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Sun October 20 2019

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New Zealand pushes offsite construction

18 Sep New Zealand’s government is targeting an increase the use of offsite manufacturing to boost the supply of housing construction.

Megan Woods
Megan Woods

It is taking action to ensure that the construction industry is ready and able to deliver greater quantities of warm, dry, affordable homes, said housing minister Megan Woods.

She was speaking during visit to view KiwiBuild houses that are being built at the Petone offsite house-building factory before being shipped up to Maraenui in Napier.

“Under this government we’re building the most homes since the 1970s, with a record $13bn of residential construction in the last year, but we need to do even more to tackle the housing shortage. We need to find new ways to get houses built more quickly and off site manufacturing is one of the ways we will do this,” said Woods.

“Offsite manufacturing has the potential to transform the building sector, and drive innovative ways to build homes at lower cost, and in faster timeframes. It can significantly change the way we build homes because builders won’t have to contend with external elements like the weather.

“Housing New Zealand has found that using OSM new builds can be delivered in half the time as conventional building techniques,” said Megan Woods.

The government has been working with offsite manufacturing companies to identify opportunities to work with KiwiBuild to innovate, scale-up, and improve the productivity of New Zealand’s building and construction capacity, to make quality housing more affordable.

“The scale of the KiwiBuild programme, especially when aligned with the other arms of the government’s build programme creates a fantastic opportunity to supercharge the use of offsite manufacturing in New Zealand,” said Woods. “The demand these programmes create has the potential for the construction and development industry to make confident investments in their people and new technology. It could play an important role in smoothing out the ‘boom-bust’ cycle that has plagued the sector in the past, and help prevent another housing shortage emerging in the future.”

She added: “Therefore, I expect Kāinga Ora [Homes & Communities] to optimise its operating practices to ensure the entity’s base demand facilitates the adoption of OSM [offsite manufacturing] and other future innovations – where they produce more affordable and better housing supply for New Zealanders, and align with wider government goals - such as CarbonZero, skills development, energy efficiency, and regional economic development.”

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