Marae housing helps homeless flood victims

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FIRST SOD: Whakatane District Council deputy Mayor Judy Turner and Pahipoto kuia Merehuka Halt watch on as Maori Development minister Te Ururoa Flavell turns the first lot of sod of the Kokohinau Marae Papakainga project. Photo Paula Massey D5642-82

A NEW papakainga housing development at Te Teko will be used to help house those who lost their homes in the Edgecumbe flood.

And while the development at Kokohinau Marae will initially be used to house displaced Edgecumbe residents, it will eventually provide permanent housing for elderly Maori.

The Pahipoto Maori Committee unveiled the project at a sod-turning event on Sunday,

It is a joint venture between the committee, the Maori development ministry of Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment with the government departments splitting the financial contribution of more than $2.6 million.

Maori development minister Te Ururoa Flavell said the Kokohinau Marae papakainga project was a great example of what could be achieved when parties came together to collaborate.

“The partnerships and networks forged between Pahipoto Maori Committee, government agencies and local authorities underpin the success of this development.”

He said the development showed how the Maori value of manaakitanga, which urged people to take care of others, could be practised in a contemporary way.

“This is manaakitanga at its best, we saw it during the floods when Kokohinau Marae in Te Teko and Rautahi Marae in Kawerau came to the aid of whanau who needed food and shelter after the devastating flood.”

Under the project, five two-bedroom homes will be built and infrastructure developed to support 41 housing sites including power and water supply, sewerage and roading.

The Minister for Business, Innovation and Employment Dr Nick Smith said he was impressed with the Pahipoto Maori Committee’s commitment to help people.

“I want to commend the start of the construction of the Pahipoto Maori Committee papakainga development in Edgecumbe.

“They have been quick to bring forward plans to respond to immediate whanau needs within their rohe.”

Construction will begin immediately with support from the Whakatane District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to expedite all planning consents as an emergency housing response.

Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment will split the contribution of more than $2.6 million towards the housing development.

In addition, Te Puni Kokiri also supported the Pahipoto Maori Committee with $73,600 towards the feasibility stage for providing the emergency housing.



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