‘Everyone deserves a fair shot’ – Kaikohe community housing opens

The Kaikohe housing development while still under construction at the corner of Broadway and Tawanui Road in June this year.

The Kaikohe housing development while still under construction at the corner of Broadway and Tawanui Rd in June this year
Photo: RNZ/ Peter de Graaf

The first stage of a “groundbreaking” community housing project will open in Northland next Monday.

Tenants of 10 one-bedroom homes will be the first to move into the Kaikohe housing complex.

In February next year, 11 two and three-bedroom homes are due to be finished and 39 more homes should be ready by June 2024.

The homes have been built on the town’s former RSA site by Māori health provider Te Hau Ora O Ngāpuhi and Far North District Council’s commercial arm, Far North Holdings.

They said it was the country’s first co-owned, co-built housing development.

Te Hau Ora O Ngāpuhi chief executive Tia Ashby said the project grew out of a survey that found lack of housing was the town’s number one health issue.

“It’s overwhelming to be honest – we’re so happy that we’ve been able to realise an aspiration we’ve had for the community for a long time,” she said.

The project would have a significant impact on Kaikohe, Ashby said.

“Our community, like many others, has faced challenges, and the lack of any type of housing… We’ve had huge demand and low supply.

“It’s been a burden on the shoulders of many, with families struggling to make ends meet and many facing homelessness.

“Together as a community we’re standing against these challenges. This development will signify a commitment to a brighter future for all whānau and I guess it symbolises our belief that everyone, regardless of their background, deserves a fair shot at life,” Ashby said.

Far North Holdings chief executive Andy Nock said he was delighted to be working with Te Hau Ora O Ngāpuhi to help address the housing crisis in Te Tai Tokerau.

The partnership was groundbreaking and after decades of little housing development in Kaikohe, the company was proud to help deliver housing on a large scale.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Te Hau Ora O Ngāpuhi and Far North Housing – a subsidiary of Far North Holdings – plan to build and jointly own 60 homes.

Nock said the homes were set among open spaces, with a large central play area and connecting pathways to help create a sense of community.

The community housing provider, Te Hau Ora O Ngāpuhi, will find tenants and manage the complex.

“Te Hau Ora O Ngāpuhi has a deep understanding of the community and their needs, so will also have trained staff to provide wrap-around services for whānau in these homes,” Nock said.

Far North Holdings has provided property development expertise and coordinated the project’s design, consents and construction.

The project is being completed in stages to allow people to move in as soon as possible.

The first stage will be formally opened at 5am on Monday.

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