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Iwi partnerships result in housing for Lower Hutt

30 January 2020

An innovative housing development in Petone, Lower Hutt demonstrates how cities and developers working in partnership with Iwi and Māori can achieve benefits for the wider community, says the head of a national Maori housing provider.

Paetutu was the name of the Kāinga which was originally located in the area. Today it’s home to the latest mana whenua-developer partnership to result in adding much-needed housing stock to the Wellington region.

Brae Watkins, Chair of Te Tumu Kāinga - the housing arm of Te Tumu Paeroa - says the development by The Wellington Company is of high design and build quality and incorporates features such as public river access and public art, which “complements the medium-density architecture and creates a beautiful neighbourhood community. It’s been a pleasure to be involved in this.”

“Taranaki Whānui membership were offered a pre-release opportunity, with 14 whanau going on to purchase (representing 25% of all homes sold). The remainder of homes were sold on the open market, with Taranaki Whānui also being a major beneficiary of those transactions.” Watkins says.

Along with the 56 two and three-bedroom terraced homes, which feature courtyard gardens, extensive glazing, and eco-efficient contemporary architecture, the master-planned urban neighbourhood site boasts extensive planting, in-built sustainability, and an Ara (walkway) featuring public art work by master carver Rangi Hetet adds another special and unique element to Paetutu upholding its connection to Taranaki Whānui. The Ara was this morning gifted back to the community. The development’s street name (Te Ara o Paetutu) is the first fully Te Reo street name in Lower Hutt.

The land that Paetutu stands on today was offered to Taranaki Whānui as part of First Right of Refusal in the Crown’s land disposal process, according to spokesperson Kara Puketapu-Dentice.

“The Wellington Company and Te Tumu Kāinga worked together to increase overall housing supply for the area, but even more significantly, it’s been done in a way that benefits our uri both financially and culturally, whilst respecting the history and significance of the area to our people, and incorporating strong environmental components.”

The 14 homes sold to Taranaki Whānui whanau in 2017 were ‘off the plans’, meaning that in the interim period the value of the homes has gone up, says The Wellington Company Managing Director Ian Cassels.

“Pre-sales are a useful way to protect members from the bidding wars of the open market, and I’m pleased to see iwi members have done well with this housing opportunity.”

Cassels said that to achieve these kinds of results, it was important to work side by side with organisations such as Te Tumu Kāinga, that are best-placed to know how to deliver for iwi members.

A blessing was held on 30 January to officially open the site, with the first residents expected to move in shortly thereafter.


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