Leadership for housing authority transition and Kiwibuild

Feb 15, 2019 | News

– Brad Ward – Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) KiwiBuild and Large-Scale Projects Transition at HUD.

– Helen O’Sullivan – Head of KiwiBuild Commercial.

– Chris Aiken – overall leadership of the work programme regarding the delivery of Large-Scale Projects and the use of Crown-owned land.

– Sir Brian Roche – leads the establishment of the Authority.

“We need to build more affordable housing for all New Zealanders with urgency. For this to happen we need to start transitioning ahead of the Authority being formally established,” Andrew Crisp said.

Brad Ward has been providing operational support to KiwiBuild since late last year and as DCE will lead the provision of KiwiBuild policy and strategic advice, including advice on the reset, and Large-Scale Projects. Mr Crisp said, “Brad will ensure the smooth transition of KiwiBuild and large-scale projects’ operational functions into the development arm of the Authority.”

Helen O’Sullivan will lead KiwiBuild’s development operations as Head of KiwiBuild Commercial. Helen’s primary responsibility, working closely with Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and HLC (formerly Hobsonville Land Company), will be to work with builders and developers to accelerate the construction of KiwiBuild homes.

“Helen has extensive experience in property development. She was recently the Chief Executive of Ockham Residential and for four years was the Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. Helen will also assist Brad Ward with advice on the KiwiBuild reset,” Mr Crisp said.

Chris Aiken is currently Chief Executive of HLC. Mr Crisp said, “Large-scale projects and Crown-owned land are critical enablers of the Government’s KiwiBuild and public housing build programmes.”

Knighted for his services to the state and business in 2016, Sir Brian Roche has been Chief Executive of New Zealand Post, a member of the HNZ board and has a held range of directorships and consulting roles.

“Sir Brian brings a wealth of experience leading change and establishing new organisations. He will lead the establishment of the Authority and help transition KiwiBuild’s delivery functions, together with HNZ and HLC, into the Authority.

“These announcements bring together the combined strength of government and commercial experience to ramp up the delivery of public and affordable housing. Brad, Helen, Chris and Sir Brian are all committed to working together to provide a joined-up approach to the development community and ensure a smooth transition of functions to the Authority.

“A joined-up approach will provide greater clarity of the Government’s priorities for large-scale developments, a better understanding for developers about who to work with and when, and the ability for more efficient processes to be put in place. This transition will evolve over time but I’m excited that we are starting now,” Mr Crisp said.


The Housing and Urban Development Authority (the Authority) was announced by the Government in November last year. It will lead the Government’s large-scale urban development projects as well as being a world class state housing landlord. It will have cut-through powers to build quality state and affordable homes and create thriving master-planned communities. It brings together three existing agencies that build homes – Housing New Zealand (HNZ), its subsidiary HLC, and the KiwiBuild Unit.

In preparation for the formal establishment of the Authority later in 2019, the key parts that will form its development arm will start working now in a more integrated way by co-ordinating the activities of KiwiBuild, currently located in HUD, the asset development group of HNZ, and HLC.


Brad Ward

Brad Ward has come from his role as Head of Office of the Chief Executive at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. He was previously Head of the Chief Executive’s Office at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, where he supported the Chief Executive to lead MBIE and execute its broader system leadership responsibilities.

Previous roles within MBIE have included General Manager of the Commerce, Consumers and Communications Branch, and Acting Deputy Chief Executive of the Building, Resources and Markets Group.

Brad has also worked for Unisys, AMP Financial Services in New Zealand, Australia and India and the Ministry of Economic Development.

Helen O’Sullivan

Helen O’Sullivan has unique range of experiences in the property sector, from leading strategic change programmes to residential development. Previously Chief Executive of Ockham Residential, Helen has been involved in high volume projects from construction to sales.

She also spent more than four years as Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, leading the transition from regulatory organisation with compulsory membership to a customer-focused advisory and advocacy body with voluntary membership.

Helen is a Chartered Accountant, a member of the Institute of Directors, an active member of the Global Women’s network and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme

Chris Aiken

Chris Aiken is the Chief Executive of HLC (Homes, Land, Community), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Housing New Zealand Corporation. HLC manages the development of integrated urban communities, delivering large-scale housing projects at an industry-leading pace.

HLC is completing New Zealand’s largest residential development at Hobsonville Point and in partnership with Housing New Zealand undertaking other large scale projects over the next 15 years. These developments are now underway in Northcote, Oranga, Mt Roskill, Mangere and Porirua. Combined they will exceed approximately 50,000 homes and be a mix of state housing, affordable KiwiBuild and market housing.

Chris sees HLC’s role as providing both the physical and social infrastructure required to create environmentally, economically and socially sustainable communities. HLC’s success stems from its ability to deliver affordable homes to the market quickly and efficiently while simultaneously creating the kind of neighbourhood that supports a cohesive, healthy community with a strong sense of well-being.

Chris has a deep commitment to providing a pathway to home ownership and access to housing for more New Zealanders. Through his leadership of HLC he is actively encouraging innovation in the residential building and civils industry as we look for levers to apply to housing supply and affordability issues.

Chris is a Director of Metlifecare (Chairman of its Development Committee), a member of the Auckland Urban Design Panel, a member of BRANZ Medium Density Steering Committee and a member of the Property Councils’ Residential Development Committee. He is a former Chief Executive of several large scale residential development companies and has had an extensive technology career as a founder, director and owner of several technology companies.

Sir Brian Roche

Brian was a senior partner at PWC prior to his retirement in 2009 specialising in the operation and governance of a range of public sector entities. During his time as a partner he undertook two secondments – one to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the other as Chief Executive of HNZ.

In addition he undertook a range of roles as Chief Crown Negotiator on the Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Awa and Waikato Tainui river claim, together with roles at NZTA, leadership of the bid for the RWC 2011 hosting rights and crown manager within the education sector.

From 2010 till 2017 he undertook the role of Chief Executive of the New Zealand Post Group responsible for the operation and transformation of the legacy mail business, developing E-Commerce courier business and Kiwibank.

Since leaving NZ Post he has undertaken a range of directorships and consulting roles.

Brian was Knighted for his services to the State and Business in the New Year’s Honours 2016.

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