Whānau move into Te Kopua Papakāinga

By Mānia Clarke

Three whānau will move into their new homes as part of the completion of stage one of Te Kopua 3B2 papakāinga scheme in Raglan. Project Manager Aubrey Te Kanawa says today is significant for the people of Tainui-a-Whiro who will finally get the papakāinga homes their ancestors fought for decades ago. 

These strong winds are a sign to these descendants of Tainui-a-Whiro that their ancestors were present for the opening of their new papakāinga homes.

Mana Forbes from Tainui-a-whiro and Ngāti Mahanga said, “This morning in this house, when we were reciting prayer, I said to the daughter of Iwa, your mother is standing here with us on the other side, all of them.”

Three rental homes have been built as part of Te Kōpua's long-term vision to provide affordable housing for their families.

Te Kopua Papakāinga Project Manager Aubrey Te Kanawa says, “The focus of our vision is to have our families return to their homeland. As the saying goes, what's the important thing about those who keep the home fires burning? People. People who can live on their homeland.”

During WWII, the government claimed their land and demolished their first settlement of homes for a military airfield. In 1978, Aubrey's grandmother Tuaiwa (Eva) Rickard led a protest campaign to return the land.  The land was returned the following year.

Forbes says, “There were no homes for Māori. We petitioned to our elders. This is our land, which was covered with ragweed and gorse.” 

Stage two of the Papakāinga Project includes building four new rental properties, one on the land behind me, in the next few years.