Kokohinau emergency housing

​​Kokohinau Marae - Emergency housing​​​​

Kokohinau Marae - Emergency housing

After the Edgecumbe flood at Kokohinau, a fast quality housing scheme was imperative to home the displaced Iwi members who reside on the Papakainga land. Kokohinau Marae Trust proposed to build a series of housing units for the use of Kaumatua and extended whanau. A total of 31 dwellings were envisaged for the complete housing scheme. This project and case study focuses on the construction of five homes and the extensive infrastructure for future stages to take place. Easybuild Bay of Plenty (BOP) were contracted to carry out the work within the determined timeframe of 15 weeks - an extremely important criteria for the clients.

PrefabNZ case studies "How to prefab" includes Kokohinau Marae (called Emergency housing), download the case study here


The site continued to operate as a Marae during construction, so certain protocols needed to be respected by all parties involved in the construction. The construction site was a field filled with livestock, this introduced additional on-site activities. These aspects challenged the delivery time of the project, but the use of innovative construction and MultiProof¹ building consents made the on-time completion possible.

To meet the determined timeline many jobs were being completed concurrently, resulting in Easybuild building faster than the local authority could inspect. Council processing delays occurred at the beginning of the project and at completion getting power connected. These challenges tested the urgency of emergency housing.

¹ A MultiProof consent is a national multiple-use approval statement by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment which states that a set of plans and specification for a building complies with Building Code.


Easybuild used katana auger piles² which completed construction on-site in one day. The speed in katana pile construction put Easybuild ahead of schedule and enabled them to begin assembling floors onsite weeks sooner than conventional piles could afford.

Easybuild has a high level of prefabrication used in their factory. Their method for construction comprises of closed panels that are fitted between timber portal frames. The homes are approximately 30% cheaper than bespoke homes and semi-skilled labour is viable in the construction of the housing units. The major benefits associated with the use of prefabricated construction in this project consist of quality, time and cost-efficiency.

² Auger Piles, also known as continuous flight auger piles, are castin-place piles, using a hollow stem auger with continous flgihts.

Portal frames and panels assembled on-site


The closed panels and timber frames were delivered to site flat-packed and containerised. Minimal cutting of building elements was required on-site, as each panel and frame was pre-cut, predrilled and pre-rebated for assembly. One form of fixing was predominantly used for the assembly of each dwelling.

To aid the construction process, Easybuild BOP employed labour from the Marae and trained them in their construction system. One iwi member who joined the building crew has since been taken on by EasyBuild BOP as an apprentice. This was beneficial for both parties whose ultimate goal was to complete the units in a timely manner. The use of local labour assisted with this and also created opportunities for those who took part.


Kokohinau Marae expressed their satisfaction with the dwellings being occupied immediately. The residents showed their thanks for being able to live in a home once again. The clients and residents are extremely pleased with their warm, robust and comfortable new homes.

The clients and funders of the Kokohinau Marae Papakainga housing project are thrilled with the outcome provided by Easybuild and their prefab construction system. As a result, this project has lead onto similar projects and provides a great example of how prefabricated construction can aid emergency housing projects.

“The homes were completed on time and on budget, all parties involved were delighted with the outcome.” Kokohinau Marae Trust

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