Kāinga Ora buys farm earmarked as greenfield site

The farmland on SH29. Image: Google Maps.

About 1000 more new homes are likely to be built in Tauranga over the coming years due to the acquisition of a 95.3 hectare site by Kāinga Ora.

Ferncliffe Farm is a greenfield site in the priority-growth area of Tauranga’s Tauriko West.

The $70.4 million purchase is the first acquisition under the newly created Kāinga Ora Land Programme, set up to lead strategic land acquisitions to enable housing and thriving communities in areas of need.

Kāinga Ora urban planning and design general manager Katja Lietz says the acquisition will bring much needed housing options to the area.

“There is high demand for not only market homes, but also affordable and public housing in Tauranga.

“A site this large, developed by Kāinga Ora and its partners, can provide this mix of housing, meeting the needs of a broad cross-section of the community.”

Tauriko West is one of five priority development areas in the Western Bay of Plenty under the SmartGrowth urban growth partnership.

SmartGrowth is a collaboration of local government, tangata whenua, and central government, set up to plan for growth across the Western Bay of Plenty sub-region.

SmartGrowth chair Peter Winder says the Kāinga Ora acquisition aligns well with the partnership’s strategy.

“SmartGrowth provides a unified vision, direction and voice for the future of the Western Bay of Plenty as we help develop a great place to live, learn, work and play,” he says.

“The strategy identifies opportunities for building our community, while ensuring a balanced approach to growth management. Kāinga Ora is a trusted partner for SmartGrowth and the purchase of Ferncliffe Farm is a strategic move for the partnership, unlocking development and increasing housing supply, especially at the more affordable end of the market.”

Katja Lietz says the collaborative approach that Kāinga Ora has to development means the urban development agency will be working with a broad range of partners across the region.

“Early engagement has been very positive and we look forward to further strengthening our relationships with key partners such as local hapū and community groups as our plans develop. Discussions with adjacent landowners and the council have been focussed on how we can jointly plan for the success of the wider Tauriko West area and bring homes to the area as fast as possible,” she says.

Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley says news that Kāinga Ora has secured a significant block of land at Tauriko West for future greenfield development is positive news for New Zealand’s fastest-growing city.

“Tauranga has a serious housing shortfall, which has driven up prices and made buying a home extremely difficult for existing residents and people wanting to move to the city,” she says.

“Development of this block will provide a unique opportunity to deliver quality and affordable outcomes which meet a range of housing needs, in a connected community with good transport choices, and we welcome the leadership role Kāinga Ora is playing in that process.”

A map showing the farm’s current locations and the amenities in the area. Supplied image.

Nearby Tauriko Business Estate employs more than 5000 people and the area forms part of the Tauranga Western Corridor that will in future be connected with Te Papa and the rest of the city through a high-frequency public transport network.

“Throughout the development, we will partner with local firms and our aim is to help grow the local construction sector through our investment,” says Lietz.

“Not only will this development bring further employment to the area, it also opens up opportunities for greater investment in infrastructure such as roading, public transport and schools in the area.”

Development planning and design work for the site is now underway, with preliminary plans indicating approximately 1000 homes can be built on a portion of the site. The low-lying wetland areas and steep sections included on the site will be protected and enhanced, creating recreation areas for the community to enjoy the natural biodiversity of the area.

“Ferncliffe Farm is a long-term investment in housing and we are clear that we want this investment to drive positive outcomes not only for Tauriko West but for the whole of Tauranga,” says Lietz.

“The extensive planning, earthworks and land development requirements mean construction should begin in approximately three to four years. Our aim is to accelerate timeframes for housing delivery as much as possible at both Ferncliffe Farm and neighbouring land through collaboration and proactive planning.

“Once complete, we are confident Ferncliffe will be a thriving community that will bring huge benefits to this vibrant and fast-growing city.”

Kāinga Ora Land Programme

The Kāinga Ora Land Programme was announced in March 2021, as part of the Government’s housing package in this year’s Budget.

Through the programme, Kāinga Ora is able to borrow up to $2 billion in additional lending to scale up land acquisition, enabling it to deliver on its urban development mandate providing more affordable housing in regions across New Zealand.

