Topics: Business, Housing

Change of luck for Ngāti Ranginui home buyers

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Ngāti Ranginui is looking to purchase 115 state homes in Tauranga under the contractual right of Right of First Refusal.  Lead settlement trustee Robert Urwin says, "It’s an opportunity to provide housing for Ngāti Ranginui descendants."

If you're of Ngāti Ranginui descent and struggling to find housing, you could be in luck. 

"The housing situation I think is like most of New Zealand, the property prices are quite high, where possible we want to get our whānau into homes.  Tauranga is no different." says Urwin.

According to a survey by Australian firm Demographia in 2010, Tauranga was the 20th most overpriced place to live in the world out of six major countries including the USA, Canada and Britain.

Morehu Ngatoko from the settlement trust is familiar with the findings of the survey, saying, "Many of us don’t have homes, but that’s nothing new to us, we have been dealing with it for years."

All 115 state homes are within a two mile radius of Ngāti Ranginui's three main marae in Tauranga; Huria, Hairini and Waipamu. 

The hope is to draw more people back to the marae.

"The negotiators wanted to have housing corp homes as part of RFR, to be close to the marae so people could come home, people could be near the marae, help with maintenance and get involved in the marae activities," says Morehu Ngatoko.

Ngāti Ranginui, in association with Westpac, are looking at funding options to achieve their goal.

"All of us living here on the marae are of the same view, we want this to work," says Ngatoko.

Ngāti Ranginui hope iwi members will have access to these homes in the next few years.