Rachel’s home is a place of connection for whānau

Feb 16, 2024

“When we bought this house on whenua land in 1992, my children were toddlers. Now, they are adults and have children of their own. We have three generations living here, 17 of us total, including nine kids. We have the main house then cabins in the yard. With this number of people we have two kitchens, one in the house and one outside. We make do in our home because it is for our family, even though it can get crowded at times.

For the past few years, we have been attempting to secure private financing for renovations but found being on Māori whenua made it harder. Te Whatu Ora referred us to Habitat when my granddaughter had whooping cough last year and had been ill for ten months. Although it helped us get the help we needed, we never thought we’d be that family that was referred by health services.

A lot of repairs were needed; some of the wood had to be removed due to rot, and new cladding and gib had to be installed. We had gaps around all our windows and doors, broken windows, and a shower that had not worked for thirty years. The bathroom also needed restoration, including a new toilet and walls put in for privacy. The kitchen needed renovations, including a new stove, exterior drainage, and exterior electrical outlets to supply power to the cottages. It wasn’t very safe using extension wires from the main house. 

Since the repairs have been completed, we’ve noticed big changes. My mokopuna’s aren’t sick anymore, they’re back at kindy and school and the stress has lifted from all of us. It brings us joy to see our mokopuna thriving again. 

This is a whānau home, and we need it to be here for the next generation.”