Kaipara iwi sign MOU for housing development

By Talisa Kupenga
  • Northland

Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara descendants may not get a foot in the door of a housing development under a Memorandum of Understanding the iwi has just signed with the government. The question is, will Māori get a foot in the door of the new homes?

It’s a million dollar deal for Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara. 400 homes will be built on the nine-hectare site in Hobsonville.

Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara chair, Haahi Walker says, “this is an opportunity and the beginning of our relationship with the government.”

It is a tri-agreement between the iwi, Hobsonville Land Company and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.

“We want to build commercial houses to create more resources," says Walker.

Chris Aiken, CEO of the Hobsonville Land Company told Te Kāea, "We think about 80 percent will be under the Auckland median house price, about 80 percent, and of the affordable component will be about 30 percent so that’s roughly 150-odd homes 170 homes."

But affordable for who?

“I don't think it is possible. The amount the government deems affordable, $450,000. That is the affordable standard.Whether or not Ngāti Whātua can afford it? I highly doubt it,” says Walker.

Walker says the land's had a contentious past.

“The land was acquired under the Public Works Act for roads, railways, and schools. The agreement was that it was for the benefit of Ngāti Whātua, but that didn't happen.”

The subdivision is to proceed next summer with the first homes to be completed in early 2018.