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New strategy strives for sustainable solutions to Hastings’ housing shortage

Housing graphic

With one of the highest rates of housing deprivation in New Zealand, the current housing shortage in Hastings is one of the most pressing challenges facing the district.

As of September last year, more than 637 people were on the housing register waiting for homes in Hastings, almost 70 per cent of them Māori.

Driving the crisis is strong population growth that has led to demand outstripping supply across all areas of the housing market, coupled with rising housing prices and rent rates.

With Hastings’ population projected to keep growing, Hastings District Council got together with iwi and central government partners at the end of 2019 to address the housing shortage through the Hastings Place Based Housing Plan.

This is a bespoke solution to build new houses and papakāinga across Hastings, address homelessness and carry out repairs on existing Māori-owned homes to make them healthier and more liveable.

Recognising that the housing shortage cannot be addressed overnight, a medium and long term strategy - Kāinga Paneke, Kāinga Pānuku - has been developed.

This builds on the place based plan and aims to deliver sustainable, positive change to build affordable housing, social housing, market housing, Māori housing, senior housing, and RSE accommodation, alongside skills training and employment creation.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said providing enough homes in the right places that were accessible to everyone was one of the region’s main priorities.  

“This medium and long term strategy builds on our commitment to work together to continue to address the current crisis as well as provide for the growing future needs.

“Our goal remains to have all Hastings whānau out of motels and in their own homes, and within this strategy is the scope for innovative solutions that will help achieve our aim.”

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said that on behalf of its constituent hapū and whānau the authority was pleased to be working alongside the Hastings District Council to launch the strategy that focused on Kāinga paneke, kāinga pānuku – a move from temporary to permanent housing. 

“We have the whenua, we have the support of council policies, we have the support of government agencies. We believe that we have the recipe for success,” he said.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development chief executive Andrew Crisp endorsed Kāinga Paneke, Kāinga Pānuku.

"Strong local leadership from iwi, local government and other players is critical to achieve sustainable improvements in housing. Central government will continue to work closely with local leaders to support implementation and drive change."

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities director place-based approach Darren Toy said the agency was proud to support the plan and collaborate with the partners on delivering more much-needed public housing for Hastings.

“The strength of the place based approach is key agencies working together, and collaborating to provide a range of housing for low to moderate income households.”

The Hastings District Council is set to endorse the strategy at its full meeting on February 11, after which the strategy will be formally launched at the National Māori Housing Conference being held in Hastings from February 24 to 26.

 

9 February 2021

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