The Northland Age

Leaders welcome $48 million package for housing

- Mike Dinsdale

Housing needs in Northland are dire, with more than 1100 people on the emergency housing list, and Northland leaders have welcomed a $48.6 million package to help build 665 new homes in Kaikohe and Kawakawa.

Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced the Government is investing $539.8 million on groundwork including pipes, roads and flood protection to enable thousands of new homes in communitie­s, from Kaikohe to Hokitika, with up to 16,000 new homes expected to be built thanks to the infrastruc­ture spend.

Critical infrastruc­ture projects will get government support to unlock thousands more homes in communitie­s around the country, Woods said.

“We are turning around the housing crisis we inherited by stripping back red tape to get more housing built, and investing in the longneglec­ted critical infrastruc­ture needed to prepare land so it’s ready to build on,” she said.

A road extension and significan­t water infrastruc­ture upgrades in Kawakawa will receive $25.6m from the Government’s Infrastruc­ture Accelerati­on Fund (IAF), to enable up to 300 new homes to be built in the area and address the significan­t housing shortfall.

Far North District Council expects the infrastruc­ture projects funded by the IAF will enable about 300 new homes, including about 180 homes within the proposed Te Mataora developmen­t delivered by Ngā Kāingamaha o Ngāti Hine Charitable Trust. The trust’s plans for the developmen­t include aged care apartments and more affordable homes, to create an intergener­ational community.

Housing developmen­ts on three sites in Kaikohe will be accelerate­d by $23m in IAF funding, which will be used for flood management and significan­t wastewater and stormwater upgrades.

The FNDC expects the IAF-funded infrastruc­ture will enable 365 new homes in the area. Both public and papakāinga homes are among the planned housing outcomes.

“This funding from Government will be combined with our Long-Term Plan allocation­s to enable us to carry out much-needed water and wastewater projects earlier than originally planned,” Far North District Mayor Moko Tepania said.

“This investment in core infrastruc­ture will also enable affordable and general market housing developmen­t in our community.”

Tepania said the funding would support the improved performanc­e and additional capacity for new homes.

Te Hau Ora o Ngā puhi chief executive Tia Ashby said the infrastruc­ture funding will allow Ngāpuhi to continue to deliver its Housing Strategy for Ngāpuhi whānau by providing more homes in Kaikohe over the next few years.

“We are excited that we can work with our partners such as HUD and the Far North District Council to deliver housing through appropriat­e and modern infrastruc­ture for the benefits of our community,” Ashby said.

Heamana (chairman) of Ngā Kāingamaha ō Ngāti Hine, Peter Hemi White, said everybody knows the need for more housing in the north is dire. “What we also know is most good things in this world start at home. We are grateful to be working together to enable the health of our people and their community through better homes.

“We understand we still have a lot of mahi ahead of us to deliver the homes for our people and their community,” White said.

“Te Mataora being in such close proximity to the Bay of Islands hospital, will be of great benefit. Especially to our old people, who we treasure so very much.

“Bay of Islands hospital has recently seen much-needed and significan­t investment.

“We look forward to working with our people to realise Te Mataora and setting the conditions for those that aspire to return home.”

The new funding is on top of a $55m support package to build new homes in Te Tai Tokerau announced at the end of October.

Figures from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Developmen­t (HUD) show there were 1167 people on the housing register in Northland at the

end of September.

 ?? ?? Moko Tepania
Moko Tepania

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