Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund

In August 2020, the Government announced a new fund to trial renewable energy technologies on Māori and public housing. This is part of a suite of new government initiatives to improve energy affordability and create warm, healthy and energy efficient homes.

The $28 million Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund has been established to trial small-scale renewable energy technologies. The funding will be allocated to selected projects over 4 years until mid-2024 through an open application process.  

Renewable energy solutions could lead to improved health outcomes for people in public and Māori housing. We want to support renewable generation that consistently lowers energy bills and encourages greater use of heating, leading to warmer and healthier homes.

The fund will trial new ways of generating energy and integrating it with existing electricity networks, while supporting the Government’s commitment to renewable energy generation and its climate change goals.  

Over time, this initiative will provide valuable insight into the operational, economic, environmental and wellbeing impacts of introducing renewable energy systems. This information will help inform future projects on a larger scale.

MBIE is leading the project and working closely with Kāinga Ora, Te Puni Kōkiri, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.


The $28 million funding pool will be shared between projects for public housing and Māori housing, with $4 million of funding available for the 2020/21 financial year. Approximately half of the funding will go to projects for public housing, and the other half for Māori housing projects.

Renewable energy funding for public housing

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities is the country’s largest public housing landlord, managing over 66,000 homes across New Zealand. In 2021, Kāinga Ora is planning to carry out trials with existing and new homes to understand more about delivering renewable energy technology and its benefits to customers.

MBIE and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development are also exploring opportunities for community housing providers to be involved in this fund.

Renewable energy funding for Māori housing

Projects for this fund must focus on installing renewable energy technologies for Māori housing, but could also seek funding for supplementary measures that improve energy efficiency and maximise the gains of generating renewable energy at a local level.

Solutions in-scope for this fund include:

  • Small-scale solar photovoltaic generation at a household level, or potentially small-scale combined installations such as community-scale generation
  • Small-scale local energy storage, for example household lithium ion batteries
  • Solar water heating
  • Technologies and solutions to maximise the benefits of energy generation to the target household such as smart appliances and timing switches, hot water diverters, or information to households on how to best manage their energy use
  • Innovative distribution and retail solutions to manage energy from the local generation and storage, for example micro grids and peer-to-peer trading to share excess energy generation with other households.

Higher-cost and more complex renewable energy technologies such as small-scale hydro or wind energy generation will be considered on a case-by-case basis where there is a strong case for investment.

To be eligible for funding, projects must focus on installing renewable energy technology, and benefit people in Māori housing, for example:

  • Residents of housing on Whenua Māori
  • Papakāinga residents
  • Tenants of Māori Community Housing Providers
  • Māori households or partners working with the Crown through initiatives such as Te Puni Kōkiri Māori Housing investment and the MAIHI programme
  • Households benefitting from housing or energy programmes predominantly led by, or for, Māori-affiliated or Māori-run organisations.
  • Any other housing interests or initiatives that predominantly benefit iwi, hapū or whānau.

Funded projects

In May 2021, 15 renewable energy projects for Māori housing were selected to receive funding in the first round. A total of $2.84 million was allocated in this round.  

The remaining funds will be allocated through further funding rounds until 2024.

Last updated: 26 May 2021