We need partners who understand us and our mandate, are responsive to our requests, and can be honest with us when we’re not enabling the best outcome for New Zealanders today and for many years to come.

Effective from December 2022, our Design Panel of architects, urban designers and landscape architects will be in place simplifying the procurement for design and construction of new build projects, and deepening their understanding the outcomes Kāinga Ora has been mandated to achieve.

Director of Architecture, Marko den Breems, is confident the panel is a win-win for all involved.

“Currently projects go through a procurement process on a project by project basis. Its repetitive, time consuming, and inefficient for both us and design consultants.  The panel will make engaging members simpler, including direct appointment for smaller projects.“

Earlier this year over 150 businesses bid for a place on the panel, and the selection process is now complete with nearly 70 businesses throughout New Zealand having signed or about to sign a contract with Kāinga Ora.

“We’ve always said that we see the Design Panel covering 80% of our requirements.  That’s pretty high level as we do have projects with specific needs such as supported housing developments like Greys Ave in Auckland. In design, some of these are more aligned to healthcare facilities than residential, and those skills might not be accessible through members of our design panel.”

Breaking down barriers that are inefficient is one thing, but deepening relationships with design consultants is core to delivering better housing outcomes for New Zealanders.

“The panel will enable us to match the right team to new projects as we’ll have much better understanding of members’ skills. That on its own is a huge win for us, but what I’m looking forward to most is members deepening their understanding of not just our design requirements, but also our mandates in areas like innovation, sustainability and social outcomes.

“We’ve also stood up a new team of relationship managers to ensure transparency, fairness, and 360 feedback is achieved for both our members and all of us at Kāinga Ora so it’s a real step change for us and how we work with consultants.“

The Design Panel members will be the source for design consultants to support the majority of Kāinga Ora new public housing and large scale urban development projects, with most contracts effective from 1 December 2022.