In 2019, Hastings became a pilot for the government’s place-based housing plan.

Built by locals, for locals

In partnership with Hastings District Council, Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga, this Kāinga Ora development in Raureka, is pioneering the place-based approach that includes key stakeholders such as iwi and the local council, and prioritises employing local people to provide suitable housing solutions for individual communities.

It was certainly successful in this. The project created six new local apprentice places across a range of trades and suppliers, employed more than 134 local tradespeople for a period of 16 months and supported more than 30 small businesses.

As we look back on Kāinga Ora’s Oliphant development in Raureka, Hastings what stands out most to our team is the community that grew literally before their eyes as they delivered 44 homes to the neighbourhood.

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Unique design

Designed by Context Architects, and constructed in three stages, the development includes diverse housing typologies of one, two, three, four and five-bedrooms with a mix of cladding, storey’s, outside space and interior specs.

“Based on feedback from the Hastings District Council (HDC), our design incorporated homes with varied heights, building forms, and arrangements in order to create a rich street scene with unique character," says Context Architects, "Complementary cladding colours and variation in front gardens have been utilised to foster a sense of individuality and ownership amongst residents."

When each home is unique, it requires a high level of care and attention from the construction team to ensure the standards are consistently high across the board. Home won stage one of the development and delivered two four-bedroom homes towards the end of 2019. This led to taking on the contracts for the remaining 42 houses. A big jump, but one we were excited to take on.

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Unprecedented challenges

Working with local partner Atkin Construction, the project navigated through a global pandemic and subsequent lockdown, an extreme weather event and more common construction hurdles such as power lines running too close to the site.

Looking back with the luxury of time between us and 2020, we might begin to forget the monumental disruption the Covid-19 lockdown dealt to the construction industry. However, it’s important to acknowledge the people from our team and our build partners' teams who applied their skills and knowledge to an unprecedented problem and ensured this project was one of the first Kāinga Ora projects to start up again once Alert Levels went down.

Later in the same year, Hastings was put into a state of emergency as extreme weather caused floods across the area. Despite the setbacks this caused, our teams on site matched the problem with tenacity and resilience to find solutions and keep moving forward.

Simon Hardy, our Project Lead for the second stage of the development, reflects on the project, “The Oliphant development was unique in so many ways, not least in the number of challenges we faced that were out of our control. They presented us with opportunities to grow in capacity, developing our processes and strengthening partner relationships. All of this is an investment into future projects.”

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Our purpose

When asking Simon and QS for the project, Scott Hellyer for stand out highlights, both talk about the people who the houses were built for. Simon sharing how much he enjoyed seeing families moving into houses as stages were completed, “Out of all the developments I have worked on in the last five years, it was so special to see the community move in around us as we completed the houses in stages. Seeing children playing in the gardens and people meeting their new neighbours.”

Scott particularly enjoyed attending two of the blessing ceremonies given by local iwi, “Representatives from Ngāti Kahungunu walked around the houses, placing their hands on the walls of the houses and blessing them. I feel extremely privileged to have been a part of creating this vibrant new community for the Hawke's Bay district and it reminds me of the purpose of our work, to provide homes, to give families a place to flourish.”

That’s the reason for our mahi - it’s the people.

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