What is Thermal Imaging?
Thermal Imaging Reports. Infrared (thermal imaging) is an advanced, non-invasive technology that allows the inspector to show clients things about their homes or buildings that can't be revealed using conventional inspection methods.
What is thermal imaging used for?
Thermal imaging is a method of improving visibility of objects in a dark environment by detecting the objects' infrared radiation and creating an image based on that information. Thermal imaging, near-infrared illumination, low-light imaging and are the three most commonly used night vision technologies.
Updated - September 2018
People who are sleeping do not smell smoke and are unlikely to wake up during a fire. The most effective way to ensure house occupants wake up and get to safety is to install smoke alarms.
· legal requirements
· how many alarms?
· where to locate alarms
Smoke alarms are a requirement under New Zealand Building Code clause F7 Warning systems. This applies to new homes and all existing homes undergoing building work.
Acceptable Solution F7/AS1 requires Type 1 smoke alarms, which must have:
· a hush button to silence the alarm for at least 60 seconds
· a test button
· a sound level that complies with NZS 4514:2009 Interconnected smoke alarms for houses – not less than 75 dBA at the sleeping position and not more than 100 dBA at 1.8 m height. (The standard can be downloaded for free.)
On floors with bedrooms the smoke alarms must be located either in every sleeping space or within 3.0 m of every sleeping space door. In this case, the smoke alarms must be audible to sleeping occupants on the other side of the closed doors.
In multi-storey homes there must be at least one smoke alarm on each level, however having an alarm in each sleeping space is considered preferable.
Although there are several types of alarms that can be used to comply with Building Code requirements, Fire and Emergency New Zealand recommends hard-wired alarms or photoelectric alarms with batteries that last up to 10 years.
F7/AS1 does not require smoke alarms in houses to be interconnected, but this is a good idea (and it is a requirement in a part of NZS 4514 that is not referenced). With interconnected alarms, when one smoke alarm detects fire smoke, all alarms will sound. Some models connect wirelessly.
Under the Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations 2016
all rental homes must have smoke alarms:
· The alarms must be either hard wired or photoelectric battery alarms with a battery life of at least 8 years.
· If alarms have a battery, it is the tenant’s responsibility to replace the battery when it is worn out.
· There must be at least one smoke alarm installed in the sleeping space or within 3 metres of the entrance to the sleeping space.
· There must be an alarm on each floor where there is a habitable space however having an alarm within each sleeping space is preferable.
How many alarms?
Fire and Emergency New Zealand recommends installing an alarm in each sleeping and living space and interconnecting them – a sensible approach to ensure full compliance with F7/AS1. New alarms are available that are smaller and more discreet with longer battery life than the older models.
Where to locate alarms?
Alarms should ideally be installed on the ceiling, at least 200 mm from a wall or a ceiling beam to avoid dead air space. With sloping ceilings the alarm should be 200–500 mm from the apex.
An alternative (but not preferred) position is high on a wall, at least 100 mm from the ceiling and 600 mm from corners to avoid dead air pockets.
To reduce the risk of false alarms or faults, do not install:
· in a kitchen, garage or bathroom
· near a heat source such as a heat pump or solid fuel burner
· in damp or draughty areas.
Installing Smoke alarms is recommended in all sleep-outs.
At least two smoke alarms are needed in extended plan houses.
Separated sleeping areas
At least two smoke alarms are needed where there are two sleeping areas separated by the living area.
Placement of smoke alarms
At the very least, a smoke alarm should be placed between the sleeping area and living areas.
More than one storey
Where a house has more than one storey there should be at least one smoke alarm on each level.
Vacuum over smoke alarms to avoid dust build-up, and test with the test button monthly. The smoke detection element can be tested annually with an incense stick. Battery alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
Updated: 30 August 2018
NEW INSULATION MINIMUM VALUES
Zone 1 and 2: Ceiling R2.9 Underfloor R1.3
Zone 3: Ceiling R3.3 Underfloor R1.3
EXISTING INSULATION MINIMUM VALUES
Zone 1 and 2: Ceiling R1.9 Underfloor R0.9
Zone 3: Ceiling R1.5 Underfloor R0.9
From 1 July 2019, it will be compulsory for all rental properties to meet the new minimum insulation requirements. All landlords should check that the insulation at their properties meets the standards and take action if necessary before the new requirements become compulsory.
Why has the government introduced new insulation requirements?
