Marae receives $1mil funding for kaumātua housing

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Some Christmas cheer for the South Auckland marae of Papakura, which will be the first community to receive funding from the $15mil Māori Housing Fund.

Marae elder Brian Joyce says this is just the start.

“The minister has spoken about $2 billion for housing.  We are watching this funding,” says Joyce.

Two years ago, marae CEO Tony Kake looked to provide housing for the community's kaumātua in acknowledgement of the tireless work they do on the marae.

“The mahi wairua that they do, the mahi that they do with our whānau every day is really undervalued,” says Kake, “But having our kaumātua and kuia onsite, just welcoming people every day 24/7, I think is awesome.”

The marae plans to build 10 two-bedroom units for their kaumātua and work on six will commence soon.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admits more can be done to support initiatives like this.

“We're looking around models of shared equity and rent-to-buy in that area- and then we've also got our state housing, public housing and emergency housing programme,” says Ardern.

The $1mil will cover infrastructure and build costs, which will start in the new year.