Kāinga Ora

Who we are

The formation of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities in October 2019 marked the beginning of a step change in housing and urban development in New Zealand.

Kāinga Ora brings together the people, capabilities and resources of the KiwiBuild Unit, Housing New Zealand and its development subsidiary HLC. This is designed to enable a more cohesive, joined-up approach to delivering the Government’s priorities for housing and urban development in New Zealand. These priorities include addressing homelessness and making homes more affordable for New Zealanders.

Kāinga Ora has two key roles:

  • being a world-class public housing landlord
  • partnering with the development community, Māori, local and central government, and others on urban development projects of all sizes.

The gift of our name

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities is a special name and it’s significant because of the mahi (work) we are setting ourselves up to do, working in partnership with Māori.

Minister for Housing, Phil Twyford selected ‘Homes and Communities’ because it reflects the organisation’s scope and purpose of building homes and fostering communities.

Minister for Māori Development and Associate Minister for Māori Housing, Nanaia Mahuta was then asked to come up with the Māori component of our name. In Te Ao Māori (the Māori world view), naming is really important. Minister Mahuta wanted to give us something that was aspirational to describe the work we will do.

“It's not just about houses, physical structures, it's about people, it's about their community, their sense of place, the well-being of the environment,” said the Minister.

‘Kāinga’ is about a home, rather than a whare (house).

‘Kāinga Ora’ is about well-being.

Kāinga Ora means: wellbeing through places and communities.

To understand more about how we got our name and the meaning behind it, Te Ariki Pihama – Te Ringa Raupa - Chief Advisor Māori at Kāinga Ora popped in to have a kōrero with Minister Nanaia Mahuta at Parliament.

You can learn more here!

We hire students studying

Building & Construction
Urban Planning

Available Positions

About Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities

Our work at Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities is important and wide-ranging. Contributing to thriving communities that provide people with good quality, affordable housing choices that meet diverse needs and good access to jobs, amenities and services is what drives us.

We lead and coordinate integrated urban development programmes that provide a mix of public, affordable and market housing, and play an essential role in tackling the Government's key priorities of ending homelessness and making houses more affordable. We are also a world class public landlord. Currently we own or manage approximately 63,000 homes across New Zealand and are responsible for providing high quality state housing to over 184,000 people in the greatest need, for the duration of their need. This is alongside our other roles of supporting the government's priorities in the supply of emergency and transitional housing. We also facilitate home ownership and improve housing affordability through the delivery of a range of financial products. Click here to see our latest jobs

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Some examples of our work

Banff Avenue in Auckland's Epsom

Introducing our recently completed public housing development on Banff Avenue in Auckland's Epsom. This smart-looking, five-storey apartment block replaces 8 one-bedroom flats with 25 new one-and-two-bedroom homes. Check out the time lapse video below to watch it being constructed.

Special thanks to our partners on this project McMillan & Lockwood and Ministry of Architecture + Interiors.

Greys Ave

Working together to take a fresh approach to supportive inner city living. Kāinga Ora will be redeveloping its well-known site at 139 Greys Ave in central Auckland.

Kāinga Ora developments: winning design and architecture awards

Auckland housing developments win architectural design awards

Three Kāinga Ora developments in Auckland have won awards at Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Local Architecture Awards.

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Kāinga Ora Wellington developments take out top design awards

Two developments delivering great outcomes for the people who live in them, have been recognised at the Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects Wellington Awards.

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‘Challenging preconceptions’: Canterbury social housing wins third award

A Kāinga Ora development has for the third time been recognised for its high-quality architectural design.

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More projects

Ramping up offsite manufactured builds

As we look to increase off-site manufactured (OSM) builds within Kāinga Ora housing developments, we’re investigating the capacity of OSM suppliers around New Zealand to supply this type of home at scale.

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You can find more of the projects that are working towards here:

What we are building

Sustainability at Kāinga Ora

At Kāinga Ora, we have an important responsibility of transforming New Zealand’s housing choices, outcomes and the entire housing sector by creating homes and communities that allow New Zealanders to thrive.

As a provider of tenancy services to about 187,000 tenants, maintaining 65,000 homes and delivering 1,100 new additional homes each year, we have a significant opportunity to improve environmental wellbeing through our construction and urban development activities, and to catalyse positive change across the broader New Zealand industry. We are committed to ensuring an equitable and fair transition for our customers.

We want to ensure sustainable practices are integrated into the way we plan our urban development areas, build homes and do business. With six key priority areas we are looking to:

  • support a transition to low-carbon construction,
  • improve biodiversity and urban ngahere (forest) outcomes in our communities,
  • protect and restore waterways surrounding our development areas,
  • support low-carbon transport,
  • reduce construction and demolition waste,
  • ensure our homes and communities are resilient to future climate change impacts.

You can read more here!

Our focus areas

Carbon Neutral Housing

As Aotearoa, New Zealand’s largest housing developer, Kāinga Ora aspires to be an industry leader in transitioning the sector to carbon neutral construction practices. Currently, buildings account for 20% of New Zealand's carbon emissions (by consumption), with new builds contributing 5x the amount of carbon permitted under our 2050 targets.

In order to reduce this impact, Kāinga Ora is making the most of its size and scale to not only change the way it builds homes, but to aid the construction industry in making the transition to carbon neutrality.

Decentralised Energy

Electricity demand is expected to increase by 68% by 2050 in New Zealand. At the same time our national network needs to significantly decarbonise (both generation and infrastructure). While some new generation will come from traditional sources we expect that local renewable energy systems will be integral to ensuring New Zealand meets its future energy needs and our customers can access affordable energy. In August 2020 the government announced funding to trial renewable energy technologies on Māori and public housing.

