said the adaptability of OSM means it can tackle some of the major challenges of the construction industry, such as speed and constraints on trade and materials.
Six ground-floor homes, which include features of universal design have already been assigned to people who require them. These customers will move in next week, explained Team Leader Housing Support Patrick Jeffery.
Features of these homes include windows with handles that are easy to open with one hand, wider areas for wheelchair access, bench tops and cabinetry using contrasting colours for visual ease, tapware with lever handles, and a toilet on the main living level which can be converted to a fully accessible space if required.
“Our placement team is working hard to match the remaining 12 homes to customers. The new residents of Taramea St will have the added benefit of Housing Support Managers with smaller portfolios because of the Customer Programme currently being rolled out.
“This means they will have the time needed to work more meaningfully with our customers, build trust, and support them to live well in their homes,” Patrick said.
Jody Jackson-Becerra, Manager of Community Engagement and Partnerships, says Kāinga Ora has held several activities to ensure community input into Avondale, including inviting children from the local primary school to contribute to the Welcome Packs customers receive when they move into their new homes.
Handing over the keys to Patrick Jeffery, Programme Manager Alex Tofono said it was great to see years of hard work and planning turn into warm and dry homes for the community.
“It’s always a rewarding part the role when I present the keys and our customers get their homes.”
Page updated: 31 March 2022