Key Facts

  • The New Zealand government housing organisation, Kāinga Ora, has proposed to build over 100 new homes in New Plymouth, while also having a 44-unit residential block already in construction.
  • To free up land for this, they intend to demolish 40 state houses across five suburbs and replace them with up to 125 new homes in medium-density developments.
  • Kāinga Ora confirmed their recent purchases of several sites for significant sums, where homes will be built.
  • The Spotswood development is planned to be of a high standard, offering warm, dry, and modern homes.
  • Numerous attendees at a Kāinga Ora event in New Plymouth voiced their concerns and queries around the development.
  • Despite the concerns, Kāinga Ora reiterated its commitment to providing quality homes and supporting local communities.
  • Another achievement highlighted by Kāinga Ora includes the upgrading of 51 existing homes with modern facilities.

Article Summary

The government housing agency, Kāinga Ora, has faced scrutiny over its housing plans in New Plymouth, which entail the construction of over 100 new state homes and the demolition of 40 existing houses. Creating the space for these new homes involves significant purchases of land, including sites on Eliot Street and Lemon Street. City residents voiced various concerns during an outreach event in New Plymouth managed by Kāinga Ora.

Questions and criticisms voiced ranged from concern over displacement, potential slum creation, and the accessibility of the new homes. Young mother, Crystal, expressed her fear about being moved from her current home and potential difficulties in returning. Meanwhile, Sandra Sharrock dubiously remarked on the agency’s decision to incorporate public housing amidst privately owned homes. Questions were also raised regarding the universal accessibility of the planned constructions.

In response, the agency reinforced its commitment to providing high-standard homes and support for the local community. Graeme Broderick, a regional director of Kāinga Ora, provided reassurances that the Spotswood development would deliver warm, dry, and modern homes that would complement the environment and fit into the neighbourhood. The agency has been actively engaging with the community for several months, sharing plans, answering questions, and intending to continue this community dialogue. Their work includes collaborating with stakeholders like the New Plymouth District Council and local iwi.

In a further commitment to improving the housing situation in New Plymouth, Kāinga Ora cited the upgrading of 51 existing homes through its retrofit program, which gives these homes an additional half-century of life by installing modern upgrades. This initiative aligns with Kāinga Ora’s mission to create warm, dry, healthy homes and build thriving, sustainable, inclusive communities.

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