South Waikato could hold the key to developing large scale off-site manufacturing of pre-fabricated housing to help meet New Zealand's current and future housing needs.
South Waikato District Council recognises the capacity constraints that exist within our current building industry and the ability for scale pre-fabrication to be a game changer in meeting housing demand; fully supporting Minister Twyford's stance that "offsite manufacture will be a major medium term enabler of the future Kiwi Build programme".
Council supports the announcement today, by the Housing Minister, Phil Twyford speaking at BuildNZ/Designex 2018, concerning the development of large scale off-site manufacturing of pre-fabricated housing, to help meet New Zealand's current and future housing needs.
Major Jenny Shattock commented, "Since the early 1890s native timber processing in Putāruru, through to the establishment of commercial forests of Pinus Radiata in the 1920s, up to building the Kinleith Timber, Paper and Pulp Mill in 1954, the South Waikato has been at the forefront of technological innovations in timber processing. Timber is in the DNA of our people and our community is ready and able to support the expansion of off-site Modular Housing in New Zealand."
The largest town in the South Waikato, Tokoroa, was established as the largest private housing development in New Zealand history in 1948 with some 800 homes being built in what was a model or innovative modular urban housing design at the time.
Commenting on the South Waikato's ability to support this potential development Chief Executive, Craig Hobbs, said "We have a plentiful supply of low cost, appropriately zoned land, located on State Highway 1 and are within two and half hours' drive of over half of New Zealand's population, combined with rail links to the Port of Tauranga and the Ports of Auckland.
"Through local long standing partnerships with Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology we are able to support new enterprises in securing a work ready labour supply, equipped with practical and relevant skills. As a business friendly Council we stand ready to talk to potential investors looking for the best location to set up their business in New Zealand to meet the Government's objectives in this area"
The South Waikato is home to local iwi Raukawa and an ethnically diverse community with significant Māori and Pasifika populations and is famous for its strong community spirit. With affordable housing and abundant recreational activities it is living proof that the 'kiwi dream' is still a reality.
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