The Mantanikolo Project is the realisation of a long-held vision to build healthy new affordable homes for the Pasifika community in Mangere, South Auckland.
It has taken the best part of the intervening 20 years to get the first 22 houses built as part of stage one of the Mantanikolo Project. Recent assistance has come in to form of a $4.3 million grant from the Government’s Social Housing Fund with the balance of the $8.6 million project cost coming from the land value and a bank loan. Rents for the homes are set at 80 per cent of market value or $310 for a three-bedroom house.
The name of the development, “Mantanikolo”, was bestowed by former Tongan Prime Minister Prince Fatafehi Tu’ipelehake. It means ‘gateway’ and symbolises “the gate for families to enter homes for their children to have space”. The 22 new homes were officially opened on 13 February 2014 by the late Tongan Prince’s daughter, Princess Mele Siu’-i-Likutapu Kalanivalu Fotofili, who also unveiled a sign for the new street ‘Fatafehi Place’.
Lotofale’ia worked closely with Airedale Property Trust to realise the 22 houses in stage 1 of the Mantanikolo Project. Airedale Property Trust is a charitable organisation that operates under the auspices of the Methodist Church of New Zealand. It provides property development, project management, and property and tenancy management expertise for Methodist Church properties in the wider Auckland area. The Trust turns the profits generated through its property and consultancy work into social outcomes by partly funding the work of its sister trust, the Lifewise Trust, an Auckland based social development agency that is also a registered Community Housing Provider. Together, the sister trusts work together on multi-disciplinary projects such as social housing developments, early childhood education centres and the provision of backroom support services to a broad range of other organisations and projects.
The new homes in Mangere are now fully occupied and there is a strong sense of a close neighbourhood developing. The realisation of the Mantanikolo Project means that the parish families no longer need to reside in cramped, damp and poorly-insulated houses that unfortunately are a feature in the Mangere community.
Stage two of the Mantanikolo Project will be construction of 14 pensioner units that are also in short supply in Mangere. It is hoped that these units will be completed in the not too distant future.
Twenty-two houses, which are a mixture of three, four and five-bedroomed houses, have been built by Lotofale’ia, part of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, on a vacant block that was bought from Housing New Zealand Corporation for $210,000 in 1994.