New $ 3.3 million apartment complex opens in former Maori hostel in St Albans

A $ 3.3 million complex with six new rental apartments, offices and a health clinic will open on Wednesday at the former Maori trades training site in Christchurch.

Maori Minister of Development Willy Jackson will officially open the new rental apartments at Rehua Marae on Springfield Rd in St Albans. The multi-million dollar project, which was designed and built by WSP Architects and Simon Construction, completely redeveloped the old 33-bed hostel, which was built in 1966.

“This is the start of a new chapter for Rehua, aiming to bring more whānau back to the marae to live there,” said Te Whatu Manawa Māoritanga o Rehua Trust President David Ormsby.

“The apartments, offices and health clinic will enhance the social, cultural and environmental well-being of our Maori community – and the community is at the heart of Rehua.”

The redeveloped building includes two two-bedroom units, two one-bedroom units, and two one-bed studios, with common areas on the ground floor to be used for overall services, including a whānau room, hospital clinic. nurses, rongoā services and the marae office.

“This lifestyle will allow whānau to be on urban marae land and engage in a wide variety of marae activities. Tenants will be of mixed ages and will be able to rent apartments at 70 percent of the market rate. “said Ormsby.

“It’s very special and there is a satisfying sense of continuity that we were able to reuse the old Maori Trades Training Hostel building as a modern living environment for the next generations of whānau to live in Rehua and breathe new life into the marae. ”

The six apartments are in addition to the four kaumātua apartments which have been operating at the marae since 1987.

The redeveloped building will continue to bear the name Te Koti Te Rato, named after the Wesleyan missionary of Ngāti Kahungunu who married Irihāpeti Mokiho from Ngāi Tūahuriri and lived in Rāpaki for 30 years at the end of the 19th century.

“This is an important connection to the marae and our community – it is a testament to the missionary work he has done through Canterbury, Otago and Wharekauri and his support for the Maori people,” Ormsby said.

Te Puni Kōkiri, which is the main financial partner, has committed $ 2.4 million to the project. The Department of Internal Affairs, through the NZ Lottery Grants Board, provided $ 350,000, the Rata Foundation $ 200,000, and the Rehua Marae Trust committed an additional $ 330,000.

The original Rehua Māori Apprentices hostel has helped young men in Christchurch become anything from painters to mechanics and carpenters by providing inexpensive accommodation in a community atmosphere. In 1952, the inn moved to the current site of Springfield Rd.


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John McTaggart

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