August 30, 2020
New homes seen as a start of healthier community
Ngāti Kahungunu’s Taiwhenua o Heretaunga sees its housing development in Flaxmere is a way to address not just housing need but the health and social problems that afflict the community.
Waingakau Village could eventually have up to 120 homes, including a mix of social housing, cohousing and houses that will be sold using innovative schemes aimed at helping Māori whānau into homeownership.
Taiwhenua chief executive and Waingakau director George Reedy says much of Flaxmere was built in the 1980s of poor quality materials.
He says it means people turn up at the taiwhenua’s health clinic every winter with colds, pneumonia and even rheumatic fever.
"Our ideal is to try to provide better, high quality, insulated homes so that we can address some of those longer-term conditions that tend to come out of those areas and they turn up on our front door requiring medical attention so this is not only about housing, it is also about their health, it is about their well being, it is about us being able to provide them with a pathway," Mr Reedy says.
George Reedy says three houses have been built so far and another three are under construction, but a $2 million Provincial Growth Fund grant for infrastructures such as roading and drainage will allow it to accelerate the build.
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