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Māngere Housing Stories:#1 Pania Newton

Pania Newton sat down with MAU Studio to discuss the work that has been going on at Ihumaatao over the last three years since Fletchers Building’s development stopped in 2019 as well as revealing what is still to come.

"The 480 homes proposed at Ihumaatao by Fletchers Building would have seen our taonga tuku iho transformed and degraded. When we were successful in stopping the development from going ahead, we looked for other opportunities to build homes that reflected our values and aspirations as a hapuu and marae.

Following the @ProtectIhumatao kaupapa, the Te Ahiwaru Trust established a whaanau-led Housing Team to meet the housing needs and aspirations of our hapuu. From 2021 – 2022 we hosted interviews and waananga at Makaurau Marae to understand the housing realities and aspirations of our whaanau. From there, we created a housing strategy – Te Taa a Maki, named after the puuraakau of our tupuna, Maki; and also resembles the connection to our whare tupuna, Taamaki Makaurau. Te Taa a Maki holds our collective vision, goals and tikanga for our whaanau to access secure, affordable and safe kaainga.

Our collective housing vision is that all our Te Ahiwaru and Makaurau Marae whaanau have access to mana-enhancing kaainga that is sustainable for future generations. We want to provide our whaanau with homes that don't negatively impact the taiao and strengthen their connection to their maunga, awa, moana and marae in Ihumaatao and Maangere. The kaupapa honors our tupuna's legacies and aspirations for their uri whakatupu, their following generations.

My advice to housing leaders and developers in Maangere is to be mindful of where and what they are building in Maangere. In light of recent climatic events, we need homes that can adapt to climate changes now and in the future. I think too that we should celebrate our unique histories of Maangere as it is what sets us apart from everywhere else. From there we can have a greater sense of understanding of our taiao, mana whenua, and ahi kaa of Maangere – and heighten our sense of connection to each other and where we call home."

This article is the second in a series by the Maangere Housing Advocacy Group looking at housing challenges and opportunities in our community.

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