Tauranga City Council looks at cutting fees for Maori housing schemes

Tauranga City Council is considering discounting or deferring some upfront fees for Maori housing developments to help tackle Tauranga’s housing crisis.

The council has agreed to look into changing how it charges development contribution fees, which are used to fund growth-related infrastructure, for papakainga developments.

Councillors voted to investigate reducing or deferring the fees, but stopped short of considering removing them entirely.

An initial report by council staff said papakainga developers faced additional complexities that came with developing multiple-owned Maori land.

While Maori trusts might own land, they may lack capital finance and had to seek other types of funding, running into issues with development contributions being due before Government funding could be drawn down.

The council’s move, prompted by requests from iwi and tangata whenua groups, has been welcomed by experts in papakainga development.

Victoria Kingi, company director of Papamoa-based Papakainga Solutions, said papakainga was essentially collective housing on Maori land.

“Often the Maori land trust provides the land to build on at no cost to make it affordable for whanau in need.”

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