Parliament has passed the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Act 2019 (the “Act”). The Act establishes a new Crown entity, the Kāinga Ora – Home and Communities (“Kāinga Ora”)  and provides for a government policy statement on housing and urban development.

Kāinga Ora replaces three existing agencies; Housing NZ, its development subsidiary HLC, and the KiwiBuild Unit.

The functions and operating principles of Kāinga Ora include:

  1. Understanding, supporting, and enabling the aspirations of Māori in relation to urban development;

  2. Identifying and protecting Māori interests in land (including recognising and providing for the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wāhi tapu, and other taonga); and

  3. Partnering and having early and meaningful engagement with Māori (including offering Māori opportunities to participate in urban development).

Significantly, the Act also removes the use of exemptions that were available to Housing New Zealand for the disposal of land subject to rights of first refusal under Treaty settlement legislation.

A second bill, which will be introduced later this year, intends to give Kāinga Ora access to a range of development powers currently spread between different statutes and agencies.

The introduction of the Act is particularly timely as the Waitangi Tribunal is presently at the preparation stage for the Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa Inquiry (Wai 2750).

For more information about the Act or getting involved in the Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa inquiry, please contact us on 0800 733 424.