Next up was the blessing and sod-turning of the new Waingakau Village, the 120-home village being developed in Flaxmere West. The visionary plan, by Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, is to provide warm, healthy, quality affordable homes, using a co-housing model that supports the inter-generational community by enabling social interaction.
Te Taiwhenau chairman and Waingakau Housing Development director Mike Paku says it will be the first “truly cooperative” housing development in New Zealand. “We are a very cooperative society here in New Zealand, with examples including our mutually owned insurance, health, farm supply and banking organisations, but we have not extended that to our housing.”
The idea came about through considering Maori values and the cost of housing that is keeping many from owning their own homes. “Essentially, this takes the cost of the land out of the equation, which will dramatically reduce the price of owning a home, and it has the added advantages of truly integrating the social, spiritual, collective and cultural values that come with cooperative housing,” Mr Paku said.
Caption: Blessed: The construction of Waingakau Village can commence after the site was blessed.