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State ramps up house building in Rotorua with factory-built homes

Builtsmart Huntly factory. Image credit: TOM LEE/STUFF
Builtsmart Huntly factory. Image credit: TOM LEE/STUFF
Builtsmart in Huntly has a major contract with Kāinga Ora.

State ramps up house building in Rotorua with factory-built homes
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State house building is ramping up in Rotorua, with 37 pre-fab homes now in the pipeline.

Six are ready, a further 19 will come online by the end of the year and 12 will be completed in early 2023, Minister of Housing Megan Woods said in a statement on Thursday.

Kāinga Ora partner Builtsmart constructed the first batch at a factory in Huntly – it’s one of the country’s largest suppliers of offsite manufactured homes.

Rotorua is a priority for the Government, said Woods, who is also Minister for Building and construction.

It was not only an exciting time for the families moving into the first six homes, she said, but it was also an important moment for the city which was seeing more “green shoots of progress”.

“Since 2013 Rotorua has experienced a population surge of 9,000 people, while only issuing 1,500 consents. This Government is now working hard to help Rotorua fix this problem by pouring resource into the city.”

It was time for a new approach and forward-thinking to address the challenges faced by the New Zealand housing and construction market, she said in the statement.

“Off-site manufactured homes have numerous efficiency benefits; they can be built and installed on sites faster than traditional builds, there are fewer variables, like constraints on materials, and there is less construction waste, making for happy and healthy, sustainable homes.

“Building more warm, dry, good quality homes is a key part of our Government’s solution to New Zealand’s housing crisis, and we are focused on improving the speed and efficiency of housebuilding to enable the many new homes the country needs.”

Not all of Kāinga Ora’s new builds are manufactured offsite, however.

Across Rotorua, around 300 public homes were under construction or being planned, and out of the Government's 10,000 additional public homes, 209 were in Rotorua, Woods said.

The previously vacant 2ha site on the corner of Ranolf St and Malfroy Rd was purchased in mid-2021 by Kāinga Ora and is being developed for public housing in stages.

The second phase is in the planning stages and is expected to include a further 20 multi-storey homes.

These homes were in addition to a further 11 homes which had been completed in the past month, with a further 24 homes currently being built, Woods said.

Read article on Stuff.

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