Te Āwhina Marae in Motueka is about to welcome residents to the first of its 20 houses as part of its papakāinga development. This $15 million project is the largest of its kind in Te Tauihu o te Waka-a-Māui and forms part of a more extensive $28 million redevelopment of the marae, which will also include a trades and technology hub and new wharekai and wharenui. The development is intended to help reconnect people with each other, the land, and the marae.
The first four homes have already been completed, and families are set to move in by the end of October. Another eight homes should be ready for occupancy by Christmas. This development offers a communal living style with shared facilities, aiming to provide affordable, quality housing. The homes have been designed to be environmentally friendly, considering all facets of the build to ensure they are gentle custodians of the land.
The tenants for these homes have been selected based on specific criteria that include their ancestral connection to the land, service, and the concept of manaakitanga. The tenants will determine the customary practices for how they want to live together, emphasizing community well-being and connection to the land.