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International housing award for BOP group

16 November 2004

International housing award for Bay of Plenty group

A Bay of Plenty community trust has won international praise for its innovative work providing housing and employment for local people.

The Te Mahoe Village Trust has been awarded a 2004 Australasian Housing Institute Excellence in Social Housing Award, which will be officially presented to the Trust in Melbourne tomorrow. Housing Minister Steve Maharey said the Trust's passion and vision has resolved a housing crisis and created social and economic benefits for the community.

“Faced with the prospect of losing their jobs and their homes after an upgrade to the Matahina Dam, the community took the initiative to establish a charitable trust to buy the housing used by dam workers and provide employment opportunities,” Steve Maharey said.

“Te Mahoe Village Trust has insulated houses in their village, opened a community-owned convenience store and backpacker accommodation creating employment and tourism opportunities, and supported residents into home ownership by helping them save for a deposit. They have developed robust business and financial expertise and become successful property owners.

"The Trust's work has enabled the village to remain a community in the truest sense. Their vision for the future and their wish for resident participation has created a strong community spirit and has contributed to social cohesion.”

The Trust is led by William "Bill" Scott, Manuhiria Ngatai and Suzanna Beamsley. It received support from numerous agencies including Housing New Zealand Corporation, Te Puni Kokiri, the Department of Labour’s Community Employment Group, Department of Internal Affairs’ Community Development Group, Opus International and Tenancy Services.

ENDS

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