Marae helps residents without homes

An aerial view of the flooding in Edgecumbe in April 2017. Photo: Malcolm Growden/Facebook.

Edgecumbe residents who lost their homes in a major flood a year ago will have secure housing again, in new homes built on a local marae.

About 1600 people were evacuated when a stop bank on the Rangitāiki River at Edgecumbe breached during ex-Cyclone Debbie last year causing the destruction of 15 homes and extensive damage to many others.

Up to 78 homes are still awaiting repair.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta yesterday officially opened five two-bedroom homes at the Kokohinau marae.

Ms Mahuta said it was a great community initiative, which would help families receive the help and support they needed to rebuild their lives.

She said there was also potential to build more homes on the land.

"Right now there are five there. The Kokohinau Papakainga Trust are keen to continue with phase one which was building ten homes. So we will continue - Te Puni Kokiri will continue to investigate the options for the next five."

During the opening, Ms Mahuta said one of the new residents was a grandmother who now had the opportunity to rebuild her life.

The $2.7 million development was carried out with funding support from the Te Puni Kokiri Maori Housing Network and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.

Last year, the marae provided emergency food for those affected by the flood.

-Radio New Zealand


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