In 2015, the New Zealand Government introduced important reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act which require all landlords to ensure that their rental properties meet minimum insulation requirements. The changes were in response to concerns that many rental properties did not provide adequately safe, warm, or dry accommodation, particularly for lower income tenants.
The initiative, run by Tenancy Services, is called Warmer, Drier, Safer Homes.
Private landlords have been afforded a grace period until 1 July 2019 to meet the insulation requirements of underfloor and ceiling insulation.
What are the new requirements?
Failure to meet the insulation requirements is an unlawful act under the Residential Tenancies Act. Landlords may face fines of up to $4,000 for failure to comply.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has a Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team that investigate and enforce the law against landlords in breach of their obligations, including meeting the insulation requirements.
What are the required standards? Do I need to upgrade or install new insulation?
Use our flowchart to see whether you need to take action to upgrade or install new insulation.
Pro Tip: If you’re unsure whether your insulation meets the requirements, you should consult a qualified, professional insulation installer or inspector.
Note: consider ceiling and underfloor insulation separately. You should go through the flowchart twice: once for ceiling insulation, and then again for underfloor insulation.
Watch this video from EECA Energywise to learn more about the insulation requirements
When is insulation not in reasonable condition?
There is no strict or particular criteria for whether insulation is in a ‘reasonable condition’. However, you should consider the following factors:
Repair or Installation of Foil Insulation is Banned
DANGER WARNING: Foil insulation poses a serious danger to your safety as it may conduct electricity from live wires. You should turn off mains power at your premises before inspecting foil insulation and/or consult a qualified professional insulation expert.
Due to the danger posed by foil insulation, installation or repair of it is now banned. This means that landlords are now prohibited from:
You may only continue to use foil insulation if it was installed before 1 July 2016 and it is in reasonable condition and meets the R-value requirements.
Read more from Tenancy Services about the ban on foil insulation.
Key Resources to Learn More about the Insulation Requirements
There are 5 main exceptions where a property may be exempt from having to meet the ceiling and underfloor insulation requirements:
1. Underfloor or Ceiling Space Unsafe or Impracticable to Access
This exception applies to areas of homes where it would be unsafe or impracticable to access those areas due to limited access, their design, potential for substantial damage, or healthy and safety reasons. The area must be unsafe or impracticable for a professional insulation installer, not just a landlord or other unqualified person.
There are 3 common situations where this exception may apply:
No Exception: When there is no current access point for ceiling or underfloor
Even if there is no existing access point for a ceiling or underfloor, the landlord is expected to create such an access point in order to conduct the necessary insulation work, provided that it does not require significant building work.
2. Underfloor or Ceiling Spaces which are directly below or above habitable spaces
It will commonly be impracticable to install insulation in areas of ceiling or underfloor which are directly above or below habitable spaces.
Some common or important examples are:
Inaccessible Roof Spaces
Some ceilings and roofs have no way to access or insulate them without removing and replacing the existing ceiling or roof - this includes:
Inaccessible Underfloor Spaces
Some underfloor spaces have no means of access meaning that installation of insulation is not possible - this includes:
If at any point such areas do become accessible for a professional installer, the necessary insulation work must be done at that point.
Low Roof Clearance
If part of a roof is too low to install insulation that meets the requirements, then a less thick insulation product may be used in those low-clearance areas.
Remember: Insulation must keep a distance of at least 25mm from the roof underlay in all parts of the ceiling-roof area.
Apartments and Units
Insulation does not need to be installed where the habitable parts of a unit are directly above or below the ceiling or floor of another unit.
Installation of insulation in such circumstances would likely require significant building work, meaning it is a matter for the Body Corporate.
Outbuildings and Garages
Outbuildings such as garages or sheds that are separate from the living areas of a property do not need to meet the insulation requirements. If, however, part of an outbuilding adjoins a habitable space, then that part must meet the insulation requirements. For example, if the roof of the garage is directly below the floor of a habitable space.
No Exception: When there is no current access point for ceiling or underfloor
Even if there is no existing access point for a ceiling or underfloor, the landlord is expected to create such an access point in order to conduct the necessary insulation work, provided that it does not require significant building work.
Habitable Spaces outside main premises:
Any space, building or structure that is not part of the main premises but which is consistently used as a habitable space must meet the insulation requirements. This includes, studios, flats, caravans, or sleepouts.
