City councils consider initiative

Building teams from Auckland and Christchurch councils are interested in adopting Hastings' Best Home project after visiting the new show home in Havelock North recently.

The Hastings District Council's chief executive Ross McLeod said they would consider the potential roll-out of the initiative to the two main centres via Hastings.

"We have had extensive contact with Christchurch and Auckland to introduce the idea to them and they've sent teams here to have a look."

The interest stemmed from the rebuild of Christchurch following the major earthquake and Auckland's housing demand, where it was thought 200,000 more homes were needed.

"We are also in discussions with Local Government New Zealand and local government managers to present Best Home across the rest of the council market."

Mr McLeod said the Best Home project would not be exclusively sold to one major construction company but it would be a model available for everyone to share.

Fletcher Construction was interested in Best Home but would probably want an exclusive arrangement to use the programme.

Mr McLeod said the council could recoup ratepayer money spent on the project through the value of the intellectual property built around the initiative.

"While the technology and building science used has been around for a while, this is a package and a system approach which brings it all together and makes it accessible to everyone. It will be branded and trademarked. That's where we believe the value will be.

"We are not looking to make a wild profit but being able to recoup costs would be a good thing."

The council's planning and regulatory services manager, John O'Shaughnessy, said there had been issues raised with Best Home but he wanted to allays doubts.

He said the council had not funded the purchase, construction of the show home, or the marketing of a private business in partnership with the project. "Our funding has gone in material and research for use by all people in the industry."

Best Home aimed for a minimum six star energy rating.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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