Charity House Project

One house per year

Charity House logo 

Charity House raw design 

The Charity House project began in 2013 and is a ten year training and partnership programme. It has become part of our ethos – providing students with hands-on learning opportunities while benefiting Rotorua’s wider community.

One house per year is being built by Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (Toi Ohomai) carpentry, electrical and interior design students with the support of the business community, and then auctioned off with the proceeds going to Rotorua community groups.

Toi Ohomai has partnered with the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Rotorua Sunrise Charitable Trust and the Rotorua Lakes Council to launch the project and work together in collaboration to gain support from local building suppliers, tradesmen and professionals.

Key objectives of the Charity House have been to create healthy living environments and energy efficiencies. The house is fully insulated to twice the building code requirements, meaning the frames are wider to allow for high insulation values, thereby creating energy efficiencies. This will result in lower power bills for the purchaser!

In 2017 we are introducing the air tight system “Intello” by Pro Clima NZ Ltd, a moisture control system combined with a balanced pressure heat transfer ventilation system from DVS. These two factors make the house hugely more valuable and provide for greater quality of life – a warm, dry and healthy home.

Work-ready students

Carpentry, electrical and interior design students will benefit from the hands-on learning experience, providing an excellent understanding of residential dwellings through working on the project from start to finish. It will also provide a great foot in the door to the building, construction, electrical and design industries. The construction of the houses is being undertaken by students studying:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3), strand in Carpentry
  • New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory (Level 3)
  • Bachelor of Creative Technologies

Interior design students are involved with the overall interior design, including the kitchen and bathroom designs, selecting floor coverings and the colour palettes for both the interior and exterior of the house.

Transportable dwellings

Each three-bedroom house will feature a master bedroom with ensuite, open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge. The houses are transportable making them ideal for first home buyers, baches, investment properties, homes on farms, a second home for extended family, retirement homes and many other options. The Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park, which borders Toi Ohomai Mokoia Campus is the build venue and students are making very good progress with the build so far.

Thanks to the generous support

This Charity House Project would not be possible without the support of our various partners mentioned on this page. On behalf of the Toi Ohomai, thank you for your valuable contribution, current and pledged. We look forward to sharing the good will and satisfaction generated through education and community involvement.

View our Charity House Partners profiles.

2015 Charity House proceeds were awarded to:

  • Alzheimer’s Society Rotorua
  • Aratika Cancer Trust
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Lakes Medical Services Trust
  • Manaaki Ora
  • Mokoia Community Association
  • Ngongotaha Community Patrol
  • Rotorua Community Menz Trust
  • Rotorua SPCA
  • Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
  • The Salvation Army Rotorua
  • Tracey Meads – Spoonful of Sugar Charitable Trust
  • Western Heights Primary School Oral Language Programme

2014 Charity House proceeds were awarded to:

  • Bay Trust Rescue Helicopter
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua
  • Love Soup Rotorua Charitable Trust
  • Mokoia Community Association
  • Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Charitable Trust
  • Rotorua Community Menz Shed
  • Rotorua Children’s Art House
  • Te Roopu A Iwi O Te Arawa

2013 Charity House proceeds were awarded to:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua
  • Linton Park Community Centre
  • Rotorua Community Menz Shed
  • Rotorua Youth Centre
  • Western Heights Primary School Oral Language Programme

Staff comment

“This is an exciting and unique community project for students training to become our next generation of leading tradespeople and entrepreneurs. Carpenters and electricians are in short supply in New Zealand and with the rebuild of Christchurch and the growth in Auckland at the top of the government’s priority list, this collaboration is important to our economy and community”, says Sue Gunn, Marketing & Communications Manager.

“The students love this experience – the hands-on learning, working under close supervision of the tutors, gaining new skills that will go towards their qualification and apprenticeship, and working on building a real house that will become a home with a family living in it for many years to come”, says AJ Smith, Programme Area Leader for Carpentry, Construction and Electrical at Toi Ohomai.

Auction time!

Built by Toi Ohomai students and sold with proceeds going back into our local community, the Charity House will be auctioned off in late November – early December. Held on the construction site at Toi Ohomai Mokoia Campus, Rotorua all eyes will be on this year’s auction to see if it can beat last year’s record profit!

All auction enquiries can be made using the Professionals McDowell Real Estate Ltd website.

Page last updated: 02 May 2017