The head of a Maori Trust on the Chatham Islands says a new housing project for the Ngati Mutunga O Wharekauri iwi will be of huge benefit to the whole community.
Chairperson Deborah Goomes says joint funding from the Government's Housing Innovation Fund and the Trust means construction of three three-bedroomed family homes and two kaumatua flats will start before the end of November.
She says, even though the project is specifically for Maori on the Chathams, it will benefit everyone as it will free up other houses for people to live in.
Ms Goomes says the iwi-driven initiative will help promote social wellbeing and boost community self-esteem.
She says the new dwellings, which local Maori helped design, should be ready for occupation by April 2012.