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Source: New Zealand Government

An innovative Papakāinga development project supporting low to median income Māori whānau towards home ownership, is set to break ground in the Chatham Islands today.

Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson said, the step towards addressing complex housing issues on the island will host five new homes by the middle of this year.

Te Puni Kōkiri is investing $974,760 towards the retained equity in the houses through its Te Ara Mauwhare initiative. In addition, $100,000 is funded by Sorted Kainga Ora and whānau navigation support, as well as for other whānau on the Islands.

“I mihi to the whānau who will live on the papakāinga, who have just completed the Sorted Kainga Ora programme. They are putting their best foot forward by doing these courses to build their financial skills and prepare for home ownership.”

The houses are being built offshore and will arrive by barge by mid-year. The ceremony marks the start of work on infrastructure and site works that are needed before the houses arrive.

“Building houses on the Chatham Islands (Rēkohu/Wharekauri) is difficult logistically and made even harder because banks don’t readily lend there. Plus it costs $100,000 more to build a house there, than it would to build on mainland New Zealand,” Minister Jackson said.

The papakāinga development is part of a $9m investment into innovative models that will support whānau Māori into home ownership. Six trials are underway across New Zealand, which will develop approximately 70 new homes for whānau to purchase under rent-to-own and shared ownership models.

The homes are being built as the first stage of the Sandstones papakāinga, thanks to a bespoke rent-to-buy model that recognises that bank finance is not readily available on the Island. Whānau are expected to achieve ownership within 10 to 20 years. The homes are being built on land gifted to Chatham Islands Housing Partnership Trust by the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust.