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A Game-Changer for Iwi Housing in the Far North

PanelLock's innovative Triboard housing panels are proving to be a game-changer in addressing the housing crisis in New Zealand. Luke Matthews and his partners at PanelLock have taken on the challenge of providing a comprehensive solution to the unique housing needs of Iwi communities.

Triboard, a construction material known for its strength, durability, and versatility, is at the core of PanelLock's approach. Comprising three layers with a wood strand core sandwiched between MDF outer "skins," Triboard panels offer a clean-lined design with high resilience and impact resistance. This makes them an ideal choice for constructing housing faster, providing exceptional structural stability while remaining cost-effective.

The durability of Triboard not only ensures the longevity of homes but also reduces the need for extensive maintenance and repairs, resulting in long-term cost savings. The construction process is expedited through the use of these panels, allowing PanelLock to provide quicker housing solutions. This efficiency is crucial in remote areas where infrastructure and labour resources may be limited, reducing the wait time for those in need.

In addition to these benefits, the use of Triboard housing panels aligns with sustainability and environmental goals. PanelLock's commitment to using sustainable local materials contributes to a reduced carbon footprint associated with construction. The durable nature of Triboard means fewer resources are expended on repairs and replacements, leading to less waste and a smaller environmental impact.

PanelLock's dedication to delivering durable, affordable, and culturally appropriate homes represents a significant step forward in addressing the housing crisis in New Zealand. Their model showcases how sustainable and community-oriented solutions can make a lasting impact in challenging environments. As PanelLock seeks building partners, their aim is to shake up the construction industry by building houses faster than ever before, further advancing their mission to provide efficient and effective housing solutions for Iwi and other communities in need.


"Te Rūnanga Nui O Te Aupōuri partnered with PanelLock on the 16 new home Potahi papakāinga development in Te Kao because we were keen to work with a Te Hiku-based company.

From design, consent and construction Luke and the team have demonstrated a real commitment to the project. I don’t know how he does it but nothing is a problem for Luke and it’s a hallmark of how PanelLock works. Luke, Sharni and the team have responded positively to change and they are really on board with Te Aupōuri wanting to provide a range of housing solutions for whānau; to ensure they are housed in quality homes built specifically for the changing coastal environment in the Far, Far North.

The Triboard product was a big reason for partnering with PanelLock. The concept of trees coming out of the Aupōuri forest, processed into Triboard at JNL in Kaitaia then rolling on the back of a truck up to Te Kao in the form of a kāinga (home) is a powerful example of a circular economy in the Far, Far North that benefits our hapori (community) every step of the way.

Ngā mihi, Mihi"

Mihi Harris
Programme Manager
Puna Wai Ora – Te Hiku Drought Relief Programme Manager

View more information on Juken New Zealand, including contact details.
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