Latest Updates

Toi Ohomai gets $700k for Maori health research project

16 November 2017: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology has received $700,000 in Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge funding to research new designs for sustainable and affordable homes and identify how these contribute to health and wellbeing for Māori.


Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua: Māori Research Symposium

4 August 2017: The final agenda for the Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua: Māori Research Symposium is now available. Please download the PDF here.

New case studies now available

1 August 2017: Four new case studies showcasing some of the NSC BBHTC research have been added to the site. These are Valuing sunshine; Building great neighbourhoods; Can higher density enhance liveability?; and Supporting regional settlements. Please see: Case Studies.

Contestable Funding Roadshow presentation

13 July 2017: See the BBHTC Contestable Investment Process 2017 Roadshow presentation by Ruth Berry and Jessica Hutchings. (PDF - will open in new tab).

Important note for Contestable Funding applicants

13 July 2017: Please note that CVs are required with your application. CVs are in addition to page limits specified in the Request for Proposals. The preferred format for CVs is the New Zealand RS&T CV Template (.docx - will download).

Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua: Māori Research Symposium

4 July 2017: Join us for a one day Māori Research Symposium for the Building Better Homes Towns and Cities National Science Challenge. Learn about the Māori-focused research in the Challenge and hear from recently-funded researchers working in the Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua research theme.

Venue: Te Wharewaka o Pōneke, Room, Matiu Room. Odlins Square, 2 Taranaki Street, Wellington Waterfront.
Date: Monday 14 August, 10.00am-3.30pm

RSVP to:

This event is free. An agenda will be posted on line by the end of July.

Contestable Funding Roadshow dates

20 June 2017: Ruth Berry, Director, and Jessica Hutchings, Acting Director Māori, will give a presentation outlining the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge, what we are looking for in the contestable process, and what we are not seeking to invest in. This will be followed by a Q&A session.

Dates and venues are as follows:







21st June


Victoria University School of Architecture

Room VS125 on the ground floor of the Vivian Street building


23rd June


AUT University

Level 16, Room No: WO1609, WO Building 56 Wakefield Street


29th June


University of Waikato



3rd July


University of Otago



4th July


University of Canterbury

Room 1. Engineering Core

If you would like to attend a session please RSVP to with RSVP venue (e.g. Dunedin) in the subject line.

Contestable Funding Round

12 June 2017: The Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge (NSC) is running a Contestable Round to deliver on the challenge vision, mission, and objective. The available funding is $4.4m in total. The contestable process is set in the context of the existing Challenge research portfolio. Research funded in the contestable process should complement and build on existing research and not duplicate it.

Contestable Funding Round Documents are now available, with proposals dues by noon, 18 July 2017.


Our Research Programmes

8 June 2017: The BBHTC Challenge has six research programmes that will operate over the first five years of the Challenge:

1.      Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua

2.      Future neighbourhoods in cities

3.      Supporting success in regional settlements

4.      Next-generation information

5.      Transforming the building industry

6.      Improving the architecture of decision-making

A brief description of the six research programmes and how they will contribute to Challenge objectives is now available under the Challenge tab in the menu - or click the link below.


Contracted SRAs

6 June 2017: Research teams, the Governance Group, and the Challenge Directorate have put considerable effort into developing research programmes that align with the challenge vision, mission, and objective and are consistent with the National Science Challenge principles of collaboration and co-creation. The five SRAs approved for funding to date span scales from the local/neighbourhood to the national.


The Challenge Directorate

6 June 2017: The Challenge office has been established at our host BRANZ's campus at Judgeford, north of Wellington. Office staff include our Director, Ruth Berry, Gillian Benstead, who provides part- time administration support, and Jessica Hutchings, who has joined us to run the Kainga Tahi Kainga Rua and the contestable investment processes; and to work with the Governance Group and our Maori researchers.


Maori Housing - Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua Investment process

6 June 2017: We are currently in the process of investing in our final SRA Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua. The initial investment is focused on solutions for the greater Auckland area. The Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua Strategic Research Area recognises the dual and complex nature of our Maori identities and the many communities we construct our lives in.

Revised Timeframe for Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua Investment Process

2 June 2017: The timeframe for the Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua investment process has been amended to allow sufficient time for the development of quality full proposals.

New available funding

March 2017: Documents for the last Strategic Research Area, Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua, are now available. Please click the funding tab above.

This contestable round seeks to address the following high-level research question:
How do we collaboratively finance, design and build developments, with buy-in from multiple stakeholders, in ways that overcome discriminatory policy, legislative barriers and actively support Māori aspirations and needs for long term affordable, healthy housing?

Launch of Building Better Homes Towns and Cities

May 2016: The Building Better Homes Towns and Cities National Science Challenge was formally launched on 5 May 2016.  The launch was held at Ngāti Whātua Orākei Kāinga Tuatahi (First Phase) Auckland.  

This is the 11th and final of the governments National Science Challenges to be launched and involves a consortium of researchers from universities, crown research institutes, local government, the building industry, and private research organisations.   

The Challenge parties will partner with industry, iwi, local and central government, and communities to deliver robust evidence and improve end-to-end industry and regulatory processes.    

Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities Challenge will identify new ways of living that reflect Aotearoas unique identity and respond to our changing lifestyle needs and aspirations.  Research outcomes will support New Zealanders to embrace change and to understand what sustainable and effective land use means for how we live in the 21st century.

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