Gov’t backs papakāinga in Reporoa with $12.3mn investment

By Will Trafford

The government will build 27 rental properties as part of a papakāinga project in the rural township of Reporoa, between Rotorua and Taupo.

The investment is centred around Waimahana Marae, within the rohe of Ngāti Tahu – Ngāti Whaoa and will be managed through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga.

Minister for Māori development Willie Jackson says the funding is part of the commitment made at Waitangi last year to increase support for Māori housing across the motu.

“As we draw near to Waitangi Day, it’s fitting to celebrate this much needed papakāinga development,” Jackson said.

“I congratulate the whānau for reaching this important milestone in their housing journey. I know the vision behind this papakāinga is to ensure intergenerational living thrives, where whānau are living in warm, safe and affordable homes”

Earlier Saturday Jackson unveiled a plaque dedicated to the almost 2,160 Māori who died during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, saying the Māori death rate roughly 8 times that of non-Māori offered lessons for the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This loss is a sad reality for many Māori communities and a reminder to all of us about the importance of protecting our whānau and whakapapa during the COVID pandemic. We can learn from our past, draw strength from it and look forward to a brighter future. The next generation of tamariki will live in warm, safe and healthy homes thanks to the vision and hard work of their whānau,” Willie Jackson said.