Kiwi innovators and advocates join strong speaker line-up at 2016 Sustainable Housing Summit

13 May 2016

The people behind some of this country’s smartest building solutions and urban regeneration projects will share their ideas at next month’s Sustainable Housing Summit (Auckland, June 15; Christchurch, June 17).

The biennial summit, now in its third year, is presented by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), a not-for-profit industry organisation dedicated to creating a sustainable built environment. The summit focuses on the vital role sustainability plays in building better homes and communities, and presents real-life examples of initiatives that work.

The local speakers announced today will demonstrate the value of innovative building techniques, discuss sustainability’s growing role in urban developments, and debate the thorny issues currently confronting New Zealand around housing health and affordability.

Steve Evans, chief executive – residential and land development at Fletcher Building, will discuss Fletcher Living’s sustainability benchmarks on the Christchurch East Frame development, and how they’re working towards a people-centred, economically vibrant precinct.

Viv Heslop, sustainability manager at Panuku Development Auckland, will discuss successful urban revitalisation in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, and explain the key mechanisms that have been used to ensure sustainability is a defining, visible feature of the quarter.

Other newly announced speakers are:

  • Tim Porter, project director - major projects, Holmes Solutions, will talk about waste reduction through evidence-based design and prefabrication. Together, these techniques provide a profound opportunity to build safer, better, cheaper, faster and greener.
  • Daiman Otto, CEO, Tall Wood, will outline how prefabrication and offsite manufacturing are critical tools in creating genuinely affordable, sustainable housing outcomes, while also increasing certainty and quality for clients and end-users.
  • Alex Cutler, NZGBC’s CEO, will look at what the NZ residential sector has achieved in the last few years, and how to capitalise on the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Phil Twyford, Labour’s spokesperson for housing, building and construction, will provide the opening address in Auckland. Carolyn Ingles, urban design and regeneration manager at Christchurch City Council, will provide the opening address in Christchurch.

A panel session will tackle the thorny issues of housing health and affordability, in a robust discussion between a range of Kiwi experts, with time for audience questions. Panelists include:

  • Robert Linterman – general manager residential, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
  • Professor Robyn Phipps – professor at Massey University and part of the He Kainga Oranga Healthy Housing Research Group.
  • Kate Healy – the chief operating officer, Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa, is involved in projects such as building 30 new, affordable homes for members of the hapu within a Special Housing Area in Orakei.
  • Geoff Butcher – Cooperative Sections and Community Housing Trust. The economic consultant is the driving force behind a unique, community-led initiative to lower the cost of sections in Christchurch, achieving savings in excess of $50,000 per section.

Ms Cutler says the need for better-quality, affordable housing is becoming more pressing, and embracing sustainability is key to any proposed solution.

“Also, embracing sustainability in housing is about more than just building more efficient homes – it also involves rethinking how neighbourhoods are designed to make better use of resources and create vibrant communities,” she says.

“We’re thrilled that there’s a growing appetite for change, and are delighted to give all our knowledgeable speakers a platform to inspire others in the residential building community.”

The speakers and panelists join a compelling lineup of international guests:

  • Vancouver City’s Andrea Reimer on the city’s award-winning Greenest City Action Plan.
  • Sustainable communities pioneer Adam Beck, director of Brisbane’s Centre for Urban Innovation, on how collaborative governance through the EcoDistricts pilot programme, in North America, has created better communities.
  • James Legge, director of Melbourne’s Six Degrees Architects, on upsetting the status quo with the Nightingale triple-bottom-line model, where architects act as developers.
  • Kristian Edwards of Norway’s Snohetta Architects on the ZEB Pilot House, a net positive energy house that offsets all its CO2 emissions (via live video link, Auckland summit only).
  • Richard Palmer, WSP Sydney’s Associate Director Sustainability on how emerging district utility infrastructure can support sustainable urban renewal.

The Auckland summit is held at the Crowne Plaza, Auckland CBD, and is supported by principal sponsor Assa Abloy and event sponsors Resene and Ardex. The Christchurch summit is held at the Christchurch Civic Building, and is supported by principal sponsor Davis Ogilvie and event sponsor Resene. For a full programme and speaker information, visit