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Maangere Housing Stories:#2 Stephanie Wade

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Stephanie Wade sat down with MAU Studio to discuss the work her whaanau undertook to complete the Pukaki Papakaainga, one of the first modern papakaainga to be built in Maangere and Taamaki Makaurau.

“The Puukaki Papakaainga was one of the first modern papakaainga to be developed in Taamaki Makaurau. Everybody sees the new whare built in 2013, but the process to build those whare actually started well over 40 years ago. Our paakeke and tuupuna, including my mother Julie Wade, worked tirelessly to mobilise support from Manukau City Council and Auckland Airport Company. Then in the 1990s, they put the roading and services in place which unlocked the ability to someday build on our whenua.

So in 2013, we actualised the moemoeaa of our tuupuna. Stage one of our papakainga included building nine new whare, and then in 2016, we built four additional new whare for our whaanau. We aspire to build eight more whare over the next two years, to ensure we can bring as many whaanau back home to live near their Marae, papakaainga, and be nurtured by their tūrangawaewae and their whakapapa.

I also want to acknowledge the role the New Zealand Housing Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Auckland Council and Te Puni Kōkiri have played in building our papakaainga. Through their support our whaanau were able to upskill in governance, project management, financial literacy, and practically building our whare. It was a big undertaking, but they helped us through it not only with puutea, but ongoing support to this day. Our Pukaki Papakaainga was founded on a true partnership between our whaanau and these organisations, and we will always be grateful.

Reflecting on what makes papakaainga living successful, is that it brings our generations to live and share with one another, again. Our younger generations, and our older generations too, are used to living separately and independently – and that’s kei te pai. But we can achieve so much together – near our Marae, near our tūrangawaewae, and helping each other realise our dreams. It's definitely not easy, as we are so used to living separately; but over time I have seen our whaanau grow to love it, and become the new/old norm.

For me, it has always been about fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of our tuupuna and returning our whaanau home to live on our papakaainga. Now I have come back home to support our whaanau in finishing stage three. I hope that someday I can then help other whaanau, hapuu, iwi and organisations develop papakaainga models or innovative housing in Maangere for our people.”

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