Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a $1 million investment to support Papakura Marae's kaumātua housing plan.
“When Michael Joseph Savage handed over the keys to the first state houses he said the government did not claim to be perfect, but it did claim to be better than in the past,” the prime minister said.
“Today we can claim the same.”
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta praised Auckland Council’s role in progressing the plan, with six two-bedroom homes to be built on the marae, which sits on council land.
“We need to design and enable innovative approaches to accelerate whānau, hapū and iwi development.”
Papakura Local Board Chair Brent Catchpole said the housing was another first for the town, on the back of the government’s first KiwiBuild homes being handed over.
Papakura is the first community to receive funding from the $15 million Māori Housing Fund, and the houses will be allocated by the marae to kaumātua.
Auckland Council Development Programme Office Māori Housing lead Shane Cook says because the marae is on council land, the journey had its challenges. “But a lot of good people from inside and outside the council got alongside marae chief executive Tony Kake and worked together to embrace an idea that made today’s investment possible.”
Mr Catchpole was delighted with the news. “The board played its part in negotiating various council procedures and we are really pleased for Papakura Marae because it is a valued and much-loved part of our community. Aroha for the people of Papakura is at the heart of everything it does.
“I think we all enjoy seeing good things happen for good people.”