A project to remove 33 state housing blocks in Napier is more than half complete, according to Housing New Zealand.

The project involves demolition or removal of 33 of the two-storey blocks in the Maraenui area, comprising 96 units. They were among the thousands of state houses built throughout New Zealand in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Housing NZ says 18 blocks of two to four units each have been removed, mainly in the streets immediately surrounding the Maraenui shopping centre.

Yesterday work continued on a site just west of the Challenge Maraenui petrol station, completing the stripping of two-storey accommodation from Bledisloe Rd. Already cleared was a stretch on the northern side of Bledisloe Rd from Geddis Ave to opposite the petrol station.

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Previously blocks had been removed from a section of Longfellow Ave, on the eastern flank of the shopping centre. Fences have been erected around several blocks in Geddis Ave and Percy Spiller Ave in preparation for more clearing.

Other blocks of housing have been removed over the last three years from Masefield Ave and Kelvin Place, Maraenui, and Roberts Terrace, Onekawa, and previously Kettle Cres, Marewa.

New single-storey homes have emerged on the land at the corner of Longfellow and Percy Spiller Aves, and Kettle Cres, and plans are for five more of the homes on a Longfellow Ave section.

But Housing NZ says no decisions have been made on the use of the other land in Maraenui as options are considered as part of the Maraenui Suburban Revitalisation Project, headed by representatives of the state housing agency, Napier City Council and local welfare agency Roopu a Iwi.