A young family in Te Puna are about to become proud owners of a home they built on their ancestral land.
Tarryn and Aaron Motutere are building a new three bedroom home for their family with the help of Habitat for Humanity.
For many years they had rented in the local area, but it wasn't until they moved back to help out after Aaron's father passed away that they thought about building on their whanau land.
“We had started looking into building before, and then became really motivated after we moved in with the whanau and started cleaning up the paddock,” says Aaron.
They struggled for nine months to find a builder willing to give them a quote for constructing a house under $150,000.
As a last resort, they approached Habitat for Humanity Tauranga, who provided them with a quote and plans as well as giving a helping hand with all the paperwork.
"Without Habitat, our dream would've stayed just that, a dream. They held my hand through the whole process, and helped me tick all those boxes, and now it's our reality,” says Tarryn.
The majority of the construction was funded by Te Puni Kokiri.
The remainder of the funding came from a variety of sources including the Kainga Whenua Loan scheme through Kiwibank and Housing New Zealand.
Due to all the support, Tarryn and Aaron now have enough room to service up to three more homes on their land.
The house will be an 82-square metre three bedroom home, with a carport.
They say having a home of their own will ensure their family have a healthy and stable future.
Habitat for Humanity Tauranga is confident that many more people could benefit from the Kainga Whenua loan scheme.
“This is the only way for a whanau to get a mortgage to build on collectively owned Maori land,” says general manager Tim Maurice.
“I'm so proud that Aaron and Tarryn have been able to access a loan with Habitat for Humanity's help, but many whanau are often not as fortunate.”
Habitat for Humanity believe more banks need to get on-board with supporting whanau to build on their family land differently.
“Something needs to be done to address the problem, because everyone deserves a decent place to live.”
Habitat for Humanity is a global shelter charity seeking a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Habitat has been working with communities in New Zealand for over 25 years.