Kāinga Ora buys farm earmarked as greenfield site
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.”