Iwi to benefit from residential development deal

2:39 pm on 31 January 2020

Wellington iwi Taranaki Whānui is set to benefit from the opening of a new 56-house development in Petone.

construction worker on construction site

Fourteen of the finished homes will be owned by iwi members. Photo: 123rf.com

The Paetutu site was offered to the iwi under right of refusal in its Treaty settlement before it was sold to The Wellington Company, a residential development organisation.

A deal was struck for a portion of the houses to be offered to iwi first.

The site includes 56 two and three-bedroom terraced homes, 14 of which will be owned by iwi members.

Developer Ian Cassels said the site was one of five housing projects The Wellington Company was developing in partnership with Taranaki Whānui.

"We have five housing projects on the on the go with the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust which is more often called Taranaki Whānui," he said.

"That's an astounding change in fortunes from, let's say, three years ago when almost nothing was happening. It's up to Taranaki Whānui to talk about the state of their finances, but they are considerably different than they were three years ago and it's fair to say that from any sort of analysis at all that they are heading North and look to be well-organised from a financial point of view.

"Together, we're building these 800 homes in Wellington which is a phenomenal thing. I don't see where that came from but it's evolved rapidly over the last two or three years, we have a network and resources pipeline which means that is a relatively easy thing to do and can only grow."

He said seeing the complex come to fruition was hugely rewarding.

"It came together quite quickly, the construction period was less than 18 months, there was quite a bit of consultation with the community and the Lower Hutt Council and a huge amount of excitement on the opening day because it is such a wonderful new type of development.

"This is just a very good pattern of occupation of land, it's living close together and very efficient. It's very gentle on infrastructure and energy, so it's the modern answer to a world that's got a lot of questions about sustainability and energy use."