Home construction costs

Last updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2022 | Rātū, 29 Whiringa ā-rangi, 2022

Te Puni Kōkiri may financially support the building of new affordable rental housing on small scale papakāinga, where these homes are to remain in the collective ownership of rōpū Māori. These grants contribute toward the vertical building costs (house construction).

A ‘papakāinga’ in the context of Te Puni Kōkiri investment refers to a group of three or more houses on whenua Māori, and functioning as an intentional ‘community’ in accordance with tikanga Māori.

What can the grant be used for?

For capital grants towards the cost of the affordable rental housing the following can be included:

  • House construction costs including a garage or carport.
  • On site costs (note: infrastructure items are considered separately, but concurrently).
  • Council fees.
  • Māori Land Court costs / fees (when these were not funded as part of project planning).
  • Project costs (project management and contingency).

Rotopounamu 1B3A2C Ahu Whenua Trust Papakāinga, Clive

Who is eligible?       

  • A rōpū Māori with evidence of a formal governance structure (land/Ahu Whenua trust, whānau trust, collective etc)
  • The rōpū intend to build a small scale papakāinga (as defined at the top of the page)
  • Steps 1-3 from the ‘Guide to Papakāinga Housing’ will have been satisfactorily completed (Whānau planning, workshops/research, project planning and feasibility)
  • The housing is to be offered as affordable rentals, and to be retained in ownership of the rōpū
  • The rōpū should be able to contribute at least 25% of the construction costs.

What whenua is eligible?

The proposed papakāinga must be on whenua Māori. 

Whenua Māori in this context means:

  • Māori Freehold Land registered in the Māori Land Court as a Māori title, OR
  • it may include land in General Title where it once was Māori title (pre the compulsory conversion to General Title from 1967 for example), OR
  • is in the process or intention of being converted back into Māori title, OR
  • is considered to be Māori ‘customary’ land with clear and demonstrated tikanga, history or other matters of significance (for example adjacent to a marae), meaning it is ‘attached’ to the ownership and kaitiaki of the whānau/hapū.

What level of funding is available?   

In all cases, rōpū Māori are required to contribute financially to the construction of any affordable rental homes.  The Te Puni Kōkiri grant is a contribution – it will not cover the entire costs of building a papakāinga. Rōpū should plan to contribute at least 25% of the construction costs for any rental homes. The houses must be affordable to build and affordable to rent.  Build costs of papakāinga supported to date have been in the range of $2,500/m2 - $3,500/m2 (including GST).

The level of grant towards both the construction cost of the rental homes and related infrastructure are determined on a case by case basis. Factors considered are the papakāinga project circumstances, projected rental incomes and debt repayments, negotiated outcomes and Project Viability Assessment Tool analysis.  Funding is provided to support the supply of affordable rental homes for whānau and the cost of the build and the rental incomes should reflect that. To understand what may be available to cover construction costs, please contact a regional office near you.

Demand across the rohe exceeds the amount of funding Te Puni Kōkiri has available.  We cannot fund every proposal that meets our criteria, as much as we would like to. 

For more information on what funding is available and what has been delivered go here.


The Papakainga Development Process

A video of the papakainga masterclass from the February 2021 National Maori Housing Conference, sponsored by the Australian Housing Institute (AHI). Paora Sheeran (Sheeran & Associates) provides a “Papakainga Development 101” for whānau and rōpū interested in finding out how to progress their housing aspirations on their whenua.


Guide to Papakāinga Housing

The ‘Guide to Papakāinga Housing’ provides an overview of the papakāinga development process including the steps. Usually preceding this step is a completed project feasibility.

Papakāinga planning tools

Demand for information and guidance for papakāinga developments is high.  Whānau are keen to understand how they can utilise their parcels of whenua to build safe, warm, dry and affordable housing.  Here are some handy tools to help with your planning and preparation:

Papakāinga toolkits

Councils and regions have developed their own Papakāinga Toolkits to assist whānau and rōpū with their planning. These resources provide greater detail on the steps to develop a papakāinga. They are both generic and recognised by the organisations that have supported their development.

Kāinga Whenua Loans

The Kāinga Whenua Loan Scheme is an initiative between Kāinga Ora and Kiwibank to help Māori achieve home ownership on their multiple-owned land.

The loans are available for both Māori land trusts, and individuals with a right to occupy their multiple-owned Māori land. 

For more information, please refer to the Kāinga Ora website

Need more info, or want to apply for funding?

Go here for further resources that support papakāinga development.

Click here to register a housing enquiry with a regional office near you.

For more information on your whenua go to the Tupu website