Karakia Tohi Whakawāhi

Wairoa’s housing stock is about to be transformed with earthworks on the Tihitihi Pā subdivision set to start today.

The two-hectare, 38-lot development, will sit between Kitchener and McLean Streets providing a range of much-needed new housing for whānau.

The residential project is a partnership between Whakamanamana Limited, local provider Enabled and kahui Te Wairoa Tapokorau Whānui Trust and Te Hononga o Ngā Awa.

Work on the housing development began more than two years ago as a response to Wairoa’s housing needs. The development will comprise 10 transitional houses, 20 public houses and seven private market houses. Once completed, the 30 transitional and public homes and two-hectare subdivision will be purchased by Kāinga Ora. These will be the first new Kāinga Ora homes for Wairoa in many years.

Houses will be a mix of two, three, four and six-bedroom homes, which will be low maintenance and fully insulated with carpets, curtains, double glazing and heat pumps. It is hoped the first homes will be ready for tenants by September.

Tihitihi Pā will be rolled out in three stages and will include a community park and playground, barbecue area and maara kai garden. The playground and roads will be vested to Wairoa District Council.

Local labour is being used where possible with the Wairoa Young Achievers Trust providing workforce liaison to ensure local rangatahi have the opportunity to work towards a qualification and local trades are offered the opportunity to work in Tihitihi Pā.

Enabled Chairman Mark Oberman, who also jointly owns Whakamanamana Limited which has invested private equity to help progress the development, said it is Wairoa’s critical housing demand that has driven the Tihitihi Pā project forward with the momentum to succeed unstoppable. “Wairoa will be far better positioned to support whānau in the future and we are appreciative of everyone who has helped make this development possible.

“We know that as of the end of January 64 whānau were on the Social Housing Register, with most having been on the register for over two years; 15 whānau, comprising 19 adults and 23 children, were living in Emergency Housing and five whānau, seven adults and 15 children, living in Transitional Housing. Tihitihi Pā will go some way towards meeting the needs of these whānau.”

Mr Oberman particularly acknowledged Kāinga Ora which has worked hard to get the project over the line – even though Wairoa doesn’t meet all of the fundamentals of the national requirements.

Acting Regional Director East North Island, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Roxanne Cribb said the urgent need for more housing in Wairoa is well known.

“To see site works beginning on a project that will deliver more than 30 new homes in a community the size of Wairoa is momentous. This is timely, particularly considering what Wairoa has been through over the last month, and consequently the need for even more accommodation for people who have lost their homes.

Mrs Cribb said it is a pleasure to see Wairoa organisations working together to find solutions for Wairoa whānau and Kāinga Ora is happy to be a partner to this development. 

Kāinga Ora will match the public homes to whānau on the Ministry of Social Development’s Housing Register with the highest priority for a home of that size and in that location. For the transitional homes, Tūapapa Kura Kāinga, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, have contracted Enabled Wairoa, who will lease the homes off Kāinga Ora. They will provide whānau in these homes with wrap-around support.      

Mr Oberman also praised the Enabled team – led by Chief Executive Shelley Smith. Enabled is a local Charitable Trust with a focus on improving health, housing and social outcomes for Wairoa whānau. The provider is also a partner in the Wairoa Housing Coalition – a working group of the Wairoa Community Partnership Group – which supports the development of Tihitihi Pā.

The development will include an Enabled onsite office for the Housing Teams from Enabled Social Housing and Enabled Toitu He Kāinga – Wairoa Community Housing Hub. There will also be the opportunity to provide office space for Kāinga Ora, Te Whatu Ora – Te Matau a Maui Child Healthy Homes and Wairoa Young Achievers Trust to provide a one-stop housing products shop for whānau.

Mr Oberman said Tihitihi Pā is a reflection on the past, with the name a tribute to the site’s history as part of the larger Te Rauwa forest recognising the ‘rustle’ of people who worked in the forest when harvesting kiekie fruit, but also firmly focussed on the future and meeting Wairoa’s housing needs with a modern purpose-built approach.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little thanked Enabled and Whakamanamana Limited for spearheading the development and also praised the many other partners who have made the project possible. “It has been decades since the Wairoa township has had a rollout of new homes. This is an exciting venture for our community, and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product and know this will be transformational for many whānau. This work demonstrates how people who are willing to work together can achieve so much.”

Wairoa’s new housing subdivision Tihitihi Pā is blessed by Piripi Christie.
Wairoa’s new housing subdivision Tihitihi Pā is blessed by Piripi Christie.
After more than two years Wairoa’s new subdivision, Tihitihi Pā will start to become a reality on Monday when earthworks begin. Pictured from left, Lawrence Tangaere Kāinga Ora, Dedrie Hemingway Kāinga Ora, Mark Oberman Enabled Chair and joint owner of Whakamanamana Limited, Darden King Te Hononga o Ngā Awa kahui representative, Wairoa Taiwhenua Chairman Nigel How, Te Wairoa Tapokorau Whānui Trust Chairperson Denise Eaglesome-Karekare, Wairoa Mayor Craig Little and Enabled Chief Executive Shelley Smith.
Enabled Wairoa Team
The mahi begins

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