A new six-house subdivision next to vineyards and prime farmland in the middle of the Wairarapa valley is not what you would expect a social housing initiative, but it is one that a local hapu feels will work well with its marae.
With the help of a $1.6 million from Te Puni Kokiri grant, Hurunui-o-Rangi Marae has just broken ground on its papakainga development 10km east of Carterton, which aims to bring affordable housing as well as advance the goals of the community.
Marae Trust chairman Ra Smith said the subdivision will include a mix of two and three-bedroom houses which will be suitable for a variety of tenants from kaumatua to young families.
“We want to lift the social housing to being affordable cultural housing as well,” he said
There has been high interest in the properties and the marae trust will select the best suited tenants for each house.
Around $400,000 is being spent of infrastructure to support the development which will share some of its utilities with the marae next door
This papakainga development is a Maori Housing Network initiative led by Te Puni Kokiri with additional funding from a Kainga Whenua bank loan secured by the trust.
The development includes a rebuild of the marae and new homes that will allow whanau to live on their ancestral land and support their marae. The project will be completed over two years.
Over the past several years the marae trust has been working towards a $750,000 upgrade of its marae facilities on Gladstone Rd and Smith believed the subdivision will help them towards their goals.
Maori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell, supported the trust’s efforts to recreate what was once a vibrant pa community, acknowledging that this will be one of the first new papakainga in Wairarapa for many years.
Growing a successful community means more than simply building homes for whanau in need, he said.
“Developments like these are fundamental to building a strong communities, and it’s great to have these new homes being developed and led by whanau, for whanau,” Flavell said.
“It is linking whanau back to their whenua, it is mokopuna learning their history and whakapapa, and whanau growing in a supportive environment that embodies Maori values.”
“I am proud to support papakainga projects like this one through the Maori Housing Network enabling whanau and Maori organisations to meet their housing aspirations.”