3. Property meets particular insulation requirements at time of building, as approved by local council
In some very limited circumstances, a property may comply with particular insulation requirements specific to that property at the time of its construction. When these requirements do not meet the minimum R-values, such a premises may fall into this exception.
This exception usually applies when the local council gave development approval for a building design that had an insulation design where other forms or areas of insulation made up for minimal underfloor or ceiling insulation. For instance, where wall insulation made up for minimal ceiling or underfloor insulation. The landlord should provide evidence of the building specifications and of compliance with insulation requirements at the time of building.
The landlord must, however, ensure that the insulation remains in reasonable condition even if it falls into this exception.
4. Landlord Plans to Demolish or Substantially Rebuild Property within 12 months of tenancy starting
A premises does not need to meet the insulation requirements if the landlord intends to demolish the property or substantially rebuild part of it within 12 months of the start of the tenancy. For this exception to apply, the landlord cannot simply have an intention to rebuild or demolish. The landlord must have evidence of the intention to rebuild or demolish within 12 months, such as an application for building consent, redevelopment work, or resource consent.
5. When the property is sold and then immediately leased back to the previous owner-occupier for a period of 12 months or less
A premises does not need to meet the insulation requirements if the property is sold and then immediately leased back to the former owner-occupier. This exception only applies for the first 12 months of that tenancy. If the tenancy continues beyond 12 months, then the landlord must take action to meet the insulation requirements.
Read more about the exceptions
Checking your insulation
Only check insulation yourself if you can do it safely - if you can’t do it safely, then hire a qualified professional to do it for you.
EECA Energywise has helpful guides and tips on checking and installing insulation safely:
Read more safety insulation information
Subsidies of 50% of insulation costs are available to landlords that have low-income tenants. To see if your property may qualify, visit the EECA Energywise website:
EECA Funding for Insulation
Some local councils also have insulation subsidy programs. Check with your council to see if you may qualify.
Do the walls need to be insulated?
Wall insulation is not compulsory. Installing wall insulation, where possible, may still be good practice for landlords to improve the energy efficiency and warmth of their rental property. Wall insulation may also be a selling point to attract higher-paying tenants and improve the resale value of your property.
Though wall insulation is not compulsory, you must still disclose whether there is such insulation and its nature and type as part of the compulsory insulation statement attached to a Residential Tenancy Agreement.
Further Reading from Tenancy Services
Savvy Houz Inspectionsstrongly recommends further reading and seeking information from Tenancy services before taking any action with insulation.
Does your rental home meet the insulation standards?
Insulation Requirements Booklet
Warmer, drier, safer homes
The rules and regulations regarding building and designing for fire safety are outlined in the Building Act 2004.
One of the main goals of the Building Act is that people who use a building can escape from that building if it's on fire. For this reason, the Act requires that Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) send certain building consent applications to Fire and Emergency New Zealand for comment.
The engineering unit of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand reviews these applications and provides a memorandum back to the BCA before any building consents are granted.
You can find more information about your obligations when building and designing for fire safety in our guide to owner responsibilities.
Building owners in New Zealand are obligated to take a number of fire safety precautions.
For more information, refer to the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006.
Fire fighting and smoke detectionSome form of fire detection and suppression system should be provided in all commercial premises.We strongly recommended that first aid fire-fighting equipment, namely fire extinguishers and hose reels, be provided in all commercial premises.
Building occupants should be trained in how to operate this equipment correctly. It's important that all fire detection and suppression equipment is well maintained and clearly identified.
Providing an evacuation procedureOwners of buildings listed in schedule 1 of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 must follow fire safety precautions and have an evacuation procedure in place.
Tenants of the building are required to follow evacuation procedures in a fire emergency. Owners or tenants of certain buildings (described in paragraphs (d), (e), (j), (m), or (n) of Schedule 1) must have employees trained to assist occupants to evacuate.
In addition to meeting part 1 of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006, the owners of some buildings that meet certain conditions must have an evacuation scheme approved by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Owners of these buildings must maintain their approved evacuation scheme by carrying our regular trial evacuations or implementing a training programme. You can find more information in our guide to evacuation schemes or on the online evacuation scheme website.
Maintaining a means of escapeBuilding owners must maintain the means of escape from fire for the building. This means:
There are laws you need to comply with when you're building — whether you're hiring a builder or doing the work yourself.
Building the house yourself
If you want to build your own house and you’re not a licensed builder, you have to get an ‘owner-builder exemption’.
