Scaling up traditional build methods will not, on its own, enable us to produce housing quickly or cost effectively enough to meet the significant ongoing demand for public housing.

By reducing design, planning, and construction timeframes in a considered way, we can build more homes for whānau every year and provide a reliable pipeline of work for the construction industry.

The current HDS testing programme is crucial to ensuring a robust system that endures and can meet the ongoing need for public housing.

Mark Farrell, CEO, Miles Construction

“I’m finding this all really exciting. Everyone’s really keen to build and as volume ramps up we will continue to see the power of this approach to delivering houses,”

What are the results so far?

Christchurch HDS build in progress to completion

We’re consistently reducing the design to consent phase of houses by 94% - from 17 months to 6 weeks.

HDS is significantly reducing the time to complete pre-consenting, consenting and construction for housing projects. The system has been developed through integrating various principles including Lean, Kaizen and Agile.

Kāinga Ora is committed to creating improved value for the New Zealand public, the Government and our customers.

Halving build times

The average HDS construction time is currently just over 3 months, compared to the standard construction time of 8 months.

Kāinga Ora is motivated to deliver on targets that have never been reached before, by addressing inefficiencies in the residential construction sector and tackling the housing shortage.

Scott Cracknell, Principal Architect, Context

“My first thoughts on the time to plan and lodge the consent being only 6 weeks was, can we really get through the process in 6 weeks? Really? Seemed unbelievable.  Working collaboratively in person has made a much more significant difference than I ever thought was possible.”

How does the Housing Delivery System work?

Cross-functional professional teams work in person, co-ordinating and tracking the thousands of tasks involved in planning and building a home to schedule work more efficiently and make best use of resources.

This methodical approach means homes can be planned, designed and delivered in a more predictable and transparent way to existing ways of working.

Plan together, work together

Multi-disciplinary teams save time by troubleshooting on the spot rather than waiting for email replies

Every professional is together in one place from day one of the project; including architects, development and project managers, civil and structural engineers and landscape architects.

The HDS co-ordinates the thousands of tasks involved in planning and building a home to schedule the work more efficiently and make the best use of resources.

Professionals are asked to provide a realistic time they expect a task to take, called a ‘Reasonable Expectation’. This accuracy drives a reliable flow of work that enables predictable results.

Working side-by-side means different specialists understand how and why their individual tasks impact a housing project. Feedback from teams note the faster and effective in-person collaboration, the unique opportunity to learn regularly from other disciplines, the stronger sense of teamwork and overall efficiency and speed of project delivery.

Mathew Green, Project Lead & Architectural Graduate, Hierarchy Group, Christchurch

“From the outset you might think it seems like the system is stringent with all the planning and timekeeping involved but in reality the system underpins a really collaborative workspace which is a great place for change and innovation”

Where is the HDS delivering homes?

Homes are currently being planned and built with this method in:

  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Tauranga
  • Rotorua
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Palmerston North
  • Horowhenua
  • Hutt Valley
  • Whakatane
  • Opotiki
  • Gisborne
  • Nelson
  • Blenheim
  • Motueka
  • Christchurch
  • Ashburton
  • Timaru
  • Dunedin
  • Invercargill.

It’s important we understand how the HDS works in different regions, so we can keep improving it to operate at scale.

Chris Stevens, Project Manager, home Construction

“Having that openness to actually work out where that dead time sits and how we can actually manage the process better and still be able to deliver quality in a shorter timeframe has been a breath of fresh air.”

What’s next?

More quality building, faster. Following the success of the HDS throughout our pre-construction processes in reducing time, we are now testing the approach throughout our construction stages.

More predictable building timelines means the construction sector can work with more confidence, securing building materials, crew and sub-contractors in advance.

Our first Housing Delivery System builds are averaging 105 days construction time. We’re ultimately aiming to halve build times – from a traditional 8 months down to just over 2 months (a target of 65 days) – delivering more quality homes for whānau, faster.

Want to know more or work with us? Check out our vacancies page(external link) or get in touch

Continuous improvement

Kāinga Ora is continuously shaping systems to deliver better outcomes, to ensure we can deliver on our vision of building better, brighter homes, communities and lives across the motu. Buoyed by the success of the HDS, we have a dedicated Group continually identifying, supporting and implementing improvements to meet the ever-changing and ever-growing housing needs in Aotearoa. This team works alongside key Kāinga Ora business groups, supporting them to transform their delivery functions by providing the right expertise, capability and capacity at the right time and in the right way.

More information

Read the media releases:

Housing delivery system OIA [PDF, 527 KB] - June 2023