Whānau of 19 move into eight bedroom papakāinga

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

A Ngāruawāhia whānau of 19 will finally move into their new eight bedroom papa kāinga home.  Despite a growing shortage of affordable housing in Waikato, the Turner Whānau Papakāinga Development received assistance from the Māori Housing Network to house five of their whanau.

A lifelong dream for this whānau has come to fruition.

For family patriarch Hone Turner their new home will ensure a legacy for his descendants.

Hone Turner, (Waikato) says, “This home is not for my wife and I, no, it's for our tamariki, our growing and future grandchildren.”

Last year construction began on the nine-bedroom home for 10 adults and nine children on whānau land at a cost of $720,000.  It was made possible with the assistance of $450,000 from the Māori Housing Network through Te Puni Kōkiri, which was launched in 2015. 

Te Ururoa Flavell, Minister of Māori Development said, “We are seeking assistance from other government agencies, like Housing, which has its own Minister.  So I am strongly advocating for more resources from them, because we're seeing in two years Māori are able to implement this project model.  One home, a papakāinga, so I'm asking Ministers to give more resources so we can continue to build more homes like the one we see here today.”

Special planning has gone into the home to accommodate the elderly.

Daughter, Rangitamoana Wilson says, “We wanted to set my mum and dad up in a self-contained unit, so they've got a walk in wardrobe and they've got their own toilet, shower.  The hallways, we needed them to be wide enough so that eventually when, dare I say it, mum and dad need a wheelchair, the access is accessible.”

And for the children.

Wilson, says, “There are internet connections everywhere and we wanted to make that into a homework hub for our children, especially the ones who aren't going to be living at the house.  We want to set something up so that they come here and get into some good habits. The other things that we really wanted to focus on was a big living, dining, and kitchen area.  Our kitchen is just short of a commercial kitchen.  So we actually want to look at teaching our children how to cook.”

To accommodate the 19 people who will live here, the home has six toilets and five showers.

Turner says, “Those wanting to follow our pathway need to be determined, also because, in the last few years, I feel pity for those who are cast aside, the homeless, who sleep on the streets.”

All five families will move into their new homes over the next few weeks.