Tainui to keep investors and agents out of new Hamilton development

Waikato Tainui chief executive Donna Flavell will bring down the cost of building to get tribal members into home ownership.

Investors and real estate agents need not apply as Waikato-Tainui builds 50 houses in Hamilton.

From next week, the iwi will take expressions of interest from tribal members looking to get a foot on the rung at its Te Kaarearea​development.

A statement from Waikato-Tainui said "no investors or agents".

The development is part of an agreement signed with Housing New Zealand (HNZ) to rebuild the Hamilton East area once known as Jebson Pl.

Residents were moved out of the 58 state houses in Jebson Pl, Old Farm Rd, Cassidy St and Dey St and In 2017 the houses were demolished.

Waikato-Tainui chief executive Donna Flavell said the rejuvenation of the area will open the door for tribal members to enter the real estate market.

"It's more than just a house," Flavell said. "It's about building the well-being of our tribal members consistent with our long-term strategy - Whakatupuranga 2050.

"If our people are to reach their full potential, they need to do it in a warm and healthy environment."

Jebson Place housing development
Te Kaarearea Ave will replace Jebson Pl and run between Cassidy St and Old Farm Rd in the new Waikato-Tainui and Housing NZ development.
Jebson Pl itself will cease to exist.

The old cul-de-sac will make way for a connecting road between Old Farm Rd and Cassidy St and be named Te Kaarearea Ave, according to an artist's impression.

Iwi signed a development agreement with HNZ on the $11 million project, which will include a mix of public and private housing.

HNZ will build 30 state houses and Waikato-Tainui's 50 homes will be built by its subsidiary company, Tainui Developments Ltd.

Waikato-Tainui run home-ownership workshops, and have done for several years, where people learn how to raise a deposit, use Kiwisaver and gain knowledge of the real estate market.

"There has been a huge interest by our whānau members around home ownership and increasing the number of homes available for our whānau to enter into," Flavell said.

"We've just had 700 people in our whānau attending the workshops and we've got five houses up for sale, around right of first refusal, and we've had 50 people already showing interest, already gone through our courses and workshops and already have pre-approved bank loans."

Te Kaarearea, named after the New Zealand native falcon, will be built on a 2-hectare triangular plot acquired by the iwi under its right of first refusal clause in the 1995 Waikato Raupatu Claims Settlement.

Hamilton's median house price may reach $600,000 by the end of 2018, Flavell said. It's hoped the Te Kaarearea development, with a mix of 3- and 4-bedroom homes, will be priced between $450,000 and $550,000.

"We know that's an estimate and we want to say that's the maximum end at $550,000 but we're hoping it will be at the lower end of that once we understand the overall costs and making sure we take into consideration things like agent fees because those are normally passed on to the buyer and we don't want that to happen."

 The project begins in October and should be completed in mid to late 2019. And the billion dollar iwi doesn't want to stop at one socially-driven development.

"We have teamed up with Tainui Group Holdings to project manage the build and we will be looking at making a nominal profit from the venture," she said. "This is just making our money back so we can reinvest into another development and that's why we've been able to make it affordable."

Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta said it's an opportunity to clean up the old area and house people in need.

"As I have always said, our people are lagging behind the rest of the population when it comes to home ownership," Mahuta said. "The last census says only 28 per cent of Māori adults owned their own home compared to 50 per cent of the total population.

"My priority is to make sure our people have warm and secure housing. Te Kaarearea is a win for both Waikato-Tainui, the Hamilton City Council and Housing New Zealand."

Civil works have already started on the state-housing part of the development and construction of 12 single-bedroom homes and 18 two-bedroom homes on Dey St will start this year.

HNZ asset development general manager Patrick Dougherty expects those houses to be completed by mid-2019.

"The $11 million redevelopment will breathe new life into the old site and the community which replaces 58 Housing New Zealand state houses," Dougherty said.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King welcomed the announcement.

"It's great to see a timeline for work getting under way on this exciting project in Hamilton East, the first of the city's Special Housing Areas to get the green light from the Government earlier this year," King said.

"Housing NZ and Tainui are to be congratulated on the progress they're making. It's essential we collectively continue to make progress on increasing housing supply in our city given the population density and growth pressures we're facing."

From Stuff.co.nz