Te Puni Kokiri

Language preference: Māori English

Language preference: Māori English

Video – A place to call home

Published on Thursday, 22 September 2016

As the country comes to grips with the ongoing housing crisis, Maori landowners are finding their own solutions. The owners and trustees of Te Aro Pā are amongst those leading the way with a build of 14 papakāinga homes at Greta Point in Wellington.

Transcript for Video

Liz Love: Just being able to live in a home that belongs to us, that was bought for us and my kids can benefit from that overall - health, finance, housing.

Hon. Te Ururoa Flavell: There are far too many problems facing our people with respect to housing issues throughout the country, but people seem to find a good place to go to when they go back to papakāinga housing.

Holden Hohaia: The history of this development is tied into Te Aro and the Te Aro original papakāinga that was located just at the corner there of Taranaki Street and Manners Street. There was a combination of enticement and a bit of strong arm tactics as well to move the residents of the Te Aro kāinga off that land. Polhill Gully, which was the large rural section that was allocated, and that had a landfill put next to it. There was a swap of land for this piece of land. I mean it is actually as the crow flies, it’s still quite close to Te Aro, to the original pā site so that’s quite a nice aspect of it.

Liz Love: What made us move here was actually my younger son. He would constantly ask ‘when we are moving to our papakāinga home?’ Every day he would wake up and say, “Mum, are we moving today? Are we going to our papakāinga home?”

Holden Hohaia: So there’s 14 units all up. 10 three bedroom units and 4 single bedroom units.

Liz Love: At first it was really funny because the neighbours we did meet, we were distant relatives or relations or whānaunga. We instantly became a whānau network, all the units here. So every now and then we give each other our space and our privacy, and then every now and then we’re on each other’s fence lines saying ‘can you pass me..., have you got a spare..., you need some help with...?’ So it’s really, really whānau orientated.

Hon. Te Ururoa Flavell: One of great things that one family has identified is about the whole notion of housing cannot be just seen as about a housing kaupapa. It’s actually about whānau and Whānau Ora. Whānau living in a warm, safe environment that deals with the health issues, it deals with the education issues, it deals with keeping the whole whānau together.

Liz Love: Now that we are in social housing, we came from private and we have the money or the finances now to afford healthy food in our home.

Holden Hohaia: See now we’ve got something that has a real value for our kids and their kids, and it’s doing something good for the community as well. As a trustee and as an owner I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved here.

Liz Love: I feel like it’s finally our turn. We’ve finally in one sense got justice, and on the other sense we’re finally home.

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