National | Housing

Taranaki Whānui ready to open homes in Petone

Taranaki Whānui's latest housing development, Paetutu, is almost complete and ready for handover from developers to iwi. The move will see 56 brand new two and three-bedroom terraced homes in Petone come into iwi hands, with Taranaki uri given the first option to purchase the new homes.

Taranaki Whānui spokesperson Ihakara Puketapu-Dentice says, "The name Paetutu was the original name for that particular area of modern-day Petone. From what I know about the area, it has a close connection to Rona and pays homage to her and the story of the moon."

Project developers Egmont Dixon's director Earl Hope-Pearson says these contemporary homes are built for sustainability and durability with all the safety features to go with them.

"Paetutu, it has been designed on what I call a terrace housing concept... (It) utilises torque panelled concrete construction, with a range of material pallets that are overlaid or form part of the construction, to provide the sense of variety and uniqueness of the development," Hope-Pearson says.

The iwi settlement trust was offered the right of first refusal to purchase the Jackson Street site two years ago. With the Wellington median house price now at a record $560,000, the tribe seized on the opportunity.

"Most people that go down there really, really, like what's been put together. It has got various aspects of the development if you look at it. It's sort of got that wow factor to it, which for the price-point of the homes is quite appealing," Hope-Pearson says.

He acknowledged the strength of the relationship with iwi and the positive outcome that has flowed from this.

"The opportunity to work alongside Taranaki Whānui has been a strong working relationship. Taranaki Whānui created the opportunity via their RFR (Right of First Refusal) and that's resulted in a commercial opportunity for their commercial holdings company as well as an outcome for their whānau."

Puketapu-Dentice says whānau are enjoying the opportunity to own what for many of them is their first home.

"Fourteen families with whakapapa links to Taranaki Whānui have purchased homes at this site. And from what I know, most of those families are first time home buyers so that is very significant for us."

The official opening of the new homes is in February.