Waikato-Tainui Iwi has collaborated with Westpac and the New Zealand Housing Foundation to create a shared equity scheme that will help 36 tribal members buy their own home in a new iwi development.
Ngati Wairere has gifted the name Te Kaarearea to the development in honour of its past. The land was the native hunting and nesting site for Kaarearea (native falcon) in pre-colonial times.
This new housing development includes 80 residential properties - a mix of 30 public and the remaining private housing – whereby everyone who is living in this cul de sac is Waikato-Tainui whānau.
“At the moment, we have 36 tribal members who will secure their first homes here,” General Manager for tribal development and wellbeing at Waikato-Tainui, Marae Tukere, says.
So far 15 whānau have been approved to proceed with a shared equity mortgage package with Westpac and the NZ Housing Foundation.
Each whānau purchases at least 70% of the overall cost of the package, which is supplied at a below market rate. The iwi supplies the remaining cost and the whānau has 15 years to buy out the tribe’s share.
“The model is the first of its kind for us and we’ve managed to help 15 families secure deposits for their first homes,” Ms Tukere says.
Westpac NZ CEO David McLean, who signed the agreement on behalf of the bank, said coming together in a partnership with shared ideas meant the three parties could make this work.
“We’ve kind of created something new here, for us that’s very exciting because you don’t get to do that every day,” Mr McLean said.
Ms Tukere said the iwi were very proud of the “beautiful, warm, healthy, affordable three- and four-bedroom homes”.
“We’ve done a lot of research that shows having secure accommodation or a secure place to live really helps families get ahead.
“If you have a secure home then children are more likely to attend and finish school.
“Health statistics improve when family members have a nice warm secure home too.
“These things have a generational impact, so it’s not just about the family in the home, it’s about their generations to come.
“We know we’re making a wonderful impact for our tribal members in this space,” Tukere says.
Waikato-Tainui CEO Donna Flavell says it’s about supporting whānau.
“Part of the work that we do with our whānau is really around workshops and the financial literacy and home ownership workshop that we undertake,” Flavell says.
The first whānau moved into two of the finished homes in February and they hope to have all the families into their new homes by the end of 2020, which has been a project two years in the making.
The houses have been priced between $450,000 and $550,000.
Lunix Homes, which is a tribal-owned business linking back to Ngati Apakura, Purekireki Marae in Pirongia, is building the first stage of homes.
“It’s all about having an asset that you can pass onto your family and about creating financial security.
"This will mean that future generations will know that owning a home is not an impossible dream,” Tukere says.