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Kainga Whenua: Whanau, Whenua, Whare premieres Tuesday, 12 March

In 1930s Aotearoa, Māori home ownership rates were higher than that of non-Māori. Today, Māori are more likely to be homeless than non-Māori, and home ownership rates (28%) are nearly half that of the general population (58%). And while some Māori have access to whenua Māori, putting a house on it is not that simple.

Funded by Te Māngai Pāho, KĀINGA WHENUA premieres Tuesday 12 March at 7.30 PM on Whakaata Māori and MĀORI+.

Aroha Shelford, producer at Aka Productions says the aim of the series is to showcase the different approaches whānau, hapū and iwi are taking to provide housing for their people.

“There is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to building on whenua Māori, and the process can take years, but there are elements that are common to all successful projects,” says Aroha Shelford.

“Building strong relationships, establishing trust between parties, agreeing a vision and choosing the right legal framework are just some of the elements needed before you even think about picking up a shovel or a hammer.”

KĀINGA WHENUA follows Pio Terei as he discovers how whānau are reconnecting with their whenua in different ways.

“Whānau must navigate intricate pathways as they move towards making dreams of sustainable living and housing on tūpuna whenua, a reality,” says Pio.

“There’s definitely a certain level of courage, strength and determination required to manage whanau and whenua dynamics, but then there’s all the technical stuff and building processes to take into account, too.

“The whānau I met on our KĀINGA WHENUA journey had passion and determination in bucketloads and were only too happy to share how they created stunning papakāinga for their whānau,” says Pio.

“Tune in and be inspired to do the same,” he says.


EPISODE 1 – TUESDAY 12 MARCH 7.30 PM: MITIMITI – Pio embarks on a journey to put his own tiny whare on whenua gifted to him through a tuku whenua agreement with his whānau. Pio’s personal grief journey inspired his own kāinga whenua development with a charitable desire to pay it forward.

EPISODE 2: TUESDAY 19 MARCH 7.30 PM: TE HAUKE – Pio discusses the complex nature of negotiation and land settlement that the whānau have overcome to develop housing on their papakāinga in Te Hauke, Heretaunga.

EPISODE 3: TUESDAY 26 MARCH 7.30 PM: RĀPAKI – Travelling to the small settlement of Rāpaki, Te Waipounamu, Pio discovers a modern, innovative and stylish modular housing approach to kāinga whenua development.

EPISODE 4: TUESDAY 2 APRIL 7.30 PM: TE MAHUREHURE – The Panapa whānau show Pio around Te Mahurehure urban marae, a place they developed for whānau Māori in West Auckland to gather, host events and run community initiatives.

EPISODE 5: TUESDAY 9 APRIL 7.30 PM: NGĀWHA – The famous Ngāwha springs just out of Kaikohe, Te Tai Tokerau is proof that whānau can use the natural resources of their whenua to develop successful enterprise, whilst continuing to act as kaitiaki of these healing puna for generations to come.

EPISODE 6: TUESDAY 16 APRIL 7.30 PM: TE TAIRĀWHITI – Pio visits Toitū Tairawhiti Housing, an iwi collective that supports papakāinga builds, emergency housing, and provides financial assistance and training to expand the building capabilities of whānau within Te Tairawhiti.

EPISODE 7: TUESDAY 23 APRIL 7.30 PM: KOHUPĀTIKI – Whānau in Kohupātiki, Heretaunga, share how they have created rental and home ownership opportunities on their whenua. One resident shares her experience of how papakāinga living gave her the support her and her whanau needed for her business to thrive.

EPISODE 8: TUESDAY 30 APRIL 7.30 PM – GETTING STARTED – Pio visits with various whanau at the beginning of their papakāinga development journeys to answer the question, ‘How do we get started?’


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