Boost to upgrade state housing to be warmer, drier, healthier homes

  • Hon Kris Faafoi

More warmer, drier homes and a big building boost for regional centres across New Zealand are two of the major benefits from a $500 million investment in the upgrade and renewal of state homes.

Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi has confirmed the multi-million dollar expansion of the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Retrofit Programme.

“This will see around 1,500 older state homes in 30 towns and cities across New Zealand upgraded and renewed over the next two and a half years; making them warmer, drier and healthier for tenants. Work on these homes is expected to start later this year,” Kris Faafoi said.

“When we came into Government we not only pledged to reverse the large-scale sell-off of public housing, we also undertook to improve the quality of public housing available to New Zealanders and their whānau through safer, warmer, drier, healthier homes, and this investment in the Kāinga Ora Retrofit Programme honours that pledge.”

The improvements made to homes under Retrofit include full insulation of the homes with wall, ceiling and floor insulation, double glazing, improved air-tightness, ventilation and new heating to ensure a healthy indoor living environment.

Work on some homes may also include upgrading bathrooms and kitchens, converting homes to a more modern, open plan living layout, and making the homes more accessible.

The retrofit expansion follows the successful pilot which Kāinga Ora started in 2018 and has seen nearly 200 Kāinga Ora homes in the Hutt Valley renewed and upgraded.

“This will bring these older homes up to, or above the new build and Homestar 6 standards and will meet the Government’s Healthy Homes Standards.

“It also gives these properties, most of which were built in the 1950s and 1960s, a new lease on life meaning they’ll provide quality public housing for another 50 years,” Kris Faafoi said.

“As well as being a significant investment in New Zealand’s public housing supply, this $500 million is also a major investment in the regional economies where this retrofitting work will happen,” he said.

Kāinga Ora will look to use contractors of all sizes to carry out this work, creating more opportunities for a range of companies in the regions.

The Retrofit programme is part of Kāinga Ora’s programme to improve its older stock. It estimates around 40,000 properties will need upgrading over the next 20 years.

More information on the expansion of the retrofit programme will be made available at