Under a new agreement between Te Puni Kokiri (TPK), the principal adviser on the Crown’s relationship with Māori, and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, rooms at Te Tini o Porou (formerly the DB Hotel) will be turned into emergency accommodation units.
It will provide direct accommodation and free up spaces across the emergency housing network in Gisborne.
A spokeswoman for TPK confirmed it was funding building work for the project.
“The Māori Housing Network has funded Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Trustee Ltd with $596,500+GST to reconfigure and retrofit a wing of previous hotel rooms at the Te Tini o Porou site into six fully-serviced emergency housing units and some common facilities.
“Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou has contributed six existing units and shared space within its property at an estimated cost to its operation of $324,000.
“All units will be for emergency housing and other agreed social housing needs, based on referrals from the appropriate agencies.
“The fit-out is expected to be completed over the next three months.”
Māori Housing Network
The Māori Housing Network manages funds which support projects to improve housing outcomes for Māori whanau, and was established in 2015.
“The funding focus is on smaller-scale projects that improve the quality of housing, build capability and capacity in the sector, and increase the supply of affordable housing.”
This year, the network had $2 million set aside for emergency housing.
“The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is the principal government agency responsible for emergency housing and has significantly greater levels of funding.
“The Māori Housing Network contributes to the start-up and establishment costs for emergency housing projects that focus on Māori, and increasingly works with the Ministry of Social Development for more holistic responses.”
TRONP chief executive Herewini Te Koha said the partnership between the iwi and TPK would improve access to emergency housing.
“Government agencies have advised that access to emergency housing remains a key issue for our district. The runanganui’s partnership with Te Puni Kokiri to develop part of Te Tini o Porou for emergency housing is a contribution to increasing emergency housing access locally.
“We are especially concerned to assist kaumatua within our community, but will work with MSD and other referral agencies to make best use of the emergency housing we will have available.”
MSD housing deputy chief executive Scott Gallacher praised the iwi’s work.
“The ministry welcomes the invaluable work Ngati Porou is doing to meet the housing and social needs of their iwi members and the people of Gisborne more broadly.
“We are in contact with Ngati Porou, about their intentions for the complex and look forward to discussing how this might fit with our plans to deliver more social housing for the region.”
The project comes just three months after the government purchased the former Eastland Motor Lodge for $2.5m to provide 12 emergency housing units.
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