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New Zealand Public Housing Pilot To Feature At UN Climate Change Conference

An innovative new Kāinga Ora public housing pilot tackling climate change in the built environment will feature on the world stage at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26).

Ngā Kāinga Anamata, meaning ‘homes of the future’, is a sustainability project aimed at driving carbon emission reduction in New Zealand’s construction industry. The project has been selected as one of only 17 initiatives worldwide to be on show in the COP26 ‘Build Better Now’ virtual pavilion from October 31.

The project will deliver 30 new homes within five, three-level apartment buildings in Auckland’s Glendowie. Each near identical building will use a different construction technology1, enabling sustainability insights to be gathered on a range of building materials and systems.

Kāinga Ora Commercial Director Matt Noyes, says Ngā Kāinga Anamata has a firm focus on achieving the Government’s carbon emission targets, with significant benefits to occupants.

“The buildings will achieve significantly reduced carbon and energy outputs; achieving both Passive House standard, and net zero energy,” he says.

“By focusing on the trifecta of using low carbon materials, operational energy efficient solutions and local renewable energy generation we have managed to slash lifecycle carbon emissions to a fraction of what they are in a traditionally New Zealand built home. Construction and monitoring of these buildings will now help us understand the overall cost and benefits of low-carbon public housing, and report our insights back to the industry.

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“Importantly, the individuals and whānau who will live in these homes will enjoy a high performing, thermally comfortable and healthy home, and a genuine solution to fuel poverty.”

Kāinga Ora Board Chair Vui Mark Gosche says global recognition of the industry-leading development is significant for Kāinga Ora.

“‘Build Better Now’ involved a rigorous selection process, and the successful projects are those making an immediate positive impact on both the planet and people’s lives. As a major property developer and public housing landlord these outcomes are critically important to Kāinga Ora,” he says.

“Ngā Kāinga Anamata seeks to resolve many underlying problems with the housing sector in Aotearoa and is the start of a national response to climate change mitigation in the built environment.

“The homes we build today will set the path for our carbon emissions in the decades to come. We need to be part of the solution, driving innovation and transformation now to ensure good health and climate safety for future generations.”

Ngā Kāinga Anamata also aims to address holistic environmental and sustainability challenges, including water scarcity, construction and demolition waste and biodiversity loss by actively protecting, restoring and supporting local ecosystems. Planned native biodiversity corridors and large pockets of regenerated native forest will provide a network of plant life supporting insects, birds and other animals so they can co-exist and thrive alongside the new development.

Kāinga Ora has already committed to the performance standard of achieving a 6 Homestar rating on all new builds, and Ngā Kāinga Anamata is on track to achieve 9 Homestar.

Ngā Kāinga Anamata is due to begin construction in early-to-mid 2022, this public housing development will achieve MBIE’s Building for Climate Change programme targets, reaching the proposed 2030 final operational efficiency cap by 2024; six years ahead of expectation.

The ‘Build Better Now’ virtual pavilion is free and open virtual exhibition and events series highlighting the built environment’s role in tackling the climate and biodiversity/ecological crises. It will be live from 31 October at

For more information on Ngā Kāinga Anamata, see


1 The five construction materials used are: mass timber/cross laminated timber (CLT); light timber frame (LTF); precast concrete; light gauge steel and a hybrid CLT/LTF.

Project details:

  • 5 x three storey walk-up buildings, each using a different construction method
  • 30 x two-bedroom homes in total
  • Each building will achieve Passive House standard and will be net zero energy
  • Expected construction period: Q1 2022 to mid-2024
  • 3 other buildings not part of the R&D project will also be built within the development

Project Partners

  • Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ)
  • Context Architects - Architects
  • Robert Bird Group – Structural Engineers
  • Aurecon – Services Engineers & Passive House Designer
  • Resilio Studio – Landscape Architects
  • Ortus International – Quantity Surveyors
  • Sustainable Engineering – NZ Passive House Certifiers
  • Revolve – PV System Designers
  • Marshall Day – Acoustic Engineers
  • Holmes Fire – Fire Protection Consultants

COP26 ‘Build Better Now’
Live: 31 October - 12 November 2021
Social: @buildbetter_now | #buildbetternow
Press Contact: ING Media |

About Build Better Now at the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion

Build Better Now is a collaborative project co-owned by over 100 partner organisations from across the built environment sector, for which UKGBC is acting as a secretariat. This coalition has come together to ensure that the sector’s key role in addressing the climate and ecological emergencies is brought to the forefront - in the run-up to, during and far beyond COP26.

The Virtual Pavilion aims to showcase the relationship between the built environment and climate change, both as a part of the problem and the solution. It will comprise an exhibition of global exemplar projects and places, within a bespoke virtual reality (VR) space, as well as a major series of events and downloadable content – to include keynotes, panel discussions and more. This year for the first time, COP26 will feature a dedicated Built Environment Day.

To enable maximum participation from around the world, Build Better Now at the Built Environment Virtual Pavilion at COP26 will be hosted online from 31st October to 12th November 2021, and will be free to access for all.


MBIE is developing proposals to set required levels of energy efficiency and indoor environmental qualities for new buildings to reduce carbon emissions from New Zealand homes and buildings whilst also making them healthier, warmer, drier and more adapted to a changing climate, which would make developments like Ngā Kāinga Anamata the norm from 2030.

Developed specifically to align accelerate the industry’s uptake and delivery of the MBIE Building for Climate Change programme, Homestar Version 5 has also adopted many of the
Passive House Standard’s principles and methods. In this manner the two are complementary, meaning buildings such as Ngā Kāinga Anamata that achieve the Certified Passive House standard are accepted as best practice for many of the Homestar version 5 requirements.

The Passive House Standard originated in Germany. It is recognised internationally as a best practice benchmark for low energy use, indoor environmental quality and health performance, especially when applied to social housing.

New Zealand currently has approximately61certified Passive Housesand more on the way.The Passive House Institute NZ, Te Tōpūtanga o te Whare Korou ki Aotearoa has a list of certified Passive Houses on their website:

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