15 Mar 2021

Work to begin on new housing project in Chatham Islands

9:09 am on 15 March 2021

A Papakāinga housing project on the Chatham Islands is set to break ground today.

Chatham Islands. September 2007.

Photo: Flicker / Ville Miettinen

Te Puni Kōkiri has invested $974,760 towards the retained equity in the houses through its Te Ara Mauwhare initiative.

An additional $100,000 was funded by Sorted Kainga Ora and whānau navigation support - other whānau on the Islands.

The papakāinga development is part of a $9 million investment to support whānau Māori into home ownership.

Six trials are underway across New Zealand, which will develop approximately 70 new homes for whānau to purchase under rent-to-own and shared ownership models.

Five new houses are expected on the Chatham Islands by the middle of the year.

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said building houses on the Chatham Islands is logistically difficult and made even harder because banks don't readily lend there.

"Plus it costs $100,000 more to build a house there, than it would to build on mainland New Zealand."

Jackson said the development was a step towards addressing complex housing issues on the island.

The houses are being built offshore and will arrive by barge, he said.

Today marks the start of the infrastructure and site works needed before the houses arrive.

The homes are being built on land gifted to Chatham Islands Housing Partnership Trust by the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust.

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