What we do
Te Puni Kōkiri supports the development of small-scale papakāinga (generally 3-10 houses) on whenua Māori, where homes will be owned and occupied by the owners of the whenua, and whānau who whakapapa to the land have the opportunity to live according to Te Ao Māori. Our focus is on rōpū who wish to establish an intentional Te Ao Māori papakāinga community that maintains a connection to their whenua, where identity and whakapapa can come together, which enables intergenerational living and strengthens cultural and spiritual identity and te reo Māori. Papakāinga supported by Te Puni Kōkiri usually incorporate some communal spaces and shared amenities, including for example orchards, communal māra kai, and gathering spaces or recreation areas. Papakāinga will often help provide a base for whānau and community enterprises.
We have experience in supporting papakāinga development:
- on both whenua Māori and general title land, sometimes land returned under Treaty settlements
- in both rural and urban communities
- including contemporary urban papakāinga on land purchased by whānau or rōpu.
We support the development of papakāinga, usually on whenua Māori, and typically three to ten homes, by supporting and contributing to the cost of:
- rōpū undertaking planning and feasibility assessment for papakāinga on their whenua (grants are typically around $90,000 per rōpū), see Papakāinga Planning.
- infrastructure and construction costs (capital grant) to build collectively-owned affordable rental housing (grants are typically $500,000 to $3 million per rōpū), see Papakāinga page.
- infrastructure for whānau-owned homes on whenua Māori (grants are typically $80,000 - $100,000 per whare, depending on the level of infrastructure needed),see Infrastructure support.
Investment in new papakāinga developments vary depending on the size and type of development proposed by whānau and rōpū. The land owning rōpū must contribute to the construction costs of any affordable rental homes, generally between 25 and 40 percent, usually from borrowing or cash reserves.
One of the lessons from our Māori housing investment programme experience is that funding and other support needs to have flexibility to be able to move at the pace with which whānau and rōpū are comfortable. This can mean a year or two may pass between initial conversations and a proposal that is ready to be funded. Building papakāinga and individual homes on Māori land requires rōpū and/or whānau to clarify their aspirations, get the agreement of often dispersed landowners, learn to navigate through complex processes, and decide to make very substantial financial commitments. During this time, Te Puni Kōkiri will maintain its relationship with the rōpū or whānau, and provide appropriate advice and support.
 The rental homes must be ‘affordable’ in terms of both the cost to build, and the rent paid by occupants (generally less than market rent).
The key steps in developing a papakāinga are:
1. Whānau planning - around 12 months
|Develop and share your vision with your whānau. This step will involve a lot of kōrero, hui and preliminary research and is often the most time consuming step in the papakāinga housing development process|
2. Information gathering & research - around 6 months mahi
This step requires you to undertake research, learning and gathering of information about your land, its governance, and the whānau who might want to live there.Your detailed research and investigation will give you confidence that your papakāinga housing development is viable and will identify any likely barriers.
3. Project planning and feasibility - around 6 months mahi
With the information you have gathered from steps 1 and 2, owners and trustees are in a better position to engage professional services and get technical advice.
This involves getting technical reports, considering site options, technical design details and associated costs.
4. Due diligence – around 3 months mahi
This is when you'll work with any funding providers to negotiate funding. They'll do a thorough assessment of your project and will expect to see things like:
5. Building and project management – around 18 months mahi
|With all your funding, project plans and consents in place, infrastructure and building work can get underway. It's good to get any building contracts checked by your lawyer.|
6. Maintenance and management – ongoing mahi
The mahi doesn't stop when building work is finished. There will be new responsibilities for the trust to manage as landlord of the papakāinga. There will be ongoing mahi managing and maintaining the houses and working with tenants.
If you are reliant on grant funding from government to progress your papakainga aspirations you may have to pause and wait for funding confirmation before proceeding to Step 3, Step 4 and/or Step 5. Grant funding from government is not guaranteed. Demand across the rohe exceeds the amount of funding Te Puni Kōkiri has available. We cannot fund every proposal that meets our criteria, as much as we would like to.
