Potential for Prefabrication to Enhance the New Zealand Construction Industry
Authors: Moradibistouni, Milad; Gjerde, M.
The New Zealand construction industry finds it increasingly difficult to meet the growing
demand for housing. There is increased demand over the whole country but particularly in Auckland,
where some 30,000 new homes are needed in the very near future. New Zealand’s population is growing
at a rate that will see it rise to some 6 million by 2068. To meet demand, the construction industry will
need to produce housing more efficiently than it has been doing to date. This paper investigates the
potential for increased use of prefabrication techniques to address these challenges. Prefabrication is well
understood to be faster, more energy efficient, cleaner and safer than traditional construction methods.
The uptake of prefabrication methods in New Zealand was around 32 percent of all new houses in 2013,
which lies somewhere between 90 percent uptake in Sweden and around three percent in Australia; two
countries with which New Zealand is often compared. The paper discusses the current needs of the
construction industry and, after reviewing the potential benefits of prefabrication, speculates over how
these methods could help address the current crisis of housing supply in New Zealand.