Ngai Tahu and Govt partner for 100 KiwiBuild homes in Queenstown

By Talisa Kupenga

The Government has announced KiwiBuild and Ngāi Tahu Property are working together to build a new community of more than 300 homes in Queenstown.

The project will see 300-high density homes, predominantly apartments, including 100 KiwiBuild homes, built on the former site of Wakatipu High School. The Kiwi build homes are expected to be priced below $650,000.

Ngāi Tahu Property chief executive David Kennedy says an agreement with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for the project will be finalised in coming weeks.

“We expect this development will be staged and completed over the next five or more years, demonstrating a commitment to a longer-term solution for the people of Tāhuna. We expect the first homes will be ready by the end of 2022.”

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says building housing on the old Wakatipu high school site has been talked about for a couple of years.

“Queenstown has been hard hit by the housing crisis. It has the most expensive housing in the country, with an average house price of $1.2m and average weekly rent of $620,” Minister Twyford says.

"That's why our Government, Ngāi Tahu Property, and Queenstown Lakes District Council are coming together to create a new community, centred around affordable housing and close to the centre of the city.''

The former school site was purchased by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development late last year as part of this work.