Next Stage of KiwiBuild Helps Fill Housing Supply Gaps

Stop gap measure – still needing Urban Development Authority


I’ll post the presser first to give the context that came out from Housing Minister Phil Twyford yesterday:

KiwiBuild: Opportunity for developers launched

  • Phil Twyford

Tender documents for the KiwiBuild ‘Buying off the Plans’ initiative – whereby the Government will underwrite or purchase new homes the private sector and others are developing – have been released today, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says.

“This initiative will help us develop more affordable homes for New Zealanders, sooner.

“There’s an obvious need for us to take urgent action to address the national housing crisis which is what this initiative is designed to do. It will operate alongside our work to fundamentally shift the housing market and help restore the Kiwi dream of home ownership by expanding the supply of affordable homes.

“We know that a common challenge faced by developers is the need to sell a significant proportion of dwellings off the plans in order to secure funding for construction, which means that developments can sometimes stall or be put on hold.

“The Buying off the Plans initiative is a unique opportunity for developers to partner with the Government to increase the supply of affordable housing. We’re essentially giving developers the certainty and backing they need to deliver suitable developments that would not otherwise proceed. It will also enable other developments to be finished at a faster pace than initially planned, in exchange for accelerating a greater number of affordable, KiwiBuild dwellings.

“Our intention is to have a number of these developments under contract in the second half of this year, which I’m confident we will be able to achieve given the positive response to our initial market sounding,” Phil Twyford says.

The Buying off the Plans initiative is specifically seeking proposals that either promise volume or innovation, for developments in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Napier-Hastings, Queenstown-Lakes District, Tauranga, Whangarei District and Nelson-Tasman. Proposals for other areas will also be considered. For this initial approach to market, priority will be given to developments that are able to commence within the 2018/19 and 2019/20 years. The opportunity will be re-opened later in 2018 for years 2020/21 onwards.

“This focus on innovation, alongside our focus on procuring at scale, recognises the kind of step-change we want to achieve with KiwiBuild. We need to think differently, and do things differently, to meet our target of building 100,000 homes over the next decade.

“Collaboration between the Government and developers is essential. I encourage developers to check out the Invitation to Participate on the Government Electronic Tenders Service website,” Phil Twyford says.

The Invitation to Participate (at is open until 8 June 2018. Further information is available at

Source: The Beehive


Essentially to help developers either get over the line with an entire new build or complete the stages of an existing build KiwiBuild will either underwrite the development per-se or purchase the houses off the plan (essentially the same thing as the first option).

Like the Special Housing Areas from National this underwrite scheme is a stop gap measure to get existing supply along but will do little for new supply that often needs major preparation work. While the SHA’s speed up planning processes (and nothing else) KiwiBuild will engage in the next step (given the Unitary Plan is operative) and get private developments over the line and started or finish existing ones off.

If anything else it has given certainty with an approximate five to ten year pipeline worth of work for those developer that have already done the leg work.


Leg work as in gone through resource consenting, any possible structure planning and of course local infrastructure builds – the very stuff that trips developments and Councils over.

If a developer or even Council has not done the leg work (will be the case with Greenfield, and large Brownfield like Transform Manukau) then supply seizes back up again.


The latest initiative is a backstop but not a replacement for the Housing Commission Urban Development Authority. This UDA will need the full powers of planning, consenting, infrastructure builds, housing builds and community infrastructure builds to insure we have a 5-50 year secure pipeline. Yes the Private Sector would be most able to chip in and for them they win due to that long and super long term pipeline giving them better security than the boom and busts we have now.


Urban Geography, Urban Planning, Urban Design and Engineering – all in action in Cities Skylines