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Starter Homes competition initiative welcomed

The Starter Home Design competition is a 'terrific initiative' that will benefit the industry and the people of New Zealand, says the chair of the panel judging the competition entries.

Leading New Zealand architect Gordon Moller is heading the panel that spent two days assessing 140 entries to come up with a shortlist of just 10. 'The panel has been very enthusiastic about the whole idea, and the quality and thought that has gone into the entries,' he says.

The competition was launched by the Department last September to encourage innovative plans for well-designed and good quality homes that would be affordable for first-home buyers.

Judges were delighted with the quality and number of entries in the Starter Homes competition.

Mr Moller is delighted with the number of entries, saying it was a very tough job shortlisting them to 10. The panel was looking not just for outstanding ideas, but also proposals that are achievable.

'The whole point is that the winning home gets built. That will be a great resource for the Department, the industry, the Government, and the people of New Zealand.'

The competition is also very timely, he believes. The winning home will be built by Housing New Zealand Corporation, and that could well happen when a predicted industry recovery will occur.

The shortlisted entrants are now taking their designs forward to sufficient detail for pricing, with the final stage of judging scheduled for 5-6 March. The judging panel will meet in Wellington to decide on the winners, who will be announced at an awards function to be held at Parliament late in March or in April.