Waitara from the skies - Photo / Wikipedia Commons
A long-awaited iwi housing project in Waitara has been given the fast track green light.
Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa chair Liana Poutu says she was pleasantly surprised that the project had received the consent.
“It was a surprise to us. We didn’t realise that the project was going to go through,” Liana Poutu says.
She says the new fast-track consent laws are beneficial for developers, and so far has benefited Te Atiawa.
But she doesn't want the new law to be used against her iwi.
“We have to be careful we’re not bypassed in that process in terms of doing cultural impact assessments and being able to protect wāhi tapu (sacred sites).”
The project in Waitara will provide housing for Te Atiawa.
Tribal descendants will be brought into a savings and financial literacy programme.
They will then make the transition into homeownership as they progress through the steps of the programme.
Poutu says Te Atiawa is working on a variety of property projects. These include commercial offices, converting industrial properties into papakainga (housing) and the Te Kekeu Park project.