Regional | Wainuiōmata

More to Wainuiōmata than winning powerball

Wainuiōmata is undergoing a transformation that is reshaping its landscape and revitalising its community spirit.

A poor Wellington suburb has struck it big with the latest Powerball winner.

On Saturday night a person in Wainuiōmata claimed the staggering jackpot of $24.25 million, a life-changing sum for a community grappling with significant social deprivation.

To put that into perspective, that’s the total value of 40 homes in Wainuiōmata.

Hutt City councillor Kerry Brown says it’s a fantastic result for Wainuiōmata but there is more than meets the eye for the area.

“There’s a huge level of excitement that the Powerball’s been won in Wainuiōmata. We are such a close community.

“We’ve had proportionately the biggest growth in housing and we are partnering with iwi to do social housing as well. So we really want to keep a focus on Wainuiōmata being for all whānau.”

Unemployment has steadily dropped in the region. Ten years ago, the rate was 7.9% but in 2022, that dropped to just 2.2%.

Many public places have been reinvigorated in the area and, with resources being put into developing houses. Wainuiōmata is on the up, councillor Gabel Tupou says.

“There’s a strong Māori and Pacific community in Wainuiōmata. About 35% of our population is made up of Māori and Pacific demographics. So there is a strong sense of belonging in terms of our Māori and Pacific communities.”

“Wainuiōmata is on the uplift, and it is an attractive place to live, work, and play.”