Housing New Zealand works with Whangārei hapū

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Housing New Zealand plans to work collaboratively with a Northland hapū to ensure a community approach for their new housing development in Whangārei.  

Local Whangarei hapū, Te Parawhau is excited to see a working relationship with Housing NZ which may lead to them participating in design elements of the new Puriri Park Rd development.

Te Parawhau spokesperson, Dr. Benjamin Pittman says, "Our perception is that they want to do something that is integrated so we have a complex that is part of a blended community.  That is their intention and we will work with them to ensure that happens."

The idea is supported by Housing NZ, who told Te Kāea, "It's important for us to have connections in the community.  We are not looking to be separate, we are just reflecting that people who live in our houses are as much part of the community as those in private housing."

In a recent story with Te Kāea, the Puriri Park Road property was the subject of heated debate where some community members felt left out of the consultation process.

But now a new relationship between the hapū and HNZ has brought better understanding.

Pittman says, "We have developed a good understanding of what their plans are and they understand where we are coming from too, in terms of our responsibility to that land and our lands as a whole."

Housing NZ has around 2,000 houses under construction and says hapū and the community have a key role in turning those houses into homes. 

They will speak with the local community early next year before applying for resource consent.