New Zealand Law Society - Environment Committee recommends the Kāinga Ora Bill be passed with amendments

Environment Committee recommends the Kāinga Ora Bill be passed with amendments

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The Environment Committee has released its report on the Kāinga Ora—Homes and Communities Bill and recommends that it be passed with amendments.

The bill establishes Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities as a Crown entity which will focus on providing good quality, affordable housing choices, supporting access to jobs, amenities and services and enhancing the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of communities.

Kāinga Ora would be a new Crown Entity with two main roles, to be a public housing landlord and to lead and coordinate housing and urban development projects.

A companion bill is expected to be introduced later in 2019 that would allow Kāinga Ora to undertake specified development projects (SDPs).

The Committee received and considered 94 submissions from interested groups and individuals and heard oral evidence from 24 submitters. The Committee received advice from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.


Clause 5(1) should be amended to change the definition of “financial assistance for home ownership” as the Committee considers that this definition is too narrow as it does not cover other types of tenure or home financial assistance.

The Committee recommends amendments to clause 13 (functions of Kāinga Ora). Clause 13(1)(c) should be reworded to distinguish between financial assistance for individuals and financial assistance to other bodies. Clause 13(1)(d) should be amended to remove the focus on home ownership. The “departments of State or Crown entities” should be replaced with the “Crown or Crown entities” in clause 13(1)(e) and clause 16(a).

Clause 13 (1)(f) should be amended to emphasise the importance of a range of approaches to partnership.

The Committee considers that the introductory wording of clause 14(1)(operating principles) is ambiguous and so should be simplified.

Clause 14(1)(l) (role in the community) should be expanded to ensure that Kāinga Ora would have early and meaningful engagement with communities that are or would be affected by housing and urban development.

The Committee recommends amending clause 22(1) to extend the deadline for the first Government Policy Statement (GPS) from one year to two years. One year might not be enough time to develop the GPS and consult stakeholder groups. Clause 22(1)(b) should be deleted and clause 24(1)(a) amended to emphasise the GPS must include a multi-decade outlook.

A new paragraph 24(1)(f) should be inserted to set out a climate change statement and Government’s expectation for Kāinga Ora to “recognise the need to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change”.