Regional | Lower Hutt

Iwi, council's homebuilding partnership wins award

19 homes have been built by Takai Here Tāngata. Photo / Supplied / Hutt Council / Elias Rodriguez

Takai Here Tāngata, a partnership aimed at providing quality housing in Taitā for whānau experiencing homelessness or housing instability, has won a national award for "Collaborative Action" between government and Iwi.

The award was given at the Taituarā Local Government Excellence Awards.

The partnership consists of Kahungunu Whānau Services, Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa, Hutt City Council, and Urban Plus Ltd.

Together, they helped 34 people from 19 whānau move into new, fully furnished homes at Te Ara o Takapū in Taitā, Lower Hutt last December.

"Each of the organizations represented in the Takai Here Tāngata partnership have stepped up and come together to create the environment where this community can thrive." Acting Chief Executive of Kahungunu Whānau Services, Mike Hinton, stated.

"These whānau now have a safe and quality home. When asked where do you live? They will now be able to proudly say Te Ara o Takapū!"

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry said the award acknowledges the partnership's success in providing permanent homes.

Expressing pride in the achievement, he acknowledged housing is an ongoing struggle for councils.

"We know that we continue to have challenges with housing here in Lower Hutt, and that's the same right across New Zealand." Barry said.

"Takai Here Tāngata illustrates the power of partnership, and what we can achieve together."

"I’m proud of having provided these warm, dry, safe and affordable homes together, and look forward to continuing this important mahi."

Chair of Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa, Kura Moeahu, emphasized the urgent need for warm and dry homes for whānau facing housing stress, while acknowledging the achievement, he said the mahi isn't done.

Takai Here Tāngata helped 34 people from 19 whānau move into new, fully furnished homes at Te Ara o Takapū in Taitā, Lower Hutt last December. Video / Lower Hutt Council

"This partnership is significant for our people, and we want to do more." Moeahu said.

Labour campaigned on a promise to build more homes, as well as cracking down on foreign buyers and investors, but the government's housebuilding programme has been embroiled in a revolving door of scandal and failure.

In 2017, the government pledged to build “100,000 affordable houses.” In five years, however, the state-funded Kiwibuild scheme produced just 1,386 homes.

According to the Salvation Army, homelessness is affecting around 3000 Kiwi families.

Iwi have consistently called on the government to partner with them to build homes, an offer they've seemingly taken up, with the government committing over half a billion to Māori housing partnerships over the past 3 budgets.

Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, played a significant role as a key funding partner for the Takai Here Tāngata project.

Deputy Chief Executive of the Te Kāhui Māori Housing Group, Kararaina Calcott-Cribb, highlighted the importance of the Crown-Māori relationship.

"That is a critical element of the work that we do. Instead of leading and making the plans here, we enable Māori housing community providers to make work on their plans and we support them in delivering the outcomes." Calcott-Cribb said.

This project and the way the partners have worked together has been integral in setting the benchmark for what we might do in the future."

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