Getting a builder for your home
Choose architects, project management, a builder and work out what consents you'll need.
Building on an empty section is more complex than altering or renovating an existing house. It involves more paperwork and legal processes — whether you build from scratch or move a house onto the section.
Buying a section
Find out about:
Building your home
Find out about:
Page last updated: 25 January 2018
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
They play a central role in shaping and delivering a strong economy by delivering policy, services, advice and regulation to support business growth.
Building or renovating is a highly complex undertaking, full of risk but with an abundance of reward if it all comes together.
Kiwis love their homes and we love to make them better, but managing the risks means having to do some homework around the rules and regulations and not just abdicating responsibilities to your building professionals. The hardwork starts here…
If You’re Building This:
Building Industry Resources – from Websites to Product Listings
You’ll also need to be in contact with your local council, you’ll need to make decisions around products for your home, keep on top of your budget, manage the building project even if you’re not the project manager. You’ll see contacts for industry organisations in case things don’t work out well, hints and tips around designs .
We have an abundance of resources for your build in this website, from details on:
Be sure to check out our Design Guide website – articles written by architects showcasing a project they’ve done. Our 2015-2 edition covers strategies for ‘affordable architecture’…check it out here…
When buying your first home the big cost you focus on saving for is understandably the deposit. However, it’s also important to remember that there are other costs in the home-buying process and ensure you have money set aside to cover them.
A LIM report is a Land Information Memorandum report, and it is produced by the council which governs a property. It covers everything the council knows about the property, including important information like zoning, resource consents, whether the property or any trees on it are protected, and a lot of other relevant information.
It is important to get a LIM report for any property you are interested in buying, and to look it over with your lawyer. The cost of a LIM report depends on the council which issues it, but is generally between $250 and $400.
A pre-purchase building inspection is a top-to-bottom, non-invasive visual inspection of a property. The inspection is to identify any significant defects, overdue maintenance, possible future problems, poor building work, or other areas of concern. While an inspection can’t detect every problem with a house, it is important to get any house you are interested in inspected to spot if there are likely to be expensive issues down the track.
While there are no formal qualifications or training required to be a building inspector, the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors is an organisation that specialises in coordinating and regulating pre-purchase building inspectors. Using an inspector who is an NZIBS member is a good way of ensuring your inspector knows what they are talking about and uses the official forms.
A building inspection usually costs between $450 and $1,200, depending on the house and the quality of the inspector.
A lawyer is a necessary part of the home-buying process, but they can be costly. Depending on the lawyer or firm you use you may pay an upfront fee or by the hour. These fees usually start at around $1000 and can extend to over $2000.
Loan application fees
Some lenders charge loan application fees of around $400, but this will depend on which lender you end up going to for your mortgage.
All lenders will require you to insure your property as a condition of your mortgage. The cost of this is based on the value of your house. It’s also a good idea to look at mortgage protection insurance and life insurance as well. These things are all worthwhile to have but can become expensive.
Registered property valuation
A registered property valuation is when a registered property valuer makes a determination of the market worth of the house or property. The valuer comes up with the worth of the house by doing a thorough inspection of the property, looking at zoning and resource consents, and analysing the market and other comparable house sale statistics.
Most lenders will require a registered valuation before they issue a mortgage, as they need to know how much the house is worth and how much they can loan you.
A property valuation costs around $600 to $1000 depending on the size and location of the property.
Types of ownership
House and land, you own the whole thing.
You own the house or apartment, but you don’t own the land – instead you pay yearly to lease it.
There are different types of leaseholds, but a commercial leasehold is the one you should be most cautious about. Many apartments are operated on commercial leaseholds, and advertise a very low leasehold rate for the first year – then the next review comes and the price goes up by 100%. The important things to find out are how long it is till the next leasehold review and how much the increase is likely to be.
Banks will often loan less money towards a leasehold property than freehold.
This was a popular way of subdividing property a few decades ago. Essentially you own a share of a freehold title. There may be conditions on the title as to what you can do with your house, and your neighbours might have to approve any renovations – so it’s worth getting a lawyer to review the title.
Strata or unit title
This type of ownership is common for townhouses and apartments. You have ownership of your unit and an undivided share of any common areas. You will have to pay body corporate fees to fund the upkeep of those common areas, plus things like building insurance.