Support for the Kāinga Ora acquisition of Ferncliffe Farm

Hon Dr Megan Woods, Minister of Housing and Urban Development:

“This is a fantastic project for Tauranga that will deliver up to 1000 new warm, dry homes, with 200 being affordable and 200 being public homes. This is what Government investment in housing development looks like; ensuring good community outcomes as we scale up - and speed up – the building of new housing.

“Last year, we joined an urban growth partnership along with local councils, tangata whenua and community leaders across the Western Bay of Plenty to advance a long-term plan for growth. This SmartGrowth strategy maps out the region’s needs such as transportation and housing over the next 50 years. The delivery of this development in Tauriko sits well with the SmartGrowth strategy and will encourage further investment into the area.

“Our Government has no qualms at all about stepping in to fix the housing crisis we inherited. And our Government is proud to be giving Kāinga Ora the capability to buy and quickly develop land for much needed affordable warm, dry homes.

Kāinga Ora is a significant market player with a massive work programme underway to deliver new public, affordable and market housing. We are proud to be supporting more housing, in this exciting development for Tauranga.”


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More dreaming

Posted on 02-12-2021 19:47 | By

For goodness sake, 4 years before building starts, that’s good, give them time to build the new Motorway from Te Puna, yeah right. What is wrong with Councillors and politicians, are they just plain dumb, Tauranga is now an overpopulated, JAFA imposter city full of retired old people who clog the roads going to drink coffees at cafes all day, they bring nothing to Tauranga but poor driving skills and dont add to the economy through productivity, more like pollution and overspending on things they dont really need, more rubbish for the landfill, mind you, retirement villages are thriving, pity they didnt have to pay for all the extra cars on the road that they bring here and building new roads to cater for their residents, plain greed ahead of common sense, please go away and destroy a different town.

Water supply

Posted on 01-12-2021 08:18 | By Chookymac

I have just been messaging TCC re water restrictions and why the Wairoa river can not be harnessed to add to the City Suppy and a Person by the name of Hannah sherratt has said that the main task at the moment is to increase the water supply due to the increase in housing to the east of TGA.So help me is this a small housing task or does she not know East From West? I ask you what are we dealing with in that Edifice?

Buyer Beware

Posted on 30-11-2021 11:04 | By Equality

The government will subsidise a certain number of homes. No doubt they will retain their ’no eviction’ law. I pity anyone silly enough to buy a home in what will become a potential slum with all its troubles.


Posted on 28-11-2021 08:45 | By Kaimai

1000 homes " should begin in approximately three to four years." Great - going to be a lot of ...what, planning? But "...with 200 being affordable and 200 being public homes." What of the other 600...somewhere between affordable and public?

Kancho Centurion

Posted on 27-11-2021 14:17 | By

Ultimately they will all be ‘affordable’ because they will be SOUGHT after. It’s just 200 that won’t be sold at the market rate because those will be subsidised to make them cheaper than the market rate. But even that is not good enough for some people. They expect Nanny to provide everything for free. Only nothing is free. It comes by taking money off other hard working people.

Parau farms bethlehem

Posted on 26-11-2021 19:41 | By

This plus Kainga ora proposal to build homes on council reserve in Bethlehem will be a lot of state houses. Hope they sort out tenancy issues for neighbouring areas!!

Clarkson was ripped off

Posted on 26-11-2021 16:49 | By TheCameltoeKid

Wasn’t this land owned by Bob Clarkson which he wanted to build low cost housing on? Instead the Council threw everything they could at him to stop it. Now the Housing Ministry own it they’ll build their slums and take the credit.

That's nice.

Posted on 26-11-2021 13:05 | By Centurion

Of the 1,000 warm and dry homes to be built, only 200 will be affordable. To whom?


Posted on 26-11-2021 12:26 | By Kancho

Imagine the impact . More traffic to a city already grinding to a halt . Water restrictions and general Infrastructure strained capacities. Still growth seems to be the goal as it’s sort after. One day satellite towns will grow self sufficiently but Tauranga will be more citified and less liveable. So all the Aucklanders who came here to escape will realise they hav bought the problems with them