Publish date: March 2021
Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities (Kāinga Ora), formed in 2019 and bought together the people, capabilities, and resources of the KiwiBuild Unit, Housing New Zealand and development subsidiary Hobsonville Land Company (HLC). Kāinga Ora facilitates a cohesive approach to delivering on Government priorities for housing and urban development in New Zealand.
Kāinga Ora has two key roles:
- Being a world-class public housing landlord
- Partnering with the development community, Maori, local and central government, and others on urban development projects of all sizes.
Nationally, more than 200,000 people live in 66,500 Kāinga Ora homes.
Kāinga Ora means ‘wellbeing through places and communities’. When it comes to being a world-class public housing landlord, the focus of Kāinga Ora is on customer wellbeing through provision of good quality, warm, dry, and healthy homes.
To ensure its goals are met, Kāinga Ora needs to conduct regular health and safety inspections of its national property portfolio while minimising the impact of these inspections on customers.
The process used by Kāinga Ora for undertaking health and safety inspections was a comprehensive mainly manual, paper based recording system.
As Kāinga Ora’s existing contract was due to come to end, when they went to tender in 2018, to procure a new service provider for the health and safety inspections, one of the specifications for the new contract was a requirement for inspection results to be returned using a digital data format. This requirement was to enable improved visibility and tracking of completed inspections and reporting of any non-compliance findings.
SPM Assets has supported Kāinga Ora and predecessor Housing New Zealand (HNZ) with property inspections since 2013. In 2013 SPM Assets carried out asset information surveys of 30,000 HNZ properties nationwide. SPM Assets then began to progressively undertake property condition assessments for up to 1,600 properties annually. In 2018 a procurement process resulted in Kāinga Ora selecting SPM Assets to conduct its health and safety inspections, which includes the following specific components:
- Routine health and safety inspections conducted six months after a Tenancy Manager annual visit to ensure a home is being inspected on a six-monthly basis.
- The use of SPM Assets mobile software by inspectors for digital collection of inspection data.
- Inspection methodology specification - a standard list of questions pre-loaded to meet Kāinga Ora requirements and in-built software quality assurance rules that specify each question must be assessed before the quality checkpoint is passed.
- Immediate action of selected minor works to address health and safety issues. This includes installation of smoke alarms, window stays and free standing oven anti-tip pins. These minor works are also documented within SPM Assets mobile software application, including timestamped photos for audit purposes.
- Work orders classed as critical, are phoned through for immediate follow-up action. To ensure consistency between systems, Kāinga Ora maintenance codes are also used within the works descriptions.
- Other improvements to process have also been made in conjunction with Kāinga Ora for work unable to be completed during the inspection. This includes health and safety, asset protection and other observed concerns being immediately emailed to Kāinga Ora maintenance mailboxes in each region for follow-up action.
- Direct inspection scheduling and communication with Kāinga Ora customers.
- Information required to produce lease property reports have also been built into the health and safety inspection methodology and are also able to be generated directly from SPM Assets. 1,500 lease property reports are completed annually and these reports are provided to Kāinga Ora to issue to property owners. These lease reports detail issues or defects found in a property and specify the party required to fix these issues - (owner or Kāinga Ora.
Kāinga Ora has been able to innovate and improve its annual health and safety inspection process:
- Quality assurance
Inspectors enter data on-site, as they complete the property inspection into the SPM Assets mobile application. This is immediately saved and available in real-time to Kāinga Ora. The potential for errors associated with paper reports, errors in re-typing, or losing vital information is removed.
- Time saved
Work orders are now received in a written format directly to Kāinga Ora maintenance coordinators. The work orders also contain photographs to assist contractors to detail the issue and solution.
- Improved accountability
An electronic record of work orders being sent to Kāinga Ora now exists.
- Improved customer engagement / communication
Provision of an enhanced communication process and dedicated call centre gives customers the ability to easily reschedule inspection appointments, increasing customer satisfaction and customer experience.
- Quality assurance analysis
Inspection data for each surveyor is overlaid against national or regional norms to identify anomalies in data collection. This analysis is able to be used for auditing purposes to make improvements to inspection training and ensure inspection consistency between inspectors.
Kāinga Ora can have confidence its homes have been checked, any health and safety issues have been identified and either rectified immediately or recorded and promptly allocated to a Maintenance Partner for follow-up action.
An evolving partnership
Kāinga Ora has also engaged SPM Assets to conduct additional inspections during the health and safety property inspection, to reduce disruption to customers and improve the efficiency of data collection:
Kāinga Ora needed to confirm the insulation status on about 1,300 homes to establish whether they would require an upgrade to meet current and future insulation requirements. These assessments were conducted over a 4 -month period and where possible, this check was made as an add on to a scheduled health and safety inspection. This approach also helped to minimise disruption to Kainga Ora customers.
Commencing December 2020 and for a 12-month period, SPM Assets inspectors will replace all incandescent lightbulbs with LED lightbulbs. This light bulb swap will be done during the health and safety inspection. This programme has many benefits for Kāinga Ora customers including energy saving of LED lightbulbs resulting in reduced power usage and power bills for customers.
Kāinga Ora continues to partner and work closely with SPM Assets on a journey of continual operational and business improvement when it comes to the health and safety inspection methodology. This partnership is continuing to contribute to Kāinga Ora goals of aspiring to be a world-class public housing landlord through ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its customers.
Other Asset management case studies
These asset management case studies highlight how we work with our customers to benefit them:
Housing Choices Australia (HCA) is a national, not-for-profit housing provider that currently manage over 3,200 housing properties in both Victoria and Tasmania. HCA engaged SPM Assets in early 2012 to implement a specialised configuration.
Hume Community Housing (HCH) is a community housing provider in Sydney, NSW that manages a growing property portfolio of over 1,300 properties across the Inner-West and Western suburbs of Sydney.
Tāmaki Regeneration, jointly owned by the New Zealand Government and Auckland Council, is leading a first-of-its-kind urban regeneration programme along the Tāmaki Estuary in Auckland.
One of Kāinga Ora’s key roles is ‘being a world-class public housing landlord’ with a focus on customer wellbeing through provision of good quality, warm, dry and healthy homes. To ensure its goals are met, Kāinga Ora needs to conduct regular health and safety inspections of its national property portfolio while minimising the impact of these inspections on customers.
Haumaru Housing’s overarching goal was to have one source of truth for its asset management activities. There was a need to move away from purely reactive maintenance, to refurbishments, and to planning new residential villages. It needed evidence-based projects to bring the villages up to the standard aligned with Haumaru Housing’s goals.