The Lakeside development in Te Kauwhata will see 175 KiwiBuild homes starting at $480,000
KiwiBuild has gone lakeside within commuting distance of Hamilton and South Auckland.
Ten of the 175 Government homes to be built at the development on the shores of Lake Waikare in Te Kauwhata will be up for grabs when the ownership ballot opens on Monday, October 29.
They'll be two-bedroom, modern standalone homes - all fully landscaped with off-street parking and a home appliance package.
Prices for the 128sqm houses will be half the Auckland average at $480,000.
Construction of the first homes will be completed by Christmas 2019.
The housing development is being carried out by property developer Winton which has constructed five show homes on site, one of which is a KiwiBuild home.
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford said the project will complement wider central and local government investment in infrastructure in and around Te Kauwhata.
"Te Kauwhata is expected to be a major growth area in north Waikato. That's why in July, I confirmed $38 million of 10-year interest-free loans to Waikato District Council to support major infrastructure projects around Te Kauwhata to enable the building of more houses.
"It's no doubt that the growth pressures will pose both challenges and opportunities for the local community."
He said Waikato District Council mayor Allan Sanson was extremely conscious of those challenges.
"Growth is a good thing if we manage it right. Growth is an opportunity to do things in a better way."
Te Kauwhata is in the Auckland-Hamilton corridor, which is one of the biggest growth areas in the country. It also has access to two of the country's most important labour markets, he said.
Twyford called the community "one of the most vibrant, fast moving parts of the country".
People who make their home in the community will have the advantage of burgeoning employment opportunities in the district, he said.
"It's also a relatively easy commute to Hamilton and to the southern part of Auckland."
The Lakeside development is a master-planned community nestled on the banks of Lake Waikare, less than a kilometre from the Te Kauwhata town centre and its schools and other facilities.
It will comprise 1600 homes, including the 175 KiwiBuild homes, and its own village centre will have a range of amenities for relaxed family living.
As part of the development, over 5km of walking and cycling trails are being created, giving public access to the banks of Lake Waikare for the first time. A large recreational lake is also being created to the east of the development.
The KiwiBuild homes will come in four different designs and owners will have the option to add extensions to the home when they can afford it.
Winton chief executive Chris Meehan said the homes were about half of the cost of the average Auckland house price.
The company recently copped criticism for its advertising campaign of Lakeside which suggested New Zealanders have "lost our kiwiness".
However, Twyford defended the company, calling it "a first rate developer".
He called the campaign "a light-hearted marketing campaign that harks back to the nostalgia of our grandparents' generation when affordable homes were something that we took for granted".
Iwi leader Robert Tukiri challenged Twyford to ensure locals were able to afford the houses, too.
Twyford told him the government takes its responsibility to ensure KiwiBuild delivers to Māori seriously.
"I'm determined as Housing and Urban Development Minister to ensure that Māori get their fair share of opportunities that KiwiBuild will offer."
"You are saying the right words. Just follow it through with the right actions," Tukiri replied.
Twyford said he could not promise that locals would be at the front of the line for these houses because the ballot was open to everyone.
"I encourage local whanau who want to have a crack at one of these beautiful homes to go online and go through the pre-qualification process online and go into the ballot."
Twyford said there were Māori who would qualify for the ballot, but he also acknowledged that a $400,000 mortgage was unrealistic for some.
He said their shared equity programme would help these people get a foothold into the housing market.