As an answer to the housing struggles facing its whānau, Ngāti Hinewera has today opened up its first papakāinga in Waiohiki.
Eight brand new houses that will provide security for its future generations.
This land has been in the family for generations and today a long-time dream has finally been realised.
Laurie O'Reilly says, “Our people have been here since mai rāno, the land is everything. We'll never let go of this land.
Manaia Ward-Tareha says, “Just to see the children running around, that's why we built these new homes, for our family. So for me, I'm elated to see the new hope that is emanating from our family because of these houses that have been built for them.”
It was land that lay dormant for generations, so to be able to provide warm, safe and affordable housing for its people has taken years of hard work.
O'Reilly says, “With the shortage of good quality housing for our whanau, having to live in sheds and caravans and decrepit houses, this is a good way to utilise our land.”
It's got everything you can possibly think of here that will give whānau a good start, vegetables gardens, rongoā plants, fruit trees and even a touch field.
At a cost of $2.7 million, a variety of two, three and four bedroom homes could be built all on this 1.45 hectare site.
Karina Tareha says, “Why I came back home is because I wanted my children to grow up around their cousins and their koros and their aunty’s and uncles because that was the generation that we missed out on. We didn't have a marae, now my children will be growing up with this papa kainga.”
The ethos here is to provide physical and spiritual well-bring with plans to build more houses in the future.