Floating houses are planned for Gulf Harbour, north of Auckland.
In what appears to be a novel solution to the city's tightly constrained land supply and sky-rocketing prices, construction of The Boat Sheds project will begin in the New Year, answering the desire for waterfront location living.
Michael Webb-Speight, a development consultant to the Fairway Bay project, said Auckland's population was increasing fast and houses on the water were an obvious solution.
"With land and property becoming scarcer, we need to find ways to better use the water that surrounds the city and we believe this is part of the solution. Many Kiwis dream of living near the water but this takes that to the extreme - living on top of the water in a floating home," he said, citing a BBC report quoting development experts saying on-the-water communities could be a more sustainable, affordable and safer option than building on land.
But deputy mayor Penny Hulse expressed reservations.
"The idea of floating houses could have a negative impact on our coastal areas and will have to be carefully considered," she said.
Twenty houses will be docked at the Fairway Bay marina but buyers will not get titles registered in the usual way with Land Information New Zealand. Instead, they will have a long-term licence agreement for use of the berth where their house is moored.
Mr Webb-Speight thinks many will treat the place more as a holiday home.