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Cabin Fever - Iwi Future Proofing Solutions

Te Kahu o Taonui has been working with Te Tai Tokerau Iwi and Te Puni Kōkiri to roll out a prototype programme providing cabins to Iwi to support community needs in response to the COVID Pandemic.

Funded through COVID response for isolation prototype options, Te Kahu o Taonui initiated a cabin’s to Iwi project, that has made an impact across our communities.

What is this project and how did it come about?

One of Te Kahu o Taonui's responses to the COVID pandemic, was to initiate, plan and develop with Iwi, Māori led solutions that addressed the need for home isolation spaces. Working with Te Pūni Kokiri, a plan was born to build and provide 48 cabins in the rohe. Post pandemic, Iwi are to test these whānau isolation solutions [cabins] and provide a plan that also includes long term use of the cabins post pandemic.


Where did the cabins go and what are they used for?

Te Kahu o Taonui has worked with twelve [12] Iwi within this programme. Twelve [12] cabins have beencompleted and distributed throughout the Iwi, which included Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kuri, Ngāi Tākoto, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa, Ngāpuhi, Kahukuraariki Trust, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine, Te Roroa and Ngāti Whātua. Four [4] of the Iwi were in a position to build the cabins themselves and were supported by the funding through Te Kahu Te Taonui.

The cabins are being used for:

  • Temporary accommodation including:

    • COVID isolation

    • Emergency accommodation

    • Overcrowded household support

  • Medical outreach – Outreach team bases at various marae.

We are excited to be working alongside Te Pūkenga [Northland] and Northbuild Ltd to provide the cabins and acknowledge the Te Kahu o Taonui Whai Kainga Team who have been working hard to bring this kaupapa to fruition.

“The main thing at the end of the day is that our people will be able to enjoy the use of these cabins, whatever they will be used for. It’s a resource they didn’t have before. We are really proud of our teams effort and will look to continue providing these great quality cabins to Tai Tokerau, even as we look forward to taking on bigger construction projects. All of the learnings gained during this Te Kahu o Taonui cabins project has made us better at what we do”

– Ida Jean & Bronson Murray [Owner Operators North Drill & North Build Ltd]


“We had no idea how great a solution cabins were until this project came up and we had to look at them. All the ins and outs and for whānau to consider how it was all going to work and what we were going to use them for post COVID Pandemic, when not being used for COVID isolation units. It made everyone really think about how versatile they are and what the responsibilities and rules need to be. It’s also an opportunity to use our local people and businesses. All of our marae want them now!”

- Anthony Thompson [Ngāti Whatua]

“I got back to the site as they were landing the cabin [just in time as they had it facing the wrong way!] “ … “It will be fantastic and timing is good due to a COVID breakout – just never know when extra space may be needed”

– Lisa Everitt [Ngāti Kuri]

“Thank you so much to North Drill and Te Kahu o Taonui for the absolutely stunning cabins that arrived today for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Takoto…to the logistical team and every single person involved in what we feel is a true reflection of what collaboration should look like. The flow-on effects for Māori businesses, Māori organisations and Iwi are boundless and we are truly grateful for the hard mahi you have put in behind the scenes to deliver these absolutely amazingly crafted cabins. It’s only fitting that we name these two beauties ‘Muriwhenua’ and ‘Kāhu’ to reflect your selfless collaborative efforts to bring iwi the rewards. Let out kāhu continue to glide over us and shield our journey ahead. Thank you, thank you thank you for creating endless opportunities”

– Ngapae Holiday Park


What next?

We are not finished yet! We still have a number of cabins to get built and delivered within our communities. Our Iwi are invested in this kaupapa and have begun intiating small and large development projects across Te Tai Tokerau including the possibility of investmenting in its own cabin manufacturing facility. Not only will this initiative provide sustainable housing solutionspost pandemic, but build the capacity and cability in whānau, by providing training and employment opportunities.

As part of this kaupapa, we have engaged with an external evaluator to capture the learnings and furhter recommendations.

Watch this space!


Want to know more?

Please contact Carol Manukau or visit our website

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