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KiwiBuild: Govt signals interest in prefab manufacturing

Prefab manufacturing of housing will be a "game changer" in New Zealand, Housing Minister Phil Twyford says.

Phil Twyford Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Mr Twyford announced today the government will formally invite expressions of interest in off-site construction for KiwiBuild houses - from companies both here and overseas.

KiwiBuild is designed to help first home buyers, especially in Auckland, get into the property market. The aim is to build 100,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years.

Mr Twyford hoped that more than half of the KiwiBuild homes would be built in off-site factories.

"High tech manufacturing of homes, as is done in Europe and North America, could allow us to build KiwiBuild homes at scale and pace," he said in a statement.

However, he said it would take a few years to establish a factory line large enough to build the required number of prefab homes to get on top of the housing crisis.

However National's spokesperson for Housing and Urban Development Judith Collins has accused the Housing Minister of creating confusion and bringing the construction sector to a grinding halt.

"After six years and eight months he can't answer basic questions like how the industry would be funded, how the industry and buyers would get around bank lending restrictions, how he would free up land to build houses on and how he would get around his government's immigration chaos to find the construction workforce needed," said Ms Collins.

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"His only hope is that the private sector he has so consistently disparaged will have the answers.

"Mr Twyford has spent years claiming he would build 100,000 affordable houses for New Zealanders, no ifs or buts. Now his KiwiBuild pipedream has descended into farce," Ms Collins said.

The government will announce the details of large-scale urban developments for KiwiBuild homes in the next few weeks.

There are eight Auckland locations the govenment is currently doing due diligence on.


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