PM announces $1.9mil investment for Ratana Pā

By Regan Paranihi

Today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta have announced a $1.9mil investment towards housing infrastructure for the Ratana Pā community.

Ardern says the the funds are part of the government's commitment to not only build houses but to also build strong communities.

“The $1.9 million investment will support the development of 26 sections on Māori freehold land for whānau to build on, and live in new homes.”

The Ratana community is one of the largest Māori religious movements in New Zealand and many followers from all over the country are set to gather at Ratana Pā for 100th anniversary celebrations over the next few days.

“At the heart of this investment is a partnership. It builds on the knowledge that communities and whānau are best placed to determine how to achieve their aspirations,” says Ardern.

Mahuta says this investment will benefit the whole community as it will also offer training and employment opportunities.

“This will mean a lot to those whānau that the Ratana Ahuwhenua Trust has been working alongside and is a very good example of using Māori freehold land to benefit whānau.”

This is just the beginning for Ratana Pā as stage two will see $1.7mil invested into further sections.

“This stage focuses on the development of the new subdivision and stage two should see a further 34 sections,” says Mahuta.

Construction work will begin in late 2019.