The first trial to be implemented on Kāinga Ora properties involves installation of photovoltaic solar panels on retrofitted and new houses in the Wellington region. Following this we will be running a series of trials looking at the effectiveness of renewable generation combined with energy efficiency on medium density housing. Through the process we are aiming to find commercial solutions that are replicable across other sites, while simultaneously reducing electricity costs for our customers.

Demolition and Waste Minimisation

Construction and demolition waste makes up 40-50% of all waste sent to landfill in New Zealand. Each new home constructed presently generates an average of four tonnes of waste.

Kāinga Ora aims to lead industry in waste minimisation practices, looking to relocate rather than demolish homes wherever possible, deconstruct for reuse and recycling, and reducing construction-related waste through more efficient material use, on-site waste management practices and recycling.

Sustainable Transport

At Kāinga Ora we build more than just homes, we build communities. Currently, in New Zealand’s urban areas transport is the most significant source of carbon emissions, with it contributing 37% of a typical household’s emissions.

While there are many challenges ahead in transitioning to low-carbon transportation, Kāinga Ora is focussed on what is possible within our realm of influence; creating communities that champion walkability and accessibility to amenities, and encouraging public and alternative modes of transport wherever possible.

Urban Ngahere (forest)

Kāinga Ora has a remit and responsibility to assist in re-establishing urban ngahere (forest) in areas where we are a major landowner. The benefits of urban ngahere are numerous and significant, including:

  • improved human health and wellbeing,
  • enhanced mauri of the land and waters,
  • carbon sequestration,
  • reduced risks of air, soil and water pollution,
  • supporting community restoration and improved local biodiversity, and
  • prevention of urban heat island effect.

Kāinga Ora will be aiming to ensure that our own design, construction, and operational practices prioritise urban ngahere outcomes, in addition to partnering with other organisations, landowners and community groups to enable improved outcomes for the broader communities within which we operate.

Make a difference
Start your career with Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities

If you want to work with a team dedicated to making a difference in the lives of thousands of New Zealanders, then consider a career at Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities.

At Kāinga Ora we do amazing, important work. We contribute to thriving communities that provide New Zealanders with good quality, affordable housing choices. Our work supports people to have good access to jobs, amenities and services; and improving the total economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of current and future generations.

We do this by being a world class public housing landlord, and partnering with others to deliver urban development projects of all sizes.

A great place to work

Our workforce of dedicated professionals is made up of a diverse group of people who come from all walks of life and have a wide range of skills and experience. Our jobs are interesting and fulfilling, and provide unique opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable New Zealanders.

Overview of Programme

The Kāinga Ora Graduate Development Programme is designed to set you up for a successful career in the building, design, construction and consenting sectors.  You will learn about Kāinga Ora objectives of delivering welcoming homes and thriving communities which will enable New Zealanders to lead productive and fulling lives. 

Using a learning model where the majority of your development will come from ‘doing’ you will complete 3 x 6 month rotations within Building, Construction and Design UPD, UDD and C&I and Consentium Business Units. Each rotation is underpinned by a development and capability plan which will support you as you transition from academic study to excelling as a professional.

Construction and Innovation(C&I)

Supporting Kāinga Ora to grow its public and supported housing portfolio through smart design and development of quality homes that meet the needs of the community now and in the future. This means driving innovation across the construction sector. The Construction and Innovation Group advises on standards for quality homes, provides planning and logistical support in the rehoming tenants affected by construction, while providing construction pipeline scheduling and reports. Potential rotation pathways within C&I are:

  • Development Strategy
  • Development Management
  • Project Management

Consentium Building Consent Authority

Kāinga Ora has a Building Consent Authority (BCA), Consentium to achieve its objectives of providing quality homes, leveraging scale and efficiency. Kāinga Ora has an ambitious target to build tens of thousands of state homes to suit requirements New Zealand’s requirements over the next 10+ years.

Consentium’s focus is on building control for state home build projects across New Zealand. The consenting process is efficient, paperless, and compliant, targeting residential and commercial state home builds alongside a comprehensive nationwide retrofit programme.

You'll be working with a group of talented building control officers with a dynamic and fresh culture. There are opportunities at all levels of building regulation and control process including quality assurance, administration, consent processing and inspection domains. Some of the teams you may rotate through include:

  • Consent Processing
  • Inspections

Urban Development and Delivery (UDD)

The Urban Development and Delivery Group is tasked with delivering Kāinga Ora large scale urban development projects. It enables more affordable market homes, better quality state homes and improved infrastructure and amenities across master-planned precincts and neighbourhoods. The Urban Development and Delivery Group works with a range of partners to provide greater housing options and improved amenities that will make neighbourhoods great communities, and is an industry leader in urban development.  Potential rotation pathways within UDD are:

  • Development Management
  • Redevelopment

Urban Planning and Design (UPD)

The Urban Planning and Design group provide expertise in the urban design and planning space. Leading the management of Kāinga Ora large scale strategic partnerships, working closely with place-based groups, iwi, local and central government agencies and the private sector to facilitate urban development projects.

  • Urban Design
  • Development Planning

Benefits of the Programme

Mentoring from a Senior Leader:

Tap into the existing knowledge, skills and experience of senior employees.

Development and Capability Plan:

Structured learning programme designed to accelerate your personal and professional growth and development

Continuous Learning Opportunities:

Hear from Industry leaders who are delivering New Zealand's housing and urban development priorities.

A great team and supportive environment:

Every step of the way you will be supported by your Graduate Coach, Mentor, Buddy and the People Experience Advisor.


Get involved in real mahi with meaningful deliverables and responsibilities. You’ll work alongside industry leaders on iconic projects that help create a better Aotearoa.

Permanent Role:

All Kāinga Ora Graduates begin as permanent employees and we will work with you to place you into an area of the organisation that aligns to your career aspirations.

The Application Process