Welcome Home Loan
The Welcome Home Loan is offered by specific lenders and supported by Housing New Zealand. It is designed to assist people who can make the payments on a mortgage but are having difficulty saving a large deposit.
With a Welcome Home Loan, you only need a 10% deposit, and your loan is underwritten by Housing New Zealand. To be eligible for the loan you need to meet all of the criteria for the HomeStart grant, except for being a KiwiSaver member, plus the specific lender’s borrowing criteria.
KiwiSaver HomeStart grant
Along with being able to withdraw money from your KiwiSaver account, members are eligible for a grant of up to $5000 each if you meet the following criteria:
· Have contributed at least 3% of your income to KiwiSaver for at least 3 years.
· Have 10% deposit including the grant.
· Have a before-tax income of less than $85,000 for one person, or less than $130,000 for two or more people, in the 12 months prior to applying.
· Be planning to live in the house for six months after purchase.
· Be buying a house under $600,000 in Auckland, $500,000 in other major metropolitan areas, or $400,000 throughout the rest of New Zealand.
· Or be building a house worth under $650,000 in Auckland, $550,000 in other major metropolitan areas, or $450,000 everywhere else.
If you qualify you are eligible for $1000 per year you have been in KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $5000. If you’re buying with another person and are both eligible you can get up to $10,000 in total.
If you’re buying a new-built house, or building a new house, you are eligible for $2000 per year you have been in KiwiSaver, up to a total of $10,000, or $20,000 if you’re buying with another person.
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY
Asbestos is New Zealand's primary reason for workplace death. The government points out that close to 170 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases.
With so many casualties, there is no surprise that the Health and Safety at Work Act that came into force has changed the way workers manage asbestos if they come into contact with it. However, this change could catch a number of people off guard.
Health and safety in the workplace can be impacted by asbestos-containing materials.
What responsibilities do workers and business have?
Asbestos is a grouping of materials that were commonly used up until the 1990s. It was a favoured building material due to its strength, durability and resistance to both fire and water.
As a result of its versatility, it was used for a number of different applications and can be found in a wide variety of locations. These include roofs, ceilings, external cladding and eaves.
Due to health risks that asbestos presents, the government introduced the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016. The new regulations ensure that all workers and the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) are aware of their responsibilities.
For example, if a PCBU is unsure as to whether asbestos is present within a workplace, Section 48 determines that it is the PCBU's responsibility to ensure an inspection and analysis of a sample is conducted.
What obligations do workers and companies have?
Managing asbestos removal
Alongside changes to the structure of workplace health and safety, the new regulations also introduce a new licensing system for asbestos removal. The system divides removal into two licenses.
Class A allows any type or quantity of asbestos or asbestos-containing material (ACM) to be removed. This includes friable asbestos and ACM, asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD) and non-friable asbestos. Class B only allows for the removal of non-friable asbestos or ACM or any amount of ACD.
Alongside this, from April 2018 the government will require PCBUs who engage in the removal of asbestos to have an asbestos assessor's license. An assessor will provide air quality monitoring while removal work is being undertaken, investigate the finished job and sign off on it.
For PCBUs, if they commission the removal of asbestos it is their duty to make sure that the work is completed by a licensed removalist.
One of the major problems that comes with asbestos removal is coordinating with the multiple PCBUs that are typically involved in a project. With traditional paper-based systems, it can be hard to communicate responsibilities and activities among workers and construction companies.
One way to overcome this is through the use of safety software that is mobile applicable. If you would like to learn more about how asbestos removal and safety apps can work together.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE “EXPECTATIONS” Friday 27th July 2018
Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport 63 Westney Road Mangere Auckland Airport
This year’s Annual Conference will focus on the broader Expectations of those providing services to involved in the buying and selling of properties.
All to often the various parties to the sale and purchase transaction work independently when there is clear a common interest that would benefit from a more col- laborative approach to ensure that this process runs smoothly from start to finish.
While there will always be disagreements (this is a ne- gotiated settlement process between the parties in- volved) ultimately all those involved must come to an agreement for a successful conclusion.
Understanding the requirements and expectations of those involved will help lessen the potential conflicts resulting in a faster smoother transaction.
So what are the expectations of those involved — the banks, the real estate agents, insurers or other special- ist sectors — that provide services to buyers and sellers from the building inspector?
