Prefabrication poised as a solution to New Zealand’s housing crisis

It’s no secret that New Zealand doesn’t have enough quality housing to meet its current and future needs – and with the pace of building too slow to match the expanding demands of a growing population, prefabricated construction is ready to step up to the challenge.

That’s according to PrefabNZ CEO Pamela Bell. She says the interest being shown from one of the country’s largest construction companies is a further step in the right direction. “Fletcher Living coming out with its ‘house in a day’ concept is a great endorsement for prefabrication. The company’s investment in developing a system is evidence that prefabrication is viable for the rapid delivery of high-quality buildings,” she points out.

Offsite construction reduces time, costs and puts families in durable, comfortable and great-looking new homes. There are more than 250 members of PrefabNZ, including Stanley Group, Spanbild Group, and Keith Hay Homes, which have delivered prefabricated housing for years, consistently meeting council consent and compliance.

Bell says the entry of a top construction company into the prefabricated market is valuable. “One of the challenges with prefabrication is the natural scepticism of new home buyers. Understandably, they want a decent, liveable home and for most, this is the biggest investment they will ever make.”

She notes that the ‘house in a day’ concept isn’t new: in 2014 Stanley Group built a house in a day. “There are many businesses across New Zealand successfully providing homes almost instantly, as they are craned onto site readymade with all the plaster board, fixtures, fittings complete. The whole house is made in a factory and brought in whole and finished, ready for the final fix.”

With prefabricated housing proven in multiple countries around the world, including Sweden with its arctic climate, Bell says any worries are readily addressed. “Buyers are faced with the dual realities of affordability challenges and the lengthy cycle from planning, to council approval, to construction before a home can be delivered. Prefabricated homes are quality-proven; buyers can be confident in the housing that PrefabNZ Members have delivered for years.”

Bell believes further industry collaboration to drive the advantages of prefabricated housing is necessary. ““It’s critical that banks, consenting authorities and quantity surveyors collaborate, PrefabNZ is facilitating this, to smooth the ownership path and assist New Zealanders to be well housed.”

“At PrefabNZ, we provide a forum to keep everyone interested in prefabrication updated, with a website, news, events cluster and CoLab, plus projects such as Home Innovation Village Christchurch (HIVE CH) and UNIpod. It’s great to see the industry expanding and the public can only benefit,” she concludes.


Name: Pamela Bell

Phone & email: 021 972 635,

About PrefabNZ

PrefabNZ is a non-profit industry body that informs, educates and advocates for better buildings in NZ through innovation and excellence in offsite design and construction. With over 240 members, everything we do is informed by our Membership. At PrefabNZ we believe that New Zealand can optimise the delivery of innovative, affordable and high-quality buildings using innovative prefabrication technology, providing measurable and sustainable productivity outcomes to the New Zealand economy.

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