Ngāti Toa become major housing provider for Porirua

By Tema Hemi

Ngāti Toa want to ensure that every Porirua family have a safe haven to call home. 

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Toa Chairman Taku Parai says, "The ultimate goal is to look after and care for our community of Porirua. Here on the west side of the city firstly, and then in time the east side."

The Porirua Development is expected to result in the renewal of 2900 public houses across Porirua City.  At least 2000 new affordable and market homes, including Kiwibuild properties over 25 years.

An opportunity Ngāti Toa elder Tā Matiu Rei says is a must for his people.  

Ngāti Toa elder Sir Matiu Rei says, "We will have opportunities to build new homes to bring into the rental market and I think that's a good opportunity for us because there is no doubt that renting and the demand for rentals is going up and the affordability for homes to own is also going up."

Associate Minister for Housing Kris Faafoi says, "We need to make sure they're warmer and drier so that programme will continue over the time that Ngāti Toa are responsible as a community housing provider here on the west but also as we go through the regeneration in the east and the wider programme."

The Government will commit up to $1.5 billion to work with the community on revitalising eastern Porirua, while also partnering with Ngāti Toa to improve public housing in western Porirua.

Creating plenty of employment opportunities for locals. 

Parai also says, "This initiative will present plenty of employment opportunities for our people in renovating houses etc. When a house needs repairs and things are broken we can depend on our own people for those jobs to do the repairs."

Faafoi also says, "As well as making sure that its a warm and safe and dry home, we know that there are issues that need to be managed with some of these families and Ngāti Toa will continue to work with the agencies that do the wrap-around service. We want to make that they are not just in the home but they stay in the home as well."

Ngāti Toa are satisfied their relationship with the Crown is stable and that both want what's best for the local community. 

"We are taking this journey together, to what they know and what we know what's right. It's all about collaboration," Parai said. 

Ngāti Toa believes their partnership also demonstrates the Government's commitment to te ao Māori and the aim of enabling Māori interests to achieve their aspirations in urban development and public housing.