Ratana to receive essential repairs and upgrades

  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Phil Heatley
  • Pita Sharples
Energy and Resources Housing Maori Affairs

A new initiative to repair and insulate houses in Ratana township will significantly improve the quality of life for residents, and act as a showcase for the benefits of energy efficiency initiatives for other Maori communities.

The project, announced today by Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples, and Housing Minister Phil Heatley, allocates $2.7 million to provide basic essential repairs, insulation and efficient heating for around 100 homes.

Dr Sharples said Ratana was a place of great spiritual significance to many in Maoridom.

“This project will make Ratana homes warmer, healthier and much more affordable to heat properly,” he said.

“It will also show other Maori communities the benefits of these improvements, and we hope it will inspire communities to invest in similar projects.”

Mr Heatley said the scheme was a positive step to improving housing conditions for a community in need.

“There is little point in insulating a home that has leaks or unsafe wiring. The scheme will focus on repairs that will enable the safe and effective installation of insulation and new, efficient heating.”

Mr Brownlee welcomed the scheme as an extension to the government’s successful Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme, which has insulated the homes of over 85,000 families, about half of which are on low incomes.

The project is due to start in the New Year.

Background information

The project will be delivered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) working closely with Te Puni Kokiri and Housing New Zealand.

Each house will be assessed prior to any work starting to allow the best allocation of total funding. EECA will work closely with the Ratana community and, in particular, the Ratana Ahuwhenua Trust on prioritising the funding.

The project is expected to cost $2.7 million. This is made up of:

• Basic essential repairs (new appropriation to Vote Energy) – $2.06 million
• Te Puni Kokiri (Vote Maori Affairs) – $350,000 for insulation and clean heating
• Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart funding (Vote Energy) – $300,000