Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing

  • Iwi, Crown Partnership
  • Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant
  • Provides a pathway to home ownership

New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a region with high need and little supply.

The housing is being delivered in record time by using relocatable Built Smart homes constructed in Huntly and transported to Raukokore, close to the East Cape. The homes arrive fully insulated and are being connected to a new solar plant, replacing costly diesel generators.

Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Trust and Maru Ora Ltd. have partnered with Crown agencies including Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Te Puni Kōkiri on projects to increase housing supply and help address homelessness.

“I commend local iwi for their can-do attitude in tackling issues of homelessness and whānau living in sub-standard accommodation,” says the Hon Peeni Henare, Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing).

“I’m delighted to see this partnership with government working to deliver new homes in a matter of months.” Peeni Henare said.

MBIE provided funding for the 40 kW solar plant – enough to supply the electricity needs for eight houses. Locals say winter is the biggest challenge when having to rely on diesel generators to warm their homes.

The multi-generation whanau moving into the prototype Built Smart home had been making do in a run-down post office building.

“We know energy hardship is a real problem for whānau so this partnership has the potential to really change lives. It will help reduce power bills, boost housing standards, provide a pathway to home ownership, and help drive innovation in the renewable energy sector,” says Megan Woods, Minister of Energy and Resources and Minister of Housing.

“I’m delighted to see collaboration between government and Māori communities deliver real benefits for Raukokore in housing, energy and economic development,” Megan Woods said.

The housing at Raukokore is rent-to-own, providing a pathway to home ownership. By the end of August 16 new homes and eight renovations will have been delivered.

Te Maihi o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation (MAIHI) Framework for Action sets a precedent for working in partnership with Māori. It requires Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga to work collaboratively across government to support a cohesive and coordinated approach to delivering housing solutions with iwi and Māori.

The MAIHI Partnerships Programme provides a no wrong door approach for iwi and rōpū Māori looking to increase housing supply that attends to whānau needs, prevents homelessness and improves Māori housing security.

Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga is working with Te Matapihi and Te Puni Kōkiri to develop a new Māori Housing Strategy through MAIHI.

Whānau have been returning to the rohe out of a sense of safety from Covid-19 within tribal boundaries and because there are jobs ranging from orcharding to engineering and related industries. Job opportunities have been boosted by funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.