New Kāinga Ora development in Gisborne to house 31 whānau

Another 162 state homes were in progress.
Another 162 state homes were in progress. Photo credit: RNZ

Kate Green for RNZ

A new social housing development in the Gisborne suburb of Tamarau will house 31 families, many of whom are moving from motels or social housing.

According to Kāinga Ora, 27 whānau, including 24 tamariki, will be moving out of temporary accommodation into these new homes, which were completed last week.

Kāinga Ora manages more than 70,000 properties nationwide, accommodating nearly 185,000 people, with more than 160 homes built in Gisborne in the last three years.

It said another 162 state homes were in progress, and early plans underway for about 120 more.

East North Island regional director Naomi Whitewood said it was Gisborne's largest social housing development in decades, and it had been a boost for the local economy.

"We know that having a stable home is important to all aspects of a person's life - from education and employment to physical and mental health," Whitewood said.

The homes, a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom single-storey duplexes and standalones, had been budgeted for in the government's Public Housing Plan, and built by private developer TW Property.

Moving in were a mix of younger families, older people and others with accessibility challenges, she said.

"Twenty-seven of the 31 homes have been built to full universal design standards. Some come with ramps, wider doors and accessible bathrooms."

The Ministry of Social Development's regional commissioner Karen Bartlett said the ministry was pleased to work alongside Kāinga Ora to see new families moving move in.

"We know temporary and emergency accommodation is not an ideal way to raise a family and moving 24 tamariki into a secure and stable home is a reason to celebrate."

TW Group spokesperson Leah MacDonell said more than 70 job opportunities had been created for Gisborne tradespeople.

"We have signed up several apprentices who have been working on this development, equipping them with invaluable skills while bolstering the local workforce."

To ensure that there was no extra pressure on Gisborne's stormwater network that would contribute to future flooding, 31 2000-litre attenuation tanks were installed on-site, which would capture stormwater runoff and slowly release it back into the city's stormwater system.

The homes in Tamarau would be blessed with the help of local iwi on Monday, with the new tenants moving in straight away.