eight col Kenepuru landing announcement supplied by Kainga Ora

The first funding deal for the Government's Infrastructure Acceleration Fund has been signed between Kāinga Ora, Porirua City Council and Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, which will see 880 houses built in Porirua.

IMAGE: Mel Waite Photography

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira chief executive Helmut Modlik (left), Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods, Porirua City Mayor Anita Baker, MP for Mana Barbara Edmonds, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Callum Katene were all at the announcement at Kenepuru Landing, Porirua. 

Minister for Housing Dr Megan Woods made the announcement at the Kenepuru Landing in Porirua along with members of Ngāti Toa and Porirua City Mayor Anita Baker.

Ngāti Toa view the development as critical to supporting and realising their housing strategy for their iwi. The Ngāti Toa Community Land Trust Model will be implemented with the aim of delivering one third to public housing, one third to the affordable housing sector, and one third to market housing.

The first houses the IAF will enable at Kenepuru Landing are expected to be delivered by 2025, with the whole development planned to be completed by 2030.

Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods said when they launched the fund they would be looking for some projects that were signifcantly progressed and able to be funded straight away.

"It scored incredibly highly in all of the criteria that the proposals were measured against."

Chief executive of Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira Helmut Modlik said this mean't people from the iwi would be able to get a home.

"We have a housing register with about 140 people on it and this announcement means there will be over 800 houses, in other words anyone who wants a house, they are able to come and have a nice house," Modlik said.

"But what it also means for us is that we are actually enabling creation of a new community or suburb, it will always have our flavour on it, it will be a Ngati Toa associate suburb, a satellite if you like, of our kainga."

"We are looking forward to creating something really special, not only for our iwi but for the community as well."

Minister Woods said it was important that the houses being built will be a mix of public, affordable and market housing.

"When we look around at this development, there's houses probably in the mid 900s [thousands] but there will be a third of the houses developed that will be around that market affordable rate of 650,000, so this will represent a significant opportunity for home ownership for people that are struggling to get on the ladder," Woods says.

"We will have to bring together a suite of measures to help some people onto the property ladder and that's where, the Government is working on things such as progressive home ownership, will become very important.

"There is no magic silver bullet to solve a housing crisis, what we have to do as a Government is to bring together a suite of policies and a toolbox of ways in which we fight this housing crisis."

Modlik said there were two strategies the iwi were using to combat increasing house prices.

"Our intention is to use a community land trust model, that means the entry cost of purchasing the land will no longer be in the equation, that should strip roughly 40 percent off the cost of entry, that's a big lowering of that barrier," Modlik said.

"The other is the Ngati Toa strategy and delivery of our housing is through progressively acquiring a set of vertically integrated businesses, we have Toa Architects, Toa ITM, Toa Homes and so on. So we can control to a greater degree than otherwise, the margins, delivery and quality of what's built.

"We feel pretty confident that between the vertical integration, the delivery strategy and community land trust we should be able to get the prices a lot more south than 600,000."

Modlik said he had heard from people who were hopeful to get one of the homes.

"A true anecdote, one of our staff joined Toa ITM, a pasifika from up the East, when we told him that him and his family would have the opportunity to have a home here with his wife, they got tears over the thought. They have three kids, they have been working hard for a long time and there just hasn't been the option for them to buy. But with this partnership with the Porirua City Council and the Government, it's become a realistic thing."

Porirua City Mayor Anita Baker said the project was also changing areas.

"You aren't just having social housing in one area, we have a mix of everything, which is really good for the community."

Other areas in the country could see partnerships like this.

"Through the IAF we have been saying to areas to bring their team together. Bring together developers, iwi, and council and bring us those proposals," Woods said.

She said this development represented good value for money as the $6.1 million investment meant an additional 437 homes can be built.

"That comes at just under $14,000 per property that was required to enable that higher density of housing and enable more affordable housing. It's good value for money but it's simply addressing an issue.

Minister Woods was aware of issues with not having enough workers in the construction sector to build homes but said they are working on it.

"We've got to address this on several fronts. One of which we are doing as a builder ourselves, is ensuring the build partners, there's a requirement for them to bring on apprentices so two weeks ago 500th apprentice involved with the Kainga Ora build.

"We are making sure we are training our young people with those skills that set themselves up for life.

"One of the things we did when we announced the 2021 Visa Pathway to Residency, as we know there are number of people on work visas who have construction skills that we want to stay here, but look we are under no illusion that there is a constrained market both in terms in labour and supply, it's something we need to work on."

Source: O'Connor, M. (2021, December 14). RNZ . Retrieved from Porirua housing project to provide 880 new homes, Ngāti Toa iwi prioritised: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/457888/porirua-housing-project-to-provide-880-new-homes-ngati-toa-iwi-prioritised

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