Marae housing helps Edgecumbe whānau affected by floods

  • Te Ururoa Flavell
Economic Development Maori Development

A new papakāinga housing development will be used to help house whānau who lost their homes in the Edgecumbe floods in April, says Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith.

The development being built at Kokohinau Marae 5km south of Edgecumbe will eventually be used for affordable housing for kaumatua, but Ngati Awa iwi have elected to initially use it to house whānau impacted by floods.

“This is manaakitanga at its best, we saw it during the floods when Kokohinau Marae in Te Teko and Rautahi Marae in Kawerau came to the aid of whānau who needed food and shelter after the devastating flood,” Mr Flavell says.

A total of five two-bedroom homes are to be built and infrastructure support for 41 housing sites including power and water supply, sewerage and roading will be provided for at Kokohinau Marae.

“I want to commend the start of the construction of the Pahipoto Māori Committee papakāinga development in Edgecumbe,” says Dr Smith.

“They have been quick to bring forward plans to respond to immediate whānau needs within their rohe.”

Construction will begin immediately with support from the Whakatāne District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to expedite all planning consents as an emergency housing response.

Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment will split the contribution of more than $2.6 million towards the housing development.

“The Kokohinau Marae papakāinga project is a great example of what can be achieved when parties come together to collaborate,” Mr Flavell says

“The partnerships and networks forged between Pahipoto Māori Committee, government agencies and local authorities underpin the success of this development.”

In addition, Te Puni Kōkiri supported the Pahipoto Māori Committee $73,600 towards the feasibility stage for providing emergency housing initially in response to the Edgecumbe floods and whānau being displaced from their homes.