Home ownership now a reality for Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrakei

By Mānia Clarke

The dream of home ownership dream for Ngati Whātua members, is now a reality. Today nine whānau officially took ownership of their new homes under the Kainga Tuatahi project. 

It's a dream two years in the making.

“My house is finally here. I have no words. I am very happy,” says Morehu.

Te Aroha Morehu, his partner and their children were one of nine whānau who were officially given the key to their new home today. A home that comes with an extra rewarding responsibility.

“I'm very fortunate to be a part of this project. I think the trust has done a great job.,” says new homeowner Te Aroha Morehu.

In 2013 Whai Rawa, the sub-tribes property development arm started the project to help finance housing for Ngati Whātua beneficiaries on their papakainga. They realised whanau could service a mortgage but needed assistance with the deposit.

“It has been a long road, we've endured many challenges along the way. But, we are grateful to have finally made it,” says Morehu.

Now the big things are out of the way, it's down to the smaller things like, storage size.

The most important part for me, is that we get to live on our own land and having close whānau networks,” says Morehu.

While the land belongs to the Trust the homes belong to the whānau and can only be sold to other beneficiaries.  In the first 15years they can sell it back to the hapū or the Trust have RFR to purchase.

The joy of these whānau will be felt again later in the year when another 18 other homes will be completed.