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Building on 30 years of care

Since 1993, Habitat for Humanity has been bringing Kiwis together to be the heart of change. For three decades, we have been partnering with communities across New Zealand and the Pacific to provide safe and decent places to call home.

30 years of building better futures through shelter

For three decades, we have been partnering with communities to provide safe and decent places to call home.

In 1993, Habitat for Humanity handed over the keys to our first family in New Zealand.

Those keys unlocked a home built entirely by volunteers and also opened the door to a better future of stability, education, security and certainty.

Over the past 30 years, we have been bringing communities together to help more families into their own homes, make existing homes liveable and give new generations of Kiwis the opportunity to thrive in life through housing.


Milestones in making a difference

1993 Mar.

Our first Kiwi home

A family moves into the first Habitat for Humanity home in New Zealand, completed in Pukekohe Auckland.

1994 Oct. - Nov.

Two new affiliates

With the establishment of our Christchurch and Manukau offices, our life-changing services are available to North and South Island families.

1995 Jan.

Habitat Established in Hamilton

Habitat Hamilton is established, now known as Habitat Central, supporting the Waikato to Wellington region.

1995 May.

Myrtle’s Miracle Mansion

Habitat Central complete their first home build, 100% built by volunteers and with support from local funders. Watch more about Myrtle’s Miracle Mansion

1995 Aug. - Sept.

Habitat Keeps Growing

Habitat New Zealand continues to grow, with the establishment of Habitat Taranaki and Habitat Dunedin.

1995 Oct.

Home Blitz Build

Habitat Northern host their first Blitz Build. An event bringing together 300 volunteers, including the first Global Village team to come to New Zealand from the USA. It rained virtually every day of the event, but volunteers were kept fed with hot meals cooked by inmates at the Mt Eden Prison. Over the five days, five homes were built for local families.

1996 Apr. - May.

First Taranaki Home, Habitat Nelson opens

Habitat Nelson established, and Habitat Taranaki dedicates their first home respectively.

1996 Sept.

Aotea Square Build

Build event is held in Aotea Square, Auckland showcasing Kiwis’ ‘self-build’ abilities during the Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Housing Congress. House lifted out of the square on a crane to be transported to East Tāmaki.

1997 Feb.

First Habitat ReStore

First ReStore opens in New Zealand, located in Invercargill and then called ‘Bargain Barn’.

1998 Dec.

50th Habitat Home

Habitat Nelson dedicates a home to a local Kiwi family, making it the first in the region and the 50th Habitat home built in New Zealand.

1999 Mar.

Speed Build

With the help of 200+ volunteers, Habitat Manukau sets the World Record for the fasted Habitat build – completing a four-bedroom home in 3 hours, 44 minutes and 59 seconds. Watch more about the Speedbuild.

1999 Dec.

First Home in the Millennium

Three homes built in Gisborne between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve. They were dedicated to three local families on the stroke of midnight, making them the first Habitat homes in the world dedicated in the new millennium.

2000 Sept.

First Women Build Project

Habitat New Zealand hosts their first Women Build Project. With the help of US volunteers and then Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Helen Clark, the all-female team built two homes. The electrician was an ‘honorary woman’ because the only female electrician in New Zealand at the time was on maternity leave and unable to attend.

2005 Mar.

Second Blitz Build

‘Blitz Build’ held in celebration of Habitat New Zealand’s 10th Anniversary. 600 volunteers join forces to build five homes in seven days.

2009 Sept.

Work in Samoa Begins

A deadly tsunami strikes Samoa, triggering a disaster response from Habitat New Zealand resulting in 96 fale rebuilt for affected families. This begins our relationship and work with Samoa.

2011 Feb.

Christchurch Emergency Response

The Christchurch Earthquake struck, and an emergency response was launched. Habitat Christchurch repaired homes with Red Cross and ‘Hand-up Christchurch’ funding until 2013.

2012 Mar.

Big City Build

House built on forecourt of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell in conjunction with nine churches and three church schools.

2012 Sept.

100th Home Dedicated

Habitat Central dedicates their 100th home.

2015 Mar.

Cyclone Relief in Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu. Habitat New Zealand launches a recovery that builds 46 transitional shelters, marking the first time Habitat New Zealand works in Vanuatu.

2013 Feb.

First Home Repair

Habitat Taranaki completes their first home repair for a local family.

2015 Apr.

Earthquake Hits Nepal

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes Nepal. Habitat New Zealand responds by distributing 395 Temporary Shelter Kits and 269 Winterisation Kits.

2015 May.

Island Partnership Begins

The Partnerships for International Development (PfID) Programme begins in Samoa and Fiji, the start of a six-year programme to provide training to build long-term shelter resilience to 75 communities and produce 324 homes and 93 traditional Samoan fales in Fiji and Samoa.

2016 Feb.

Home Repairs in Fiji

Habitat New Zealand responds to destruction from Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji by completing 30 home repairs and distributing 366 minor repair kits and shelter resilience training.

2016 Jun.

Home Built in Ngawha Prison

Home built in Ngawha Prison by Department of Corrections inmates and then lifted by crane onto site in Whangārei for Dana and her kids. They completed their journey to home ownership in 2022.

2018 Feb.

Pacific Response

Cyclone Gita strikes the Pacific and triggers a recovery response from Habitat New Zealand in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga; 422 home repairs are completed as well as shelter resilience training across the three countries.

2019 Jul.

BNZ Partnership Begins

Habitat and BNZ partner to provide interest-free loans to Home Repair families, enabling access to funding for critical home repairs. 

2020 Jun.

COVID-19 Support

Through the Partnerships for International Development (PfID) Programme, Habitat New Zealand’s 12-month COVID-19 Disaster Response supported 46 communities in Fiji and Samoa to consider and prepare for risks associated with COVID-19 through improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.

2020 Jun.

Winter Warmer Packs

In response to Covid-19 restrictions, Habitat Northern distribute Winter Warmer Packs for the first time, warming up homes from the Bombay’s to Cape Reinga.

2020 Jul.

Habitat Home Ownership

Habitat in New Zealand significantly contributes to the establishment of the Progressive Home Ownership fund that has since housed almost 130 families in Habitat homes.

2022 Jan.

Tonga Disaster Response

In response to the 2022 earthquake and tsunami in Tonga, Habitat New Zealand trains 20+ participants in shelter resilience, undertake 30 shelter assessments and build eight new homes for displaced families. This project was completed in September 2023.

2023 Mar.

Housing in Northland

20 families move into Habitat Northern’s first Public Housing development in Northland.