Business North December 2023

28 | Affordable housing options Once completed, the Ōpōtiki development will offer 46 residential lots. DG Capital - Pirirakau Opotik T T Karen Phelps DEVELOPMENT Development Pirirakau Ōpōtiki aims to provide the community with truly affordable housing options. Spearheaded by the Kainga Maha Trust, a charitable organization dedicated to addressing housing needs in New Zealand. Once completed, the development will offer 46 residential lots, facilitating the construction of a mix of affordable homes on sections varying from 290m² to 500m². Pirirākau, a name gifted by the Whakatōhea iwi, represents the shared vision of building a resilient and supportive community. The project aims to create a close-knit neighbourhood where families can grow and thrive in the Bay of Plenty. It has been supported by Ōpōtiki District Council, local iwi Whakatōhea, and Generation Homes, among other partners. The significance of this project lies not only in offering affordable housing but in the community-centric approach taken during its development, says Liam Dickson, who sits on the board of the Kainga Maha Trust. Seeing that significant investment was being made in the region via the Provincial Growth Fund would inevitably increase property prices the Trust made the decision to release all the sections to the market at once and early. “We wanted to see a ceiling set for land price in Ōpōtiki. This led to the release of nearly all sections earlier this year, with prices commencing at under $125,000 for a 350sqm plot, catering to the local community’s needs. We think we released two to three years of land stock into the market at once.” The emphasis on affordability has not compromised quality. The project’s planners have strategically designed the development, ensuring that sections, although slightly reduced in size to maintain affordability, retain a sense of spaciousness. These sections are within walking distance to schools, supermarkets, and town centres, enhancing the convenience and accessibility for future residents. Moreover, the development’s focus on ‘place-based’ design is an indication of the attention given to integrating community needs and aesthetics, says Liam. The project seeks to incorporate green spaces and evoke a sense of openness and comfort, aligning with the character of Ōpōtiki. An essential aspect of the Pirirakau Ōpōtiki project has been its collaboration with local iwi. “We spent time with them to understand the needs they saw and the outcomes they were seeking. This deep engagement reflects a commitment to developing homes that resonate with the community’s aspirations and culture,” says Liam. Generation Homes, along with other reputable building companies such as Navigation Homes and Keith Hay Homes, are contributing to the construction, ensuring the delivery of quality dwellings for the future residents of Pirirakau Ōpōtiki. Liam says that Ōpōtiki, renowned for its coastal beauty, is an ideal location for families looking to establish roots in a closeknit community. The town’s rich ties to the Whakatōhea iwi add a cultural depth that is proudly displayed throughout the area. Liam says that Kainga Maha Trust is a fervent advocate for expanding affordable housing solutions throughout regional New Zealand. Past successful projects include Karamū in Christchurch. “This deep engagement reflects a commitment to developing homes that resonate with the community’s aspirations and culture.” Working with Christchurch Methodist Mission, Emerge Aotearoa, MHUD, Ngāi Tahu Properties, key funders and numerous build partners, 84 homes will be delivered within only 18-months of securing the site. Other projects currently underway include Te Pākau Maru in Christchurch, Parkview in Rolleston and Hutt Road in Auckland. “We intend to continue this type of work throughout regional New Zealand. “We want to continue this approach and identification of opportunities to keep housing prices down.” FOR ALL YOUR CIVIL CONTRACTING NEEDS 0800WAIOTAHI Built Proud. ♦SHEET PILING ♦EXCAVATIONS ♦SITE WORKS ♦DRAINAGE ♦AGGREGATES ♦FOUNDATIONS WAIOTAHI Auckland / Tauranga / Wellington Experts in Land Development, Engineering, Surveying, Project Delivery and more