It was a great pleasure to present at the Property Council NZ’s Property Council NZ 2018 Residential Development Summit on February 21st in Auckland.
The newly installed Minister for Housing and Urban Development and Transport Phil Twyford was the keynote speaker and his maiden address as minister to the Property Council was a hard act to follow! From an outsider with no in depth understanding of the market in New Zealand, it was a fascinating address. The Auckland market in particular bears many of the hallmarks of the heated Sydney and Melbourne markets and Labour’s housing policy was impressive for its vision around affordability. Particularly their KiwiBuild programme, which aims to build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years, with 50% of them in Auckland.
It was also interesting to see David Baker of David Baker Architects and Factory OS present. David’s candid explanation of how his practice’s exploration of medium and high density mid-rise modular and pre-built projects throughout California was really refreshing. Not to mention impressive. It’s clear to me from the conversations at this conference and Urbanity 17 that no policy or practical response to affordability can hope to succeed without modular/prefabricated building methodologies being employed.
I was asked to present on what we have been doing in Melbourne in our efforts to “kill the developer”.
Judging from the number and nature of the questions from the floor there was quite a bit of engagement in the topic which was great, given the vast majority of the 400 odd attendees are for profit developers.
It was refreshing and energising to meet a number of Kiwi architects, engineers, builders, place makers and development managers who were really open, friendly and receptive to exploring alternative models of development as part of the mix across the ditch. Watch this space!
Thanks very much to the Property Council NZ for the invitation and opportunity.