Good News

20 new Rotorua Kāinga Ora apartments on Lake Rd blessed

Editor Written by Editor · 3 min read >


Too many homeless families in Rotorua are being forced to make their car their home, parents bedding down in the front seat while their tamariki sleep in the back.

Those were the words of kaumātua Kingi Biddle at the official opening yesterday of 20 new Kāinga Ora apartments on Lake Rd.

The Koutu local, who officiated at the blessing, said that’s why the opening of the 17 two-bedroom and three three-bedroom apartments was something for the city to celebrate.

The project was undertaken by Rotorua developer Tony Bradley, of TPB Properties. It is hoped the first tenants will move in within two weeks.

Following the blessing, locals were invited to take a look inside the apartments and about 100 people took up the offer.

Kingi Biddle speaks at the opening of the Lake Rd Kāinga Ora apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner
Kingi Biddle speaks at the opening of the Lake Rd Kāinga Ora apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner

Before Biddle individually blessed the apartments, he told invited guests too many whānau called their cars their homes.

“They call their main bedroom the front seat of the car and the tamariki bedrooms are the back seat of the car. With that grows fear, anxiety and anger. But when you have a home where the fire burns, there is warmth, health and safety,” Biddle said.

The Rotorua Daily Post was taken on a tour of the apartments.

The two-bedroom apartments have a living room and kitchen downstairs with a sliding door opening to a fenced-off courtyard with a planted fruit tree. The laundry is in a cupboard behind double doors in the dining area.

Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom with a shower. The bedrooms have skinny vertical windows which open like a door from top to bottom but have safety latches so they don’t open too wide to fit a person through. There are electric heaters in the bedrooms and a heat pump downstairs.

TPB Properties owner Tony Bradley (left) and Nick Chibnall-West, from DCA Architects of Transformation, at the Lake Rd apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner
TPB Properties owner Tony Bradley (left) and Nick Chibnall-West, from DCA Architects of Transformation, at the Lake Rd apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner

Bradley said earlier this week he liked to think the homes proved social housing did not have to have to be cheap and nasty “eyesores”.

Bradley told the Rotorua Daily Post at the opening he had cut about $500,000 out of the profit by using architectural designs and better quality materials, including aluminium flashings, steel vents instead of plastic ones, metal overhangs on doorways for added shelter and aluminium gates instead of wood so they didn’t twist and buckle.

He said he could have put in standard windows but he wanted the apartments to look different since there were so many of them in a block.

He said it had been a year next week since he had bought the land and it was thanks to DCA Architects of Transformation and Eyeline Construction, led by Mitch Craig and Kerry Boyle, the apartments were built well and quickly.

The front doors featuring the taki toru patterns. Photo / Andrew Warner
The front doors featuring the taki toru patterns. Photo / Andrew Warner

Nick Chibnall-West, from DCA Architects of Transformation, said some of the added extras included special taki toru patterns on the wooden panels at the front doors.

“They are specially designed to be a welcoming feature for visitors and whānau.”

Chibnall-West said he was proud to be part of the project.

“Tony has made the decision that he drives past these homes every day and he wanted to build a quality product.”

Kingi Biddle leads the official blessing of the Lake Rd Kāinga Ora apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner
Kingi Biddle leads the official blessing of the Lake Rd Kāinga Ora apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner

Eddie and Verey Tom live near the new complex and went to the open home to take a look inside.

Eddie Tom said he also wanted to get verbal confirmation from Kāinga Ora it would ensure the tenants would be well-behaved.

Clutching a business card of one of the Kāinga Ora managers at the opening, Tom said he felt better but would be quick to give the Kāinga Ora representative a call if anything went wrong.

Twenty new two and three-bedroom Kāinga Ora apartments are on Lake Rd. Photo / Supplied
Twenty new two and three-bedroom Kāinga Ora apartments are on Lake Rd. Photo / Supplied

Another neighbour, who didn’t want to be identified out of fear of backlash, said she wanted to go inside one of the apartments to see how much they could see of her property from the upstairs area.

“They look right down into our living room.”

Long-time Koutu resident Jill Nicholas said the apartments looked impressive inside.

“You can’t criticise or congratulate anyone until you have seen it yourself.”

The parking area of the new Lake Rd apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner
The parking area of the new Lake Rd apartments. Photo / Andrew Warner

A local grandmother with health concerns who looks after two of her grandchildren said she was ranked one of the highest in need on the housing register. The woman, who didn’t want to be named because of personal reasons, said she hoped to get one of the apartments.

She said while she was used to living in open spaces, the apartments were very nice and if she needed an ambulance, she would be closer to the hospital.

Kelly Makiha is a senior journalist who has reported for the Rotorua Daily Post for more than 25 years, covering mainly police, court, human interest and social issues.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com