12 Jul 2019

Kaingaroa settlement receives $2.4m for redevelopment

12:51 pm on 12 July 2019

A small Māori village in a Bay of Plenty forest is getting $2.4 million in government funding to improve its dilapidated and rundown housing.

Minister for Maori Development and Local Government Nanaia Mahuta.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The close-knit Kaingaroa settlement - numbering about 435 people - was the sixth and final rōpū, or group, to join the Māori Housing Network Community Development programme run by Te Puni Kōkiri.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta unveiled the extra funding this morning while visiting the village at Kaingaroa Forest between Rotorua and Taupō.

The money will go towards urgent housing repairs, upgrading a pool for treating wastewater, and financial planning workshops for whānau.

Ms Mahuta said the community had a strong vision of growth and development in the face of challenges.

"There is a school, marae, rental and privately owned homes and community centres. But the community needs help to repair and revitalise these essential facilities," Ms Mahuta said.

"I know Kaingaroa Village and their wider whānau are committed to regenerating their community and their commitment, effort and collaboration will see these dreams come to pass."

Ms Mahatu said the "strong partnership" between the community and Te Puni Kōkiri had been working.

"Whānau in this rohe now feel excited, inspired and have a hope for a prosperous future living in the Kaingaroa village," Ms Mahuta said.

Kaingaroa Forest is the largest forest plantation in New Zealand, stretching from Lake Taupō to Kawerau.

Once a thriving forestry town, Kaingaroa Village dwindled to a shadow of its former self after the sector was privatised in the 1980s.

The village was eventually returned to iwi under a Treaty settlement in 2009.

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