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Unitec deal marks major KiwiBuild milestone

Unitec deal marks major KiwiBuild milestone

The Government has announced the first major development under its ambitious KiwiBuild programme with the purchase of 29 hectares of land for thousands of houses in Auckland.

The land at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus, just 9km from Auckland’s CBD, will be transferred from Unitec to the Crown with the intention of building a community of between 3000-4000 homes.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says it’s an opportunity to build a whole new community around Unitec, and help address Auckland’s housing crisis.

“Too many Aucklanders are suffering because of the housing crisis. This Government will not sit around while children are living in cars and families are cramped into overcrowded housing. We need bold action to solve this.

“There will be a mix of affordable KiwiBuild homes for first homebuyers, public housing and open market houses.

“This is a beautiful and historic piece of land with natural features such as the Oakley Stream running through it. It’s close to education, employment and public transport. This new community will have open spaces, new parks and shops.

“We want to create a place for people to put down roots and to live, work, learn and play, for generations to come.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Iwi of the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau collective on this development, consistent with the agreements in their Treaty settlement,” Phil Twfyord says.

Unitec Chairman, Dr Lee Mathias, says the introduction of new homes would create a vibrant space around the campus. The sale of surplus land freed up capital currently used for maintenance work and provided funding for the institute’s ongoing development.

“We have enjoyed this stunning campus for 30 years and it will be fantastic to open the space up to others who will make it their home, grow businesses, and create a community. All proceeds of this sale will support the delivery of our teaching and learning programmes,” Lee Mathias says.

The announcement will be marked with an official welcome for the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford at Unitec’s Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae later this morning.

Further information is available at

Unitec Land for Housing
The Government has purchased land at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus in Auckland to develop housing.
About the site
• 29.3 hectares of land in Mt Albert, Auckland, within nine kilometres of the Auckland CBD.
• It is a mix of developed and undeveloped land, suitable for a master-planned, significant development.
• The site is zoned as residential (Mixed Housing Urban and Terraced Housing and Apartment Building), business (Mixed Use) and Special Purpose – Tertiary Education.
• The Crown has purchased the land from Unitec at market value.
• The site is subject to a right of first refusal and development protocol under the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Redress Act 2014.
• Unitec has already conducted comprehensive due diligence on the site’s housing potential, which suggests it is suitable for a large scale residential development approaching 3,000 houses.
• The transfer of the land from Unitec to the Crown represents an opportunity to help address the Auckland housing crisis, through delivering a significant number of high quality, affordable houses for first home buyers under the Government’s KiwiBuild programme.
• The Government’s vision is to develop this prime site with a mix of affordable KiwiBuild homes for first homebuyers, alongside public housing and open market homes. Our aim is to build a stunning urban community with great transport links and the best of urban design.
Land for Housing programme
• The land has been acquired under the Government’s Land for Housing programme, which converts existing Crown land and purchases additional land from the private market to provide residential land supply for development.
• The Land for Housing programme is one of four primary methods to facilitate KiwiBuild and wider housing development.

What is KiwiBuild?
KiwiBuild is an ambitious programme that aims to deliver 100,000 quality, affordable homes for first home buyers over the next decade. 50,000 of these homes will be in Auckland, to help meet the growing demand for housing stock in our biggest city.
Why do we need KiwiBuild?
For over a decade demand for housing in New Zealand has outstripped supply. Prices are increasing and homeownership rates are falling. There is a huge unmet need for affordable homes for first home buyers, which the market hasn’t been delivering. There’s also a need to encourage innovation and productivity in the sector. The Government has established KiwiBuild to help address these issues.
How will we deliver on KiwiBuild?
Construction of KiwiBuild homes will be financed by an initial $2 billion capital injection, which will be recycled as the houses are sold.
KiwiBuild will deliver 100,000 quality, affordable homes using four primary tools:
• Undertaking major urban redevelopment projects in partnership with iwi, councils and the private sector (this will deliver the bulk of KiwiBuild homes)
• Converting existing Crown land and purchasing additional land from the private market, which will be on-sold to development partners who commit to delivering KiwiBuild homes
• Purchasing or underwriting new affordable homes off the plans, to de-risk suitable developments led by the private sector and others, in exchange for accelerating a greater number of homes at KiwiBuild price points
• Identifying and leveraging opportunities to procure KiwiBuild homes through existing Government-led housing initiatives, such as those being undertaken by Housing New Zealand.
The KiwiBuild programme will also be supported by initiatives across Government to streamline planning and consenting processes, and provide a catalyst for innovation in the building and construction sector, such as increased use of prefabrication and modular housing, to speed the pace of new developments.
Over the next ten years KiwiBuild will deliver the step-change that New Zealand’s housing system needs, to support the creation of diverse, thriving communities of the future.
Who will deliver KiwiBuild?
A KiwiBuild unit has been established within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, to start delivering on the KiwiBuild programme. This is an interim measure while the Housing Commission is being established, which will eventually take over as the driver of the KiwiBuild programme.
The Government will work with iwi, councils and private developers to deliver the KiwiBuild programme.
Information for suppliers and developers
Houses will need to be delivered differently if we want to reach our goal of building 100,000 quality, affordable homes.
Given the pace at which the KiwiBuild programme is aiming to deliver, our initial focus is likely to be on partnering with developers and builders who have development-ready proposals set for consideration.
We expect to be going out to market soon with an invitation to participate in the KiwiBuild procurement process. Interested parties should register with the Government Electronic Tenders Service ( to receive updates.
Information for prospective homeowners
The focus of the KiwiBuild programme is on first home buyers, recognising that New Zealand’s housing system is currently failing to deliver to this segment of the market.
Further information will be available once the criteria for KiwiBuild home buyers is finalised.



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