Fruition for Māori dream of whānau land homes

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Several Māori families will now own their own homes thanks to a Māori-led housing initiative launched in Ngāruawāhia on Saturday. The project is part of the government's $35mil investment over the next four years to improve housing outcomes for Māori.

A dream to have a home on your own tribal land has finally come to pass today for these families.

Poppy Ranga, spokesperson for the Ranga Bidois Trust says, “I'm so thrilled especially at the amount of families who've come.  This initiative is for them.”

Another home owner, Manaakitia Nepia, said, “I'm happy to be moving into our home.  We've had to wait a while, but today we're finally here.”

The Ranga Bidois project was funded through Whānau Ora, and Minister Te Ururoa Flavell launched the Māori Housing Network.

Te Ururoa Flavell said, “We want to enable families to build homes on their own tribal lands like this.”

But one Māori architect says the plan will have its challenges.  Rau Hoskin, says, “Very little has been done in the past 20 years since Māori housing prevision was mainstreamed from Māori Affairs. We can't pretend we suddenly just turn on the light with having all this activity.”

But for the Ranga Bidois Trust family it's about a plan of succession.

Poppy Ranga says, “We thought about our families future, that if we died tomorrow, our family has a home.”