PM Ardern unveils NZD 1.5 bln program to tackle housing crisis in NZ
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the plan was the biggest and most ambitious regeneration since eastern Porirua was built 60 years ago.
"We will be building new homes and other facilities that will greatly improve the well-being of thousands of families and support this community so it can be healthier, safer and more connected.
"The eastern Porirua community deserves investment. We intend to work alongside the community, Ngāti Toa and Porirua City Council at every step to deliver change that will benefit that community for generations to come," said Jacinda Ardern.
The $1.5 billion programme was unveiled by the Prime Minister, Minister for Māori Crown Relations Kelvin Davis, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford and Mana MP Kris Faafoi at an event with Ngāti Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa) and the Porirua City Council in eastern Porirua today.
The regeneration will primarily be led by HLC, a subsidiary company of Housing NZ, and will renew and build 2900 state homes and at least 2000 affordable KiwiBuild and market homes in Porirua – the first KiwiBuild homes announced in the Wellington region.
"While the revitalisation will be housing-led, we don't intend to stop there," said Jacinda Ardern. "We want to start a conversation with the eastern Porirua community about how to unlock the potential for social and economic growth there, and making it an even better place to live, work and raise a family."
Kelvin Davis acknowledged the role Ngāti Toa had played in making the regeneration of eastern Porirua possible and celebrated this being the first partnership for his Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti portfolio.
"The Government and Ngāti Toa are united in wanting to improve public housing across Porirua. We are looking to enter into a partnership with the iwi where they will upgrade public housing in Titahi Bay, Mana, Tawa, Takapuwhaia and Elsdon while managing and upgrading 900 Housing NZ properties and tenancies in those areas.
"This is the first tangible example of the Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti portfolio in action.
"This unique agreement recognises the historical and current importance of Ngāti Toa within this community. It establishes a partnership between the Crown and Ngāti Toa and opens up exciting possibilities for the future that will build more public housing in both eastern and western Porirua.
"Ngāti Toa is already a major health services provider in Porirua. Through their five medical centres and dental clinic, they provide medical treatment for Porirua residents - regardless of whether they are iwi members or not. They will now have a base to establish themselves as a public housing provider and expand the range of services they provide the community," Kelvin Davis said.
Phil Twyford said that many of the 2,000 state homes in eastern Porirua will be replaced with a mix of new warm, dry high-quality public housing as well as affordable KiwiBuild and market homes. These include the suburbs of Ascot Park, Waitangirua, Cannons Creek and Ranui. There will also be 150 additional new homes added to the public housing stock elsewhere in Porirua.
"As a result of today's announcement, not only will eastern Porirua public housing tenants get new housing, but all of Porirua will benefit from the jobs created, and from having people attracted to the area by new affordable, KiwiBuild starter homes.
"All existing tenants in eastern and western Porirua will continue to be housed under the terms of their current tenancy agreement and will continue to have access to the help and support that all public housing tenants can access.
"This redevelopment is the fourth that we have announced across New Zealand to provide thousands of families with new homes, and is the first Government project to be approved under a wellbeing framework," Phil Twyford said.
Kris Faafoi MP said over many years the residents of eastern Porirua had been given false hope, with promises of change that had not materialised.
"This Porirua community has, through the leadership of its churches, residents and fundraisers, built their own halls, meeting places and parks and playgrounds. Residents have fought hard to create a community for their children and grandchildren here. Like all New Zealanders, they deserve warm, dry, decent houses.
(With Inputs New Zealand Government Press Release)