Ngāti Whakaue descendants get chance to buy cheaper new houses

By Herewini Waikato

Te Tatau o Te Arawa and the Rotorua Lakes Council are working together to tackle emergency housing, the supply of social housing and to support Rotorua communities’ wellbeing.

Their strategic plan is He Papakāinga, He Hāpori Taurikura Te Poupou Rautaki - Rotorua Homes and Thriving Communities Strategic Framework.

 The work is now under way, with a task force that includes council, central government, iwi, and others.

Rawiri Waru of Te Tatau o Te Arawa says that in this strategic plan one of the objectives is implementing housing for Te Arawa. “The government is focused on homes, we are focused also on building up communities,” Waru says.  

One such iwi initiative is Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands, which is developing 1,100 lots, some with homes to be built on, to help address housing needs.

There are 13 stages and in each stage a percentage of homes will be sold to Ngāti Whakaue descendants. This could include close to 150 homes available to Ngāti Whakaue descendants of the total 1,100 lots and homes being offered.

Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands general manager Ray Morrison says Stage One is underway with 52 lots.

Ring-fencing for first home buyers

 “Through each of the stages we are ring-fencing a certain percentage for first home buyers or affordable homes and so in this first stage we have eight.” That is eight three-bedroom, one bathroom new homes sold at $500,000.

The current medium price for a home in Rotorua is $620,000.  This could save successful Ngāti Whakaue descendants $120,000. Names will be put into a ballot and be drawn out.

The first homes in stage one will begin to be built by the end of this year. The full project will take 15 years.

To apply for one of these homes applicants must be first home buyers, whakapapa to Ngāti Whakaue, and be able to meet the financial requirements. Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands is also offering support in setting up applicants with financial support.

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