Whenua at three sites in Ngāruawāhia were blessed and had the sod turned just before Christmas, marking the start of construction for three new papakāinga in Waikato.
Te Puni Kōkiri deputy secretary, regional partnerships and operations, Paula Rawiri congratulated whānau of the Mary Roberts and Kotahi Roberts Trust, the Taawhia Te Ao Papakāinga Trust and the Pareaute Epaapara Ahu Whenua Trust on achieving this milestone in their papakāinga journeys.
"A big mihi to all three whānau for the steps they are taking to provide their whānau and community with safe, affordable housing," Paula said.
All three projects have been approved under Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga, a joint initiative between Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development, that will increase the Māori housing supply across the motu.
Mary Roberts Kotahi Roberts Trust received $464,079 for infrastructure and capital build costs to develop one large whare, equivalent to two one-bedroom and one two-bedroom homes.
Taawhia Te Ao Papakāinga Trust received $1,348,996 for stage two of its papakāinga. Funding will support infrastructure and building costs for three new affordable rental homes and infrastructure for two existing whare.
Pareaute Epaapara Ahu Whenua Trust received $1,208,725 to support infrastructure and building costs to develop four kaumātua rental whare. The whānau have ensured additional infrastructure will also support stage two of their papakāinga in the future.
"It takes a lot of planning, dedication and hard work to build a papakāinga, but this community will reap benefits that go further than having four walls and a roof.
"We know that good quality housing creates a developmental springboard to a healthier whānau who are better positioned to explore other development opportunities whether they be personal, business, or cultural," Paula said.
Associate Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta attended the three events on behalf of Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson.