Our vision: To enhance the impact of urban development on community wellbeing.


The Te Hotonga Hapori research programme is the result of a collaborative, co-design process which included input by three partner organisations – Kāinga Ora, Isthmus, the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) and the Human Potential Centre, all with a shared vision  . . . to enhance the impact of urban development on community wellbeing.

These organisations are all involved in community wellbeing in different ways, through urban development, urban design, architecture, building and construction, applied research, community development, and/or social change. Our partnership ensures that evidence and findings generated from Te Hotonga Hapori will be translated into action, resulting in better outcomes for people and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Kāinga Ora

Kāinga Ora was formed in October 2019, bringing together the people, capabilities and resources of the KiwiBuild Unit, Housing New Zealand and its development subsidiary Hobsonville Land Company. As a public housing landlord Kāinga Ora provides tenancy services to about 187,000 public housing tenants and maintains and develops around 65,000 public houses.

Through partnering with the development community, Maori, local and central government, and others, Kāinga Ora delivers urban development projects that aim to connect homes with jobs, transport, open spaces and the facilities that communities need. This includes either enabling or building a mix of housing including public housing, affordable housing, homes for first home buyers and market housing, all of different types, sizes and tenures. Kāinga Ora also provides home ownership products and other services.


Isthmus is an integrated design studio that removes the traditional boundaries between the disciplines of architecture, graphic design, landscape architecture, and urban design. Their kaupapa is based on deepening the relationships between land, people and culture. Established in 1988, their name Isthmus references both their Auckland base – between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, and their role as connectors.

AUT Human Potential Centre

There’s a big gap between how long people live and how well they live. At the AUT Human Potential Centre we research and develop innovative ways to help people eat better, move more and achieve better health.

The AUT Human Potential Centre has an outstanding track record for its world-class research, postgraduate student success, and for securing competitive external research funding and grants. The research centre has a dedicated team of teaching and research staff, all of whom are research experts and well respected in their chosen fields.

Working collaboratively with researchers from New Zealand and international academic and government institutions, the Human Potential Centre has been awarded external research funding from the Health Research Council, Sport New Zealand, the World Health Organization, local authorities and commercial partners.

The centre is part of the AUT Sports Performance Research Institute of New Zealand (SPRINZ), which is based at AUT Millennium.

Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ)

BRANZ is an independent research organisation that uses an impartial evidence-based approach to improving the performance of the New Zealand building system. We transform insightful research into trusted, accessible, and actionable knowledge.

BRANZ takes a system-wide view of the New Zealand building and construction industry to champion and support better outcomes. We partner with industry, government and other research organisations to ensure our research findings are accessible and benefit all New Zealanders.

BRANZ performs a unique leadership role among building system players. We facilitate challenging conversations, and work with industry stakeholders to address the pain points in the building system. Whether it’s homelessness, housing shortages, mental health, or climate change, we work collaboratively to unlock solutions.