National | Hastings

Papakāinga project provides critically needed homes in Hastings

Papakāinga housing in Waiohiki, Hawke's Bay.   Te Puni Kōkiri/ YouTube

A four home papakāinga that is the result of a partnership between government, iwi and council was officially opened in Hastings today.

The papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place-Based’ initiative which aims to create 'thriving whānau and communities'.  The homes are owned and managed by the Te Hiiri Whānau Trust.

“The place-based approach is intended to ensure housing issues in ‘hotspot regions’ are addressed more effectively. I commend the Trust’s foresight in building warm, dry affordable homes on its whenua,” Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said in a statement.

Te Hiiri Whānau Trust trustee, Laurie O’Reilly, who has managed the project on behalf of the trust, says the physical buildings are just the start.

“The enhancement of peoples’ wairua, tinana, mauri is the next stage. It’s the aspirational, ambitious stuff that will ensure future generations carry on the values of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga,”

Minister Jackson says the homes will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes.

“These quality, insulated, three-bedroom homes will undoubtedly improve the health and wellbeing of the whānau moving in, most of whom are coming from substandard housing.

“The return of whānau to rural ancestral land not only builds and sustains communities but connects whānau to their history, marae, awa and maunga.

"It is more likely the environment will be maintained and enhanced when there is connection.”

The papakāinga is one of a number completed while others are under-construction in the Māori community of Waiōhiki. Two of the other developments are also part of the Hastings Place-Based initiative.