The smell of sizzling sausages fills the air as small children on bikes zoom around the balloon-lined marquee.

It sounds like a family gathering, but those in attendance were marking a special day for the small Pāpāmoa community of Manawa.

The residential development, which sits on 20 hectares of Te Houhou settlement land owned by Ngā Pōtiki, yesterday held a small ceremony to open the walkway to Pāpāmoa beach.

The area used to be farmland but is now being developed into housing. Ngā Pōtiki chose to subdivide the land to be able to create a community for its hapu and others.

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Building companies had bought a large percentage of the sections, but around 20 per cent of the land was put aside to house members of the Ngā Pōtiki hapu.

The new Ngā Pōtiki Beach Track is between 1km and 2km long, surrounded by a conservation area, farm animals and even a small pond.

Ngā Pōtiki Kaumatua John Ohia on the new walkway. Photo / Caroline Fleming
Ngā Pōtiki Kaumatua John Ohia on the new walkway. Photo / Caroline Fleming

Ngā Pōtiki Kaumatua John Ohia said the new walkway provided a safe passage for young children and families to make the most of the scenic area.

He said he was thrilled that Ngā Pōtiki families would be able to raise their children in such a beautiful place.

An app was being launched next month that would allow people walking in the area to be able to learn the history of Ngā Pōtiki and the area while they walk.

Small beacons along the walkway and around the subdivision would trigger notifications on a user's phone that would allow them to read the history behind where they were standing.

Only sustainable houses that follow strict design rules can be built in the area.

Development manager Peter Cross said the idea for the area was to create "a vibrant hub" and to "build a community".

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Young families featured strongly in those interested in the development, he said.

This related heavily to phase two of the project, which would see the creation of a "village green" in the area.

It would be equipped with a supermarket, pharmacy, hairdressers and even a childcare centre in walking distance from the subdivision, he said.

He said he thought it was great that Ngā Pōtiki had donated their land for a public walkway as this was not common.

Ngā Pōtiki member Sacha Masigan said being able to house her young family in the area felt "too good to be true".

She said the new walkway would be ideal for her young sons to play around and walk safely to the beach.

She said there was no way she would be in a position to own in the area without the land put aside for her people.

Subsidy rules

Qualifying Ngā Pōtiki members will be able to apply to purchase sections with subsidies.
* To qualify for a subsidy, a buyer must be a hapu member and satisfy normal lending criteria of the banks.
* The level of the subsidy will vary depending on the total cost of the house and land package.
* If the buyer onsells the house at a later date they can keep the capital gain, less the percentage of the subsidy.
* Ngā Pōtiki will then use those funds from the capital gain to assist other members.