That’s the question the Institute is asking at this year’s Annual Conference. If you wish to attend and hear what these groups have to say please complete the attached registration form and return it with payment as directed.New Zealand Institute of Building Inspectors Inc P.O. Box 4161
Tel/Fax: 09-435 4255, Mobile: 021-0261 7553 Email: email@example.comFriday July 27 2018 Venue
Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has revealed the criteria for buyers to qualify for KiwiBuild homes.
OPINION: Kiwibuild's income criteria are so broad that most households will qualify. The result is a policy aimed firmly at the middle and high-income earners or New Zealand.
Kiwibuild need not be a failure, if it manages to build more homes without disrupting current supply, and improves construction sector capacity to build more and better homes.
But Kiwibuild will not build houses for home ownership for low-Income households. Rather, it is aimed at middle and relatively high-income households: a single person with income of $120,000 and a couple's income of $180,000.
A generous income cap was unavoidable. Houses built to sell need people with incomes to service a mortgage and who have already saved a deposit. Realistically, a low-income household doesn't meet those criteria.
* KiwiBuild registration: Close to 6000 people want in
* KiwiBuild: Couples earning up to $180k will be able to buy homes
* Why the Government is letting the rich buy KiwiBuild homes
If KiwiBuild wanted to improve housing conditions for low-income households it would have focussed instead on boosting state housing, community housing, build-to-rents (that is, build new homes for the exclusive purpose of renting them out) and assisted ownership (like the shared equity programme run by the likes New Zealand Housing Foundation).
If it really wanted to make KiwiBuild houses affordable to buy for low-income households, the houses needed to be much cheaper. Because land is the largest part of a home's cost, KiwiBuild would need houses on well-organised leasehold land.
A good long-term lease over say 70 or 100 years is doable for the government. Last year, Austria borrowed for 100 years at 2.1 per cent. Interest rates have moved up since then but they are still more affordable than paying for land upfront.
If the land was leased at the servicing cost of a 70 or 100-year bond rather than the upfront cost of land, many more lower-income households would have qualified. The upfront cost of a $600,000 home would halve, and the cost of lease would be modest. It would require outside-the-box thinking and public service innovation. Not much sign of that around KiwiBuild yet.
There are other ways KiwiBuild can help, by boosting supply, building types of houses that would otherwise not be built, and building capacity in the construction industry.
KiwiBuild plans to build 100,000 houses in the next decade. We already build around 200,000 a decade. The trick will be to ensure KiwiBuild doesn't just cannibalise houses we would have built anyway.
Shamubeel Eaqub: "If it really wanted to make KiwiBuild houses affordable to buy for low-income households, the houses needed to be much cheaper."
It is possible for the government to boost supply. We did that in the 1950s, when the government built state houses, but only in modest numbers.
The biggest increase came from long contracts government entered into with builders and a guarantee to buy new subdivision houses at an agreed discounted price.
Builders confident of income from other sources and a guaranteed buyer at a minimum price built more spec houses and had plenty of motivation to innovate to keep costs under control.
Costs are going to be a big issue for KiwiBuild, because our construction sector is not very efficient. Productivity in the sector has not improved much in the last 30 years. A big increase in construction would need to bring in perhaps 50,000 more builders at the peak. That will take time to train people here or bring in workers from overseas.
Alternatively, we can look to more prefabrication and structural insulated panels. By building in factory methods, construction costs will come down and homes will be built much faster. Sweden effectively did this with its million-homes programme that started in 1960s.
However the houses are built they should aim to fill gaps in the market. Currently we do not build enough medium-density and small homes. KiwiBuild should aggressively increase supply of these kinds of homes.
We should also build homes to a better standard. In a research report I wrote for the Green Building Council, it was clear that the running costs of a high-quality home is lower than those built at the current building code. It would make it easier for households to repay their mortgage if we built more energy-efficient and well-ventilated homes.
KiwiBuild will not help low-income households buy homes. But it can still help if it manages to build more small, dense and high-quality homes. It could still improve by selling a portion to institutional long-term landlords like in Europe, but that doesn't appear to be part of the mix.
The long-term fixes for low-income households are still through more state houses, better rental policies and mass reform of land supply and infrastructure financing.
Shamubeel Eaqub is an independent economist.
Labour promised 100,000 new homes in 10 years. Its first deadline is 1000 built by July 1, 2019.
Dean Norrie, Director/Building Inspector - LBP Qualified Builder, with 20+ years residential building experience, three generations of builder in the family.