Grant’s Kōrero: Helping whānau achieve their housing aspirations

It’s been a busy few months as we progress with our whānau housing development on the corner of Hawaiki and Kupe street in Ōrākei. Throughout this time, it’s been great to see and hear from so many whānau, especially young families and couples, wanting to be a part of this unique development. 

A couple of weeks ago, I joined Taumata Chair Uncle Matt Maihi, Trust CEO Lisa Davis and our independent auditor from Ernst & Young Isti Hudaya to oversee the ballot draw for the whare allocation.  

I also had the pleasure of calling those who had been successful in the ballot to give them the good news. I spoke to whānau who were excited to return to the papa kāinga, whānau who were keen to deepen their connection to the hapū, and eager young people who are able to purchase their very first whare.

While I had to make a couple of difficult calls as well, we offered them other whare in the development that were not allocated with any remaining homes being offered to the rest of the iwi – details to come.

This moment has been months in the making. There’s the design and consenting process, preparing the legal docs to keep everyone safe, procurement of a main contractor (and hopefully whānau businesses too), getting the banks over the line, setting up the shared ownership scheme and assisting whānau with the application process.

Those phone calls made all of that absolutely worth it and really put into perspective the work that Whai Rawa does. We are responsible for helping to protect and grow the assets and capability of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and this is what enables us to build homes for whānau. Much of the feedback we’ve had from those who were successful in the ballot is that this project is helping them to achieve their home ownership aspirations.

We also recently had a hui with those who are purchasing homes. This was a special moment for everyone to meet their new future neighbours, connect and celebrate.

So what’s next? Earthworks are progressing well at the building site and you’ll soon start to see construction beginning on the homes.

We also have an open day coming up on Saturday 17 June, which whānau, the wider iwi and neighbours are invited to attend. This will be a great opportunity for our buyers to see where their future homes will be, get a feel for the site and gather together once more to celebrate. It’s also a chance for whānau who live nearby to meet the construction team. Living near a construction site can occasionally present some challenges so it’s a good opportunity for whānau to get to know who the key contacts are should there be any questions or concerns.

It’s an exciting time and we’re looking forward to seeing Hawaiki come to life. We’re delighted for all whānau to share in the special moments of this project and will continue to provide regular updates as we progress further.