[image] aerial view of Penina Trust housing development in Papakura

A significant milestone in addressing the housing needs of Pasifika communities was celebrated on 18 April with the grand opening of a pioneering housing development in Papakura, Auckland. This transformative project aims to provide suitable housing solutions for large multi-generational Pasifika families, who have long faced limited options that cater to their unique needs.

The event was graced by esteemed guests including Hon Dr Shane Reti, Minister of Health and also Minister of Pacific Peoples, alongside local church leaders and representatives from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) namely Pip Fox, Jo Hogg, John Larner, and Guy Brocklehurst, highlighting the collaborative effort behind this groundbreaking initiative.

The opening ceremony resonated with heartfelt addresses, notably from the first family set to occupy one of the homes. A mother with seven children expressed her gratitude, articulating the profound impact this new home would have on her family's life.

The development comprises five homes tailored to accommodate Pasifika families, featuring a mix of duplex and standalone houses. Each residence includes carpeted garages designed to serve multiple purposes, from parking spaces to venues for Pasifika gatherings.

An emphasis on sustainability is evident with prewiring for solar energy, reflecting a forward-thinking approach towards eco-friendly living. Penina Trust, the driving force behind the project, is actively pursuing grant funding for solar panel installation, aiming to achieve significant annual savings per household.

Strategic site selection near essential amenities and culturally significant facilities highlights the commitment to community well-being. Access to local churches, health clinics, schools, and recreational spaces enriches the residential experience, fostering a vibrant and connected neighbourhood.

The project's funding model, a Build to Own arrangement spanning 25 years, received support from HUD, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Foundation North, and Christian Savings. Despite initial challenges, including a developer setback in early 2023, Penina Trust's resilience and collaboration with subcontractors ensured the project's continuity and eventual completion.

With final code compliance certificates pending from Auckland Council, eager families are anticipated to move into their new homes by the end of May, marking the realisation of a collective vision for improved housing outcomes within the Pasifika community.

Penina Trust, as the sole Pasifika registered Community Housing Provider, continues to play a pivotal role in addressing housing challenges. With a portfolio encompassing over 230 properties, including the latest development, Penina remains dedicated in its mission to serve and empower Pasifika families.

For more information on Penina Trust and its initiatives, visit the Penina Trust Facebook page(external link).