Rotorua aerial shot

A proposed new housing development in Ngongotahā is a significant opportunity to increase the housing supply in Rotorua, says Ben Dalton, Deputy Chief Executive, Place for Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD has purchased the 15.9-hectare site at 31 Ngongotahā Rd through its Land for Housing Programme to enable the building of approximately 350 homes.

Mr Dalton says HUD’s vision is for a staged development of the site. “Planning and construction are expected to take place over the next five to seven years, with the first stage building approximately 196 homes.

“The development will include a combination of public housing and affordable private market homes. The homes will likely be a mix of standalone, duplex, and terraced housing.

“The need for housing across the country, including Rotorua, has continued to grow. Rotorua has experienced strong population growth in recent years, but new housing supply has not kept up. Rotorua’s population grew by about 9000 people between June 2013 and August 2022, but only 1600 homes were consented – and fewer completed,” Mr Dalton said. 

Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Arawa Rotorua Housing Strategy - He Papakāinga, He Hāpori Taurikura - indicated there was a shortfall of up to 1750 homes in late 2019.

“Through the Rotorua Housing Accord, HUD is committed to exploring every opportunity to increase housing supply in Rotorua to alleviate the severe housing stress experienced by many people in the Rotorua community.

“Progressing this development in partnership with Watchman Residential enables a significant residential development to get underway to maintain the significant increase in building activity across Rotorua.”

HUD has entered a Memorandum of Understanding with Watchman Residential to progress design and consenting works. Watchman Residential has a team of consultants working directly with councils and the Ministry for the Environment on consenting applications and requirements.

The relevant due diligence investigations on the site, including legal, geotechnical, contamination, quantity surveying, ecologist, valuation, traffic, and infrastructure, have been completed.

HUD is aware of the flooding issues at this site, and this will inform the final design, including making sure that homes are not damaged by flooding, the development doesn’t give rise to flooding effects upstream or downstream of the catchment, and ensuring that the overall flood storage is not reduced,” says Ben Dalton.

Notes for editor - Land for Housing Programme

HUD’s Land for Housing Programme has operated across Aotearoa New Zealand since 2017.  

The programme purchases under-utilised land for residential development and works with Iwi and private developers to increase housing supply by building a mix of affordable, public and market homes.

Since 2017, the programme has acquired 34 sites throughout Aotearoa New Zealand on 316 hectares of land. These sites are currently estimated to deliver 9891 dwellings, of which approximately 25 percent are estimated to be delivered at prices that are affordable for first home buyers and 15 percent to be made available as public housing.