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  • Tina Pope


The Paekākāriki Housing Trust group are thrilled to announce that the Kingi-Warena whānau will be able to stay in the Paekākāriki home they rent. This is thanks to the generosity of another Paekākāriki family, and the outpouring of support from within the community and beyond. The campaign has caused significant national interest in housing affordability on the Kāpiti Coast.

In late 2016 the Paekākāriki Housing Trust group was established to show that we can all do something about housing affordability in Aotearoa New Zealand by keeping a family who've given much to others in their home in the village of Paekākāriki.

Last week a Paekākāriki family (who wish to remain anonymous), working with the Paekākāriki Housing Trust group, had their unconditional offer on the home accepted. They have entered an agreement with the Paekākāriki Housing Trust group providing the group with the option to buy the property for the same price within the next 12 months.

Given the amount of time this whānau had given to the community (time that had recently earnt Raima Kingi a finalist spot in the Wellingtonian of the Year), many felt the prospect of this family having to leave the village when their house was sold in January was simply not acceptable. A group banded together to say that ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to being helpless about watching the character of a village diminish due to high rental costs.

A campaign in late December to keep the Kingi-Warena whānau in their home was met with huge interest and support from the community and around New Zealand, and many offers to enter a shared investment in this property and others. A Givealittle campaign (which remains open for contributions here) has so far raised over $11,500 for the family towards the house deposit and expenses associated with buying the house.

The generosity of the local family who have bought the home means the Trust group can now take the time to consider the best legal structure to offer the Kingi-Warena family and members of the community the opportunity to invest in co-owning the property. Details will be made available once this work is done. In response the Kingi-Warena whanau write:

“Aroha mai, aroha atu (give love, receive love); kua kii a mātou ngākau (our hearts are full); he aha te mea nui o te ao, he tangata! (What is the most important thing in this world, it is people!)

“Although it is small, thank you sometimes never seems quite enough for some occasions and this is one of those. A massive thank you from our hearts to all of you, who thought about us, came and visited, bought kai, sent us much aroha and your koha! Unbelievable and very humbling! To our hāpori (community), and all the amazing people who have had hands in this huarahi (pathway), nei rā ngā mihi, ngā aroha mutunga kore! (these are our thanks, never ending love); Thank you to everyone that has contributed to keeping us in the village. Arohanui.”

As part of a memorandum of understanding the Paekākāriki Housing Trust group will be property managers for the owners and be responsible for providing labour to get the property up to scratch. This, say the group, will enable members of the community to contribute to the property’s shared care from the beginning.

“Keeping the Kingi-Warena family in their home, and offering the community the opportunity to invest together in this property in a number of different ways, is just the beginning of the Trust group’s work,” says one of the group’s spokespeople Tina Pope. “We feel that issues like housing affordability, security of tenure and the right housing stock for our community needs to be tackled. Using our combined resources is a great way to do it. What better thing to invest in than your own community?”

The Paekākāriki Housing Trust group is welcoming members of the Paekākāriki community to come together for a community gathering 11am Sunday 12 February at St Peter’s Hall to be part of discussing the Trust’s objectives and start to draft a work plan. The meeting will be facilitated but informal and will be followed by a lunchtime BBQ for people to talk further. “It’s vital for us that this initiative is as community owned as possible,” says Pope. “Come along if you are interested, whether you feel you can contribute or not.”

The Trust group have already had a significant response to an online survey, and some of the results can be read about here. It remains open for people to contribute their thoughts and how they feel they could be involved online at this address.

Information on the Trust group can be found on their website, and the group welcome feedback and involvement from their community through the site.

Enquiries or images: Mark Amery. 027 356 6128

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