New doors are opening on Wairoa’s approach to housing with a housing group co-ordinator appointed to work collaboratively with key stakeholders in the Wairoa region.
The newly created role has been taken up by Melissa Kaimoana who is looking forward to coordinating and engaging with key partnerships and relationships on behalf of the Te Wairoa Housing Working Group.
The working group was established in response to Wairoa’s housing shortage and comprises iwi, community and local government representatives.
The group has identified housing demand in the district is outpacing supply. Wairoa is short of around 150 homes now, but with the expected population growth, could have a shortage of around 500 homes over the next 10 years.
While developing solutions is a work in progress, the appointment of a co-ordinator is key to advancing the mahi of the group and a Wairoa strategy.
The one-year position will include exploring opportunities for housing initiatives, best use of resources and reporting on the progress and outcomes of the housing strategy relating to the development of social housing, papakainga, and affordable home ownership.
The role includes active promotion and coordination of community collaboration by supporting iwi, government and non- government agencies to work together within their respective sectors to achieve better outcomes for whānau. This will include exploring potential development opportunities and identifying potential barriers.
Mrs Kaimoana said the new position is exciting for Wairoa. “The partners of the Te Wairoa Housing Working Group are doing this for their people and have come together to address a major need in Wairoa, and one that is being felt across the country.”
“This position is about actioning the collaboration. Wairoa’s approach has been unique, and the co-ordinator role will accelerate resourcing the needs of Wairoa whānau.
“Our developments may not be on the same scale as other areas and the government focus on suburban populations may not suit us. However, our location is one of our biggest potentials and there is scope to develop solutions that suit Wairoa and who we are and where we are.”
Mrs Kaimoana, who is also a Wairoa District Councillor, said she has been privileged in her previous working roles in Wairoa which have included the pre-settlement and post-settlement journey.
“This is an important role. It is more than just housing. It’s about healthy homes which is the foundation of a healthy life.”
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said Melissa is a great fit for the role and he believes Wairoa will now begin to see some real progress being made around housing.
“We know our community works best with people who recognise the unique nature of our district. It is important organisations like Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, differentiate between the communities they work with. Wairoa may not need whole new suburbs or high-rise apartments, but we still have a housing need and require support.”
Enabled Wairoa Chief Executive Officer Shelley Smith said the contributing partners of Enabled, Wairoa Taiwhenua, Wairoa District Council, Wairoa Young Achievers Trust, Tātau Tātau o te Wairoa, Te Whare Maire, Wairoa Waikaremoana Māori Trust Board and Kahungunu Executive are looking forward to seeing a bespoke housing action plan rolled out for Wairoa.
18 November 2021
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