• Kāinga Ora invests $2.5M in home improvements for Hawke’s Bay customers

Kāinga Ora invests $2.5M in home improvements for Hawke’s Bay customers

Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities spent about $2.5 million last financial year to improve its Hawke's Bay housing stock.

The money was spent on exterior house painting ($508,500), fencing ($233 800), new roofing ($1.6m) and driveway safety improvements ($140,000), to its homes.

Kāinga Ora Director Maintenance Contracting and Asset Services, Doug Spick says these improvements are part of a series of planned programmes that "greatly benefit" customers and support regional businesses too.

“This work has seen around 600 households get improvements made to their home with either the exterior repainted, a brand-new roof or boundary fence and where there are young children under 5, the home got a secure play area as part of our driveway safety programme.

"These completed jobs in the region provided additional work for trades already involved in some capacity on maintaining our homes in the area"

Kāinga Ora began a new national maintenance Te Mahi Ngātahi contract in July 2020. In addition to the usual contract terms and conditions, it also included a focus on an improved customer experience.

“We asked customers what they thought about the way we deliver maintenance and planned work in their home. The feedback we received is now an integral part of the way we deliver maintenance, repairs and planned work under this new contract," Spick says. 

“These improvements we’ve made are all about our customers – providing them with a great customer experience, in addition to the investment in making their homes better. It’s really important to Kāinga Ora our homes not only meet our customers' needs but our customers are also happy with the way we did the work at their home."

He says the initiative has improved their "communication frequency" with their customers. 

"Our Maintenance Partners have co-branded vehicles and clothing so customers know it is our people at the door.  Throughout the job customers also receive regular updates on progress.”

Safekids Aotearoa Director Mareta Hunt also supports these improvements that made driveways at 57 Kainga Ora homes safer for whānau with young tamariki (children).

Ms Hunt says evidence from child driveway-injury research is clear and indicates that fewer tamariki will be injured in driveways when property and driveway design separates where tamariki might play or walk from areas where vehicles are driven.

“Useful interventions include erecting a gated fence to prevent tamariki accessing the driveway as well as the use of signage and convex mirrors to aid drivers in multi-unit complexes.

"With summer and the traffic light system, whānau are spending more time outdoors, so we also encourage all homeowners and tenants to be extra careful around driveways; know where your tamariki are and that they are supervised before you get into your car and remember to always check for kids before you turn the key”.