31 Aug 2019

'Warm homes ... instead of them living out in caravans': Govt invests $2.7m in housing on Māori land

2:00 pm on 31 August 2019

The government has invested $2.7 million into a papakāinga (housing) development in Tauranga.

Minister for Maori Development and Local Government Nanaia Mahuta.

Minister for Maori Development and Local Government Nanaia Mahuta. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The Minister for Māori Development and Associate Minister of Housing Nanaia Mahuta made the announcement at Ranginui Pa in Welcome Bay.

The investment will help the Ranginui 12 Trust develop nine, two and three bedroom, double-storey homes on Māori land, with it contributing $2 million.

Ranginui 12 Trust chair Paula Werohia said the funding would help the trust offer rentals to those in their iwi who needed them most.

"[It] helps our people to get into housing sooner rather than later, and there's lots of them out there that are in dire need of housing.

"It's really quite sad, so if we can build affordable, safe and warm homes for them instead of them living out in caravans and tents in the middle of winter, I think that [is] a good thing to do."

She said the small piece of land was located on a hill looking out at Tauranga Moana.

The homes have been offered to shareholders of the Māori land, with 20-30 people already registering their interest, with the papakāinga expected to be completed in June next year.

Tauranga has been ranked among the most expensive housing in the world when measured against income.

"This papakāinga will provide further opportunities for whānau to reconnect with their whenua but more importantly to live in a kaupapa Māori community," Ms Mahuta said.

"A strong and thriving cultural identity is essential to sustainable social and economic development within whānau and communities.

"Not only does it reconnect Māori with their ancestral whenua but provides a strong sense of ownership and self-determination."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs