Ngāti Toa Rangatira to build neighbourhood homes for iwi

By Tumamao Harawira

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira is hoping to build a new papakāinga for its people in Porirua.

It has signed an agreement with Carrus Kenepuru to take over the remaining stages of the Kenepuru Landing development, placing the iwi in end-to-end control of the construction of the new Porirua suburb.

Toa Rangatira chief executive Helmut Modlick says the iwi wants the project to be more than just about dollars and cents.

"It's no longer a partnership with a commercial partner. It's just a Ngāti Toa development, it's no longer being viewed by us as a commercial venture."

"The priority has shifted toward us being able to reclaim that whenua to directly provide housing for our people instead of it being a commercial-residential development for the wider community."

The new agreement will enable Ngāti Toa and partners to oversee and ensure the construction of at least 450 houses throughout the remaining stages of the development, with 140 homes reserved for Māori whānau.

Modlick says, "this is now a rangatiratanga venture for the housing of our whānau, and our policy as an iwi is we won't sell the whenua."

Ngāti Toa will take over stages three to six of the Kenepuru Landing development and will continue the provision of high-quality housing, via a more affordable model for its iwi members through its leasehold land trust of whenua ownership. The chief executive says this is not only a way to hold onto the whenua but it will also create economic opportunities for the iwi.