Whare Ora housing plan ready to step up

A Tairāwhiti economic development trust is creating an off site manufacturing facility at Ruatoria to boost its housing programme.

Hikurangi Enterprises director Panapa Ehau says its Whare Ora subsidiary has built 50 houses over the past two years, including some prebuilt at its Gisborne facility, and it hopes to complete another 100 over the next 12 months.

He says the extreme weather events which have struck the East Coast in recent years have highlighted the need for local resilience.

“It’s no good, especially for Tairāwhiti, if the roads aren’t there. Then you can’t get anything in. So it wasn’t so long ago our tūpuna, probably four generations ago, they were building out of their local materials and so for us it’s developing the capacity in our communities, for this example, to house ourselves,” Mr Ehau says.

Whare Ora is able to build more houses in the region than Kainga Ora because it doesn’t have the state-owned house builder’s layers of bureaucracy, and it’s also able to try things like a new rent to own plan it hopes will give high needs whānau a chance of home ownership.


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