As Auckland house prices continue to rise, the North Waikato is set to boom with Pokeno's population expected to quadruple over the next 50 years, while a development in Te Kauwhata will see a further 1300 homes built as city dwellers head further into the region.
The development, spearheaded by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, and property developer Winton, will deliver more than 1300 homes over a 7-8-year period at Lakeside, in Te Kauwhata, Waikato.
Kāinga Ora deputy chief executive of urban development delivery, Caroline McDowall, said the Lakeside development presents an opportunity to build on Winton's vision for a master-planned community with housing choices for a wide range of people and families.
Kāinga Ora was established in 2019 as a new Crown agency to transform housing and urban development throughout New Zealand.
It is focused on providing state housing, providing home-related financial assistance, initiating or undertaking urban development on its own or on behalf of others, and delivering aspects of the Government's Build Programme.
The development will deliver homes consistent with affordable price points and master-planned community outcomes in the development, starting at $480,000.
According to REINZ, the median house price in Auckland as of May 2020 was $910,000, while in the Waikato at the same date it was sitting at just under $600,000.
"We have a broad and diverse approach to our development objectives, and while much of our development is in existing urban brownfields areas, we also identify greenfields areas to balance this approach," McDowall says.
"Kāinga Ora is an entity with a long-term view – we actively look to where we can deliver homes and communities of the future, and Lakeside reflects that view."
McDowall also said the development was situated in a growth zone, in a strategic Southern Corridor location, and was fully consented and ready for immediate delivery to the market in 2020.
Te Kauwhata sits as part of the Hamilton to Auckland corridor plan, and is considered as one of the future stops for the Hamilton to Auckland commuter rail line that is set to launch in November.
It is another win for the North Waikato, with Sleepyhead planning a $1.4 billion industrial hub and housing community 5km north of Huntly - with factories, retail outlets and homes.
The bed manufacturer rezoning request is expected to be heard in September. More than 1000 houses are expected to be built as part of the development.
Winton chief executive Chris Meehan is delighted with the agreement.
"Lakeside has already generated a significant amount of interest and sales, and the agreement with Kāinga Ora enables us to mutually deliver more quality homes at pace for New Zealanders amid the beautiful waterfront landscape of Te Kauwhata," he said.
"This partnership is an opportunity to advance the Lakeside development at a faster pace, including the proposed school and community amenities, while incorporating the same high standards and approach to master-planning that Kāinga Ora has delivered at Hobsonville Point, making Lakeside the Hobsonville Point of the south."
Further south in Hamilton, Kāinga Ora is in the midst of a storm over another development, with a petition created by Hamilton East MP David Bennett set to go to Parliament.
A group of Flagstaff residents are concerned over a proposed Kāinga Ora housing development and the impact they say it could have on the community, such as a three-storey building development not fitting the community feel and the increase in traffic.
Kāinga Ora has organised a public drop-in session at Flagstaff's Suburbs Community Sports Club on Monday, June 22, for residents to ask staff questions and give their feedback about the development.