An affordable pre-fabricated house scheme has been launched, with places having aspects of Māori exterior and interior design elements.

Craig Wilson of Britomart's TOA Architects in Auckland said that business had joined with Christchurch-headquartered Mike Greer Architectural, Nelson-headquartered cross-laminated timber manufacturing business XLam Building Solutions and others to launch Māori Modular House.

Exteriors have traditional Māori colours of red, black and natural timber.
Exteriors have traditional Māori colours of red, black and natural timber.

Pre-fabricated elements will be made off-site, then the homes assembled in a faster, cheaper, more controlled construction method, Wilson said.

The business is marketing:
• Tūhunga-a-Ruru two-bedroom 65sq m home for $246,000;
• Raupeka two-bedroom 87sq m home for $266,000;
• Akatoki three-bedroom 98sq m home for $310,000;
• Uru Kahikatea four-bedroom one-level home, in design development, no price available yet;
• Puhikaioreore two-level, four-bedroom home, specifically designed for tighter city sites, also in design development, no price available.


Craig Wilson of TOA said prices included GST but did not include land, earthworks, piles or foundations, site, geotechnical or engineering or any below-bearer works. Clients in Huapai, Opotiki and Napier had expressed interest in building the homes, he said.

"We aim to build about 1000 places by 2020," Wilson said. "We are a Māori design firm. Nicholas Dalton, founding director and the company's owner, is of Māori heritage. When we look at housing at the moment, we find not a lot of typologies of the building that speaks to New Zealanders as people of Aotearoa. So we were looking for designs that reflect the nature of housing in Aotearoa.

"These houses are contemporary so they don't just reflect indigenous architecture. It's contemporary Māori design," Wilson said.

Kitchen splashback designs are based on tukutuku panels, using the design of the taniwha teeth, Wilson said. Interior wall timber panels feature the Pātiki school of flounder design.

"We're investigating carving and weaving patterns," he said of the homes in traditional Māori colours of bright red, black and natural timber finishes.

High-profile pre-fabricated housing businesses eHomes of Kumeu and Matrix Homes of Wellington both went under, but Wilson said the new MMH business was different.

"Components of the houses are produced in different factories - walls in one, floors in another," he said, adding that this concept spread the risk. "It's a pool of companies, not all the eggs in one basket. Mike Greer will manage the process from a building point of view, getting the components made and to the site, then assembling them."

The first home would be completed mid-March in Napier, Wilson said.

Read more: $750m Northcote state-house intensification: 300 going, 1200 new homes rising

Aspects of contemporary Māori design have also been used in housing at Northcote on Auckland's North Shore. In the scheme by Homes. Land. Community. and Housing NZ Corporation, terraced and stand-alone housing was designed by the late Rewi Thompson of Isthmus, using his everyday homes concept.