Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau
New emergency and transitional homes will help ease a housing shortage in Taumarunui and provide whānau with much needed support, say Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora Minister, Peeni Henare.
The Ministers officially opened five two-bedroom units at a community celebration this morning. An additional three units are due to be completed by December 2020.
“I am honoured to be here with the Taumarunui Community Kōkiri Trust and the people of the region to mark this significant achievement. Warm, safe and accessible housing is a springboard for improved health and wellbeing.
“I am mindful that winter temperatures in Taumarunui average between 3°C and 13°C with frost and damp contributing to unhealthy conditions in many poor-quality homes,” says Minister Mahuta.
The homes are part of a total Te Puni Kōkiri investment of almost $3 million from the Community Development Investment Programme to enable the Trust to build the new units, carry out essential repairs on 26 homes, and run home maintenance workshops and financial capability programmes for whānau.
“These homes will provide short-term accommodation for whānau who need it most and Whānau Ora navigators will provide wrap-around support.
“High quality housing is the foundation for transforming a person’s life, and providing wrap around services through Whānau Ora will mean that that whānau will be empowered to achieve their aspirations in all aspects of their lives,” said Peeni Henare.
“These are the first newly built affordable rental homes in Taumarunui in some years.
The Ruapehu District Council contributed to the project by providing the land for five houses through a low tender and the Trust itself contributed land and funding,” says Minister Mahuta.
“The new houses and repairs to existing homes will lift whānau to a place where change can occur,” adds Trust CEO, Christine Brears.
Minister Mahuta commends the Taumarunui Community Kōkiri Trust for leadership in this rural community that has many economic challenges, especially for Māori.
“Secure, affordable and healthy housing is a powerful vehicle to ensure whānau Māori are on track to achieve their wider aspirations for health, education and employment. The Trust’s courage and drive are transforming this community,” says Minister Mahuta.
Editor’s Note: Te Puni Kōkiri is supporting six community development housing projects – in Taumarunui, Tākou Bay, Papakura Marae, Raupunga, Kaingaroa, and Ōtautahi.