Developing a papakāinga on your whenua Māori can be a long process, but there's help available as you work through it.
Developing a papakāinga on your whenua can be a way to help whānau with quality affordable housing and to provide ongoing accommodation and/or revenue for future generations.
Papakāinga also reflect a whānau support system — the kāinga are more than physical structures. They provide opportunities for whānau to strengthen connections between generations, reinforce cultural and spiritual identities, and revitalise Te Reo Māori.
However, barriers like planning restrictions, lack of infrastructure and getting consent from multiple owners can make development a long and sometimes difficult process.
For some landowners it can be a multi-generational venture, so it's good to involve rangatahi in the process too.
When we talk about a papakāinga on this website, we mean a group of 3 or more houses, built on whenua Māori, operating as an intentional community according to kaupapa Māori.
It can take several years to even get to build stage, but it should be quicker if you're organised, have a governance structure in place and have good whānau engagement.
We’ve pulled out the key steps here:
1. Whānau planning — around 12 months mahi
2. Workshops and research — around 6 months mahi
This step requires you to undertake research, learning and gathering of information about your land, its governance, and the whānau who might want to live there.
Your detailed research and investigation will give you confidence that your papakāinga housing development is viable and will identify any likely barriers.
3. Project planning — around 6 months mahi
With the information you have gathered from steps 1 and 2, owners and trustees are in a better position to engage professional services and get technical advice.
This involves getting technical reports, considering site options, technical design details and associated costs.
4. Due diligence — around 3 months mahi
This is when you'll work with any funding providers to negotiate funding. They'll do a thorough assessment of your project and will expect to see things like:
- business case and project plan
- resource and building consents
- cost estimates and quotes
- projected ongoing operating costs and revenue for the papakāinga
- project management details.
5. Building and project management — around 18 months mahi
With all your funding, project plans and consents in place, infrastructure and building work can get underway. It's good to get any building contracts checked by your lawyer.
6. Maintenance and management — ongoing mahi
The mahi doesn't stop when building work is finished. There will be new responsibilities for the trust to manage as landlord of the papakāinga. There will be ongoing mahi managing and maintaining the houses and working with tenants.
You can find more information in:
These toolkits also outline in detail the steps and rules you'll need to follow for specific regions.
Te Piringa is a papakāinga in the rural community of Waiohiki, 10km south of Napier.
The papakāinga has three homes and infrastructure for two more.
It is home to three generations of the Hawaikirangi whānau.
Rapihana Te Kaha Hawaikitangi – Kaitiaki of Te Piringa Papakāinga: This is whānau land, whenua toto, and yeah, we’ve been fortunate enough to reside on whenua where our koro grew up in.
Hinewai Hawaikirangi - Kaitiaki of Te Piringa Papakāinga: We haven’t always lived here and grown up here, but we always knew we’re going to end up here.
I think we as siblings knew we wanted to live together, and we knew the only place we could really do that was here, on our koro’s land.
When we first learnt about the papakāinga fund through Te Puni Kōkiri this was our opportunity to really realise our dream.
Te Puni Kōkiri funded the planning of our papakāinga, the infrastructure, everything below the ground, and then they also helped us with funding part of the above the ground build.
Karen Hawaikirangi - Kaitiaki of Te Piringa Papakāinga: We all have this common goal and we work towards that, particularly Hinewai and Te Kaha. They’ve worked really hard. It’s awesome, aye boo-boos? (looks towards little girl). Mmm humm. (laughs).
She comes and has breakfast sometimes. What’s your favourite? Cornies!
Rapihana Te Kaha Hawaikitangi: It’s pretty special. Still a bit of a pinchy moment to be able to live on the whenua.
You know, the maunga’s only a stone’s throw away, the awa, the marae. So, when you, I guess, when you recite your pepeha and you’re living right next to those things that you recite, it’s pretty special.
Hinewai Hawaikirangi: You know, ko Otatara te maunga, ko Hikurangi te maunga, ko Tutaekuri te awa – to us it’s to say we are kaitiaki of these things because our hands are dirty, and you can’t get your hands dirty unless you’re there.
And so, for us it’s embodying our pepeha. It’s getting up there. Yes, these are words but behind these words there is action. And that’s what papakāinga has enabled us to do.
So, it was all about connecting and being together and being close and what’s why we came up with our papakāinga name, Te Piringa. It’s just an unbelievable experience to go through. The skills as a whānau, the experience we’ve had is invaluable and we will forever be thankful to all of those who have helped us along the way because we will be here looking after this place as kaitiaki for many generations to come.
The Māori Housing Network can provide you with information, advice and identify potential sources of funding to help develop housing on your papakāinga.
The Kāinga Whenua Loan scheme provides loans to whenua Māori trusts and individuals with a right to occupy their multiple-owned Māori land.