Petone housing scheme provides homes for locals

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Some Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika families will become first-time home buyers through the tribal trust's first housing development project.

Paetutu is the tribe's new housing development in Petone and beneficiaries were offered first option to purchase.

Providing a home for their descendants on their homeland is a priority for the tribe.

Priorities are “that it's warm, that it's safe,” says Port Nicholson Block Settlement trustee, Kara Puketapu-Dentice.

“It's not leaky and it's in our rohe, it's in our takiwā.  It's not in Australia where a lot of our whānau are and are going.  So the more we keep here the better”.

56 new affordable two and three bedroom townhouses will be built. 

Homes will be insulated for warmth and earthquake proofed.

Te Tumu Kāinga housing developer chair, Basil Tapuke says, “[It’s] flexible, so even though it's concrete, the foundations allow it to move”.

The Iwi Settlement Trust was offered right of first refusal to purchase the Jackson Street site two years ago.  With the Wellington median house prices now at a record $560,000, the tribe seized an opportunity.

“[So] that they feel security,” says Puketapu-Dentice, “That they can build their own equity as a whānau and use that as an opportunity to grow and develop their own whānau so they're not spending money on rent”.

One whānau in the process of purchasing a home says the Paetutu development has provided them with an opportunity to buy an affordable home using a Homestart grant they may not have had otherwise in the Wellington area.

“This is their land for the families to return to with their children and grandchildren,” says Tapuke, “Close to Wellington and work”.

Construction of the first few homes begins next month with whānau expected to move in within the next six months.