Larger scale Māori housing developments
Increasingly Te Puni Kōkiri is taking an intentional community development approach to the investments, where secure, affordable, warm, and dry housing also provides better health, education, and employment outcomes. While iwi and rōpū Māori do undertake or are involved in larger affordable housing developments, the role of Te Puni Kōkiri in supporting these is now facilitative rather than investment focused; this is now a core function of Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga and Kāinga Ora. We now therefore distinguish these commercial or semi-commercial larger-scale proposals from our core support for kaupapa-based small-scale papakāinga.
As mentioned above, some larger housing developments by iwi or rōpū Māori, particularly in urban areas, may include commercial elements, and homes that align better with products offered by HUD and Kāinga Ora. Such a mixed tenure housing developments may include:
- rental housing, including kaumātua housing
- emergency or transitional housing
- public housing (state housing)
- public housing (social housing) owned and operated by a registered Community Housing Provider with access to Income Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS)
- sale of sections, or house and land packages, to whānau who may or not whakapapa to the whenua potentially also houses offered for progressive home ownership.
Funding support from Te Puni Kōkiri
The table below outlines what funding support is available from Te Puni Kōkiri.
|Funding type >>|
Single owner-occupied home 3
- Papakāinga - Affordable rental housing: for rōpū Māori who wish to own and provide affordable rental housing for whānau.
- Papakāinga - Owner-occupied housing: for whānau who wish to live in a papakāinga where the homes will be owned and occupied by whānau, generally with a Māori Land Court registered Licence to Occupy. Whānau will borrow/finance the house construction themselves.
- Single owner-occupied home: private housing on whenua Māori.
The Papakainga Development Process
A video of the papakainga masterclass from the February 2021 National Maori Housing Conference, sponsored by the Australian Housing Institute (AHI). Paora Sheeran (Sheeran & Associates) provides a “Papakainga Development 101” for whānau and rōpū interested in finding out how to progress their housing aspirations on their whenua.
Guide to Papakāinga Housing
The ‘Guide to Papakāinga Housing’ provides an overview of the papakāinga development process including the steps. Usually preceding this step is a completed project feasibility.
Papakāinga planning tools
Demand for information and guidance for papakāinga developments is high. Whānau are keen to understand how they can utilise their parcels of whenua to build safe, warm, dry and affordable housing. Here are some handy tools to help with your planning and preparation:
- Papakāinga planning & feasibility checklist – what you need to know and document in order to be “shovel ready” [PDF, 618KB]
- Project Viability Assessment Tool (PVAT) [XLSB, 2MB]
Councils and regions have developed their own Papakāinga Toolkits to assist whānau and rōpū with their planning. These resources provide greater detail on the steps to develop a papakāinga. They are both generic and recognised by the organisations that have supported their development.
- Te Tai Tokerau Papakāinga Toolkit
- Ngāpuhi Papakāinga Toolkit
- Waikato Māori Housing Toolkit
- Hastings Papakāinga Development Guide [PDF, 9.2MB]
Need more info, or want to apply for funding?
Click here to register a housing enquiry with a regional office near you.
The IRD Māori Land Trust page provides information on trustee’s tax obligations, including grant income.
Events and Updates
Latest events and updates for this section are listed below.
Three new papakāinga under construction in Ngāruawāhia
Breathing new life into iconic Ōtautahi building to house Rehua Marae whānau
Memories of living at the old trade training hostel at Rehua Marae are vivid in Ash Leatherby’s mind.
Papakāinga: Whenua blessing in Whāingaroa marks start of construction
Whenua Māori near Whāingaroa (Raglan) that has been sitting idle for decades will soon be home to local Waikato whānau and bring those from afar who are yet to experience living on their ancestral whenua.
Papakāinga: Bringing whānau back to Maungatautari Maunga
Under the gaze of Maungatautari maunga near Cambridge lies a 10-home papakāinga that has been years in the making for Ngāti Korokī Kahukura iwi.
Papakāinga benefits amplified in COVID-19 lockdown
Tucked away in a quiet cul-de-sac in Waipatu Hawkes Bay, the Apatu-Wilson whānau are happy and safe spending lockdown in their whare that lies within their whānau papakāinga.