A story of jubilation (as millions are poured into Maori housing in Reporoa) and of isolation (as the PM abides by Covid rules

While the PM was staying away from the wider community in self-isolation, Willie Jackson was announcing news for a small community that – we imagine – brought jubilation.   The Treaty of Waitangi is a common factor in both bits of news.

The community in Jackson’s case is Reporoa, near Rotorua.  It has a population of fewer than 500 people.

Jackson is pumping $12.35 million into housing projects there – Maori housing projects to be more precise – in the expectation more Maori families will be lured there.

And what will they do to earn their livings and pay their rent?

Jackson’s ministry is sure to have a plan.

But first, the PM.  Today she is reported to have returned a negative test for Covid-19, but she has been deemed a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case and is in self-isolation in line with Ministry of Health advice.

The Beehive website posted news on Saturday of her going into isolation.

The exposure event took place on Saturday 22 January during flight NZ8273 from Kerikeri to Auckland. Flight NZ8273 has been added to the Ministry of Health website as a location of interest this evening.

The Governor-General and members of her staff were also on board and are following the same isolation instructions.

The Prime Minister and Governor-General were in Northland undertaking advance filming at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, at the invitation of the Waitangi National Trust for the Waitangi Day broadcast.

The only other fresh news to be found on the website – since Point of Order last reported on what our ministers are doing – came from  Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson.

Typical of announcements from his office, he brought news of goodies being distributed on the basis of race.

The Government is supporting a new papakāinga development in the rural community of Reporoa.

Jackson sees great things happening as a result of this support:

Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson says the project will bring whānau back to their tūrangawaewae and reinvigorate the Waimahana Marae.

Those words were not written for an English-speaking audience – at least, not the English speakers at Point of Order –to ready comprehend.  Nor does Jackson’s ministry explain its housing programme in a language that the great majority of New Zealanders can understand (we suspect) without having to consult a translator:

Te Puni Kōkiri supports the development of small-scale papakāinga (generally 3-10 houses) on whenua Māori, where homes will be owned and occupied by the owners of the whenua, and whānau who whakapapa to the land have the opportunity to live according to Te Ao Māori. Our focus is on rōpū who wish to establish an intentional Te Ao Māori papakāinga community that maintains a connection to their whenua, where identity and whakapapa can come together, which enables intergenerational living and strengthens cultural and spiritual identity and te reo Māori.

The site for the new houses, within Ngāti Tahu – Ngāti Whaoa tribal boundaries, was blessed and had the sod turned on Saturday morning.

The ceremony marked the start of construction for the first part of the Waimahana Marae papakāinga project.

Once completed, the three papakāinga projects will comprise 27 rental homes built between Reporoa and Taupō, with a government investment, through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga, of $12.35 million.

And how do we explain this race-focused spending of public money?

The Treaty, of course.

“Nearly one year ago at Waitangi, this Government made a commitment to increase the support for Māori housing right across the country. As we draw near to Waitangi Day, it’s fitting to celebrate this much needed papakāinga development,” Willie Jackson said.

Notes for journalists accompanying the press statement explain:

  • Tauhara North Kāinga Ltd is overseeing all three papakāinga projects which include:
    • Project one – Seven collectively owned rental whare
    • Project two – Four kaumātua rental homes
    • Project three – A further 16 kaumātua rental homes across the four Ngāti Tahu-Ngāti Whaoa marae.
  • Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga is a joint initiative between Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development that will increase the Māori housing supply across the motu.

Reporoa is described by Wikipedia as a rural community in Rotorua Lakes within the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island.

Reporoa had a population of 453 at the 2013 New Zealand census, a decrease of 21 people since the 2006 census. There were 222 males and 228 females. Figures have been rounded and may not add up to totals.  69.9% were European/Pākehā, 47.6% were Māori, 4.2% were Pacific peoples and 3.5% were Asian.   Totals add to more than 100% because people could identify with multiple ethnicities.

Tauhara North Kainga Limited,  described as a NZ Limited Company from Rotorua, is less than nine months old.

It was incorporated on 7 May 2021 for “community-based multifunctional activity”.  There are 100 shares in issue. The ultimate holding company is Charitable Company Limited.

From the Beehive

Prime Minister enters self-isolation after being deemed a close contact

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been deemed a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, and has entered self-isolation in line with Ministry of Health advice.

Papakāinga development makes housing aspirations a reality for Māori

The Government is supporting a new papakāinga development in the rural community of Reporoa.

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