Council-Māori housing partnership in Lower Hutt wins supreme award

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Published: 9 June 2023

Takai Here Tāngata, an innovative partnership to provide quality housing in Taitā for whānau in high housing stress has tonight won Hutt City Council a national award for “Collaborative Government Action” and the overall Supreme Award at the Taituarā Local Government Excellence Awards.

Group of people on a stage Photo credit: Taituarā

The Local Government Professionals Aotearoa Taituarā Local Government Excellence Awards honour programmes, projects and approaches that demonstrate professional excellence in local government management.

The partnership between Kahungunu Whānau Services, Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa, Hutt City Council and Council subsidiary, Urban Plus Ltd, has meant 34 people in 19 whānau moved into brand new, fully furnished homes at Te Ara o Takapū, Taitā, Lower Hutt in December.

Lower Hutt Mayor, Campbell Barry, said the award acknowledged the special partnership that had delivered permanent homes and wrap-around support for people in housing stress, and Council was keen to continue working in this way.

“We know that we continue to have challenges with housing here in Lower Hutt, and that's the same right across New Zealand.

“Takai Here Tāngata illustrates the power of partnership, and what we can achieve together.  I’m proud of having provided these warm, dry, safe and affordable homes together, and look forward to continuing this important mahi.”

Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, was a key partner in funding the project. Deputy Chief Executive, Te Kāhui Māori Housing Group Kararaina Calcott-Cribb said the Government was learning how to be better partners through the Crown-Māori relationship.

“That is a critical element of the work that we do. Instead of leading and making the plans here, we enable Māori housing community providers to make work on their plans and we support them in delivering the outcomes.

“This project and the way the partners have worked together has been integral in setting the benchmark for what we might do in the future.”

Chair of Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa Kura Moeahu says there is an urgent need to provide warm and dry homes for whānau who are in high housing stress. “This partnership is significant for our people, and we want to do more.”

Acting Chief Executive Kahungunu Whānau Services Mike Hinton says Te Ara o Takapū is about the creation of a community that is full of hope. “Each of the organisations represented in the Takai Here Tāngata partnership have stepped up and come together to create the environment where this community can thrive. These whānau now have a safe and quality home. When asked where do you live? They will now be able to proudly say Te Ara o Takapū!”

Pamela Bell Chair of Urban Plus Ltd, says, “Takai Here Tangata is our proud flagship for a new model of partnering. This allowed Urban Plus to meet the partnership's shared goal of providing housing for those who can't otherwise access warm and dry homes. This aligns with Council’s vision for a lower carbon Hutt Valley (using Homestar 6-star as the baseline), and to build a foundation for future housing projects together.”

You can watch a film about the project here.