Future Kāinga Ora homes, Hood St, Hastings

The latest quarterly housing data published by Kāinga Ora shows Hawke’s Bay sitting on 177 vacant Kāinga Ora properties, as at September 30, 2023.

The number of vacant Kāinga Ora homes across Aotearoa New Zealand have been strongly criticised by Housing Minister Chris Bishop.

“I was dismayed to learn that, as of late last year, the total number of vacant social homes in New Zealand was 3,906, or five per cent, of New Zealand’s total public housing stock,” Bishop said.

“I have written to the Board of Kāinga Ora – Homes & Communities to make clear my expectation that, with over 25,000 people on the social housing waitlist – almost 20,000 more than when the previous Labour Government took office – social homes are not to be left empty for a day longer than absolutely necessary.

“I look forward to receiving the report from the independent review led by Sir Bill English and discussing with Kāinga Ora – Homes & Communities what needs to change, and how.”

Regional Director East North Island, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Naomi Whitewood told BayBuzz that Kāinga Ora was working alongside iwi, Councils, local organisations and build partners to address the region’s housing requirements. 

“We all have the same goal – to share resources and develop a practical plan to address the housing needs.”

Here in Hawke’s Bay as at September 30, 2023, the latest vacant Kainga Ora rental properties stats showed there were 2 homes sitting vacant in CHB district

In Hastings District 57 were vacant, of which 7 were ready to let, 11 were under repair, 20 were temporary accommodation for those whose homes were being significantly repaired, 6 were under renewal and maintenance as they were methamphetamine contaminated houses, and 11 were pending redevelopment.

In Napier City, 115 homes were sitting vacant, with 1 ready to let, 10 under repair, 10 used as temporary accommodation and 19 under renewal and maintenance being meth contaminated homes, and 22 pending redevelopment.

In Wairoa, only 3 properties were sitting vacant with 2 of those under renewal and maintenance as they were meth contaminated.

[Note: SLED (Sale, Lease Expiry, Demolition) properties – properties on their way out of the portfolio – have not been included.

Vacancies aside, more homes for Hastings and Napier are in the pipeline.

The suburb of Mayfair, Hastings can expect 46 new Kāinga Ora homes by mid-next year. 

Whitewood said in Sussex Street, Mayfair, 16 homes were under construction. “Building started in August last year and the new, warm, dry homes are expected to be completed in time for winter this year. “Site clearance and construction on a 24-home development in Sussex Street and Grove Road is expected to start in the next couple of months. These homes are estimated to be completed by mid-next year.”

Three homes built by Hastings Boys High School (HBHS) Trades Academy students are now ready to move onto their new location. They were moved offsite from HBHS just before Christmas and have been temporarily placed at the Brittons House Movers yard in Maraekākaho, she said. They will be relocated to Willowpark Road in Hastings once consents and siteworks are complete. This is likely to be before May 2024.

“The Year 13 students are involved in the Building Academy, a building and construction industry training organisation (BCITO) accredited building course,” Whitewood said.

In Collinge Road, construction of three new homes will start soon. The homes are expected to be completed by late this year. 

Resource consent has been granted to build 13 homes in Beatty Place and Hood Street. Construction is likely to start mid this year. Plans would see some larger homes built in this development including a 5-bedroom home and seven 4-bedroom homes. Another 11 homes are in the feasibility stage for this site.

“These homes are part of a wider plan of work in Hastings to deliver more homes through a place-based approach led by Hastings District Council,” she said.

“Since July 2021, Kainga Ora has delivered 225 new public homes in Hastings and has another 97 homes under construction or close to it.”

In Napier, 40 new homes are expected to be completed by mid-2025 in the suburb of Maraenui, and 49 homes expected to be completed in the first half of this year in the suburb of Onekawa. 

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


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  1. For Hastings District, the even bigger picture is that 462 public and traditional houses have been completed since late 2019, with another 509 homes in the resource management and building consent process.

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