Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has indicated that he is willing to build KiwiBuild homes at the Lakeside Development site of 1600 new homes in Te Kauwhata.
An upfront challenge by Waikato-Tainui governance member, Robert Tukuri to the Housing Minister appears to have gotten immediate results.
“I know that my KiwiBuild officials are talking right now with the developer on the site, WINTON,” says Twyford.
“And hopefully they'll be able to come to some agreement and we will see affordable starter homes for young families built right here in this community.”
Local marae group Ngā Muka has been advocating for affordable homes for iwi and has welcomed today's assurance from the minister.
"I'm happy that Māori will have an opportunity to buy a home,” says Ngā Muka Chair, Glen Tupuhi.
“Look at this scenic area. It's not good for outsiders to purchase a large number of homes. It's good to hear that there will be homes allocated for KiwiBuild.”
Developers Winton Partners will build 1,600 homes around Waikare Lake on individually-owned 200 square metre to quarter acre land blocks, priced from $500, 000 upward.
Winton have met several times with Ngā Muka on marae.
“We're putting detail discussions with MBIE on some affordable housing component that may fit within their KiwiBuild scheme,” said CEO Chris Meehan.
“And if you see the houses that we've designed here, some of them are designed to be on smaller lots, they're free standing. But they're definitely designed to be at the affordable range.”
50 homes will be on offer in October, with the build to start in November.
Ngā Muka will seek tribal assistance from Waikato-Tainui governance Te Whakakitenga to assist beneficiary families.
Of the 1,600 homes by Winton, 20 percent will be affordable homes. Winton have met with MBIE with a proposal to build 50 percent plus of KiwiBuild homes should the government want to.
The developers will meet with MBIE next Tuesday where they will further discuss the proposal.