2024 - February

Kia ora whānau

We had a Manawatū Kukutauaki Trusts meeting on 12 February 2024. 
 The first thing on our  agenda was our whanaunga, Kushla Okano, who gave an eloquent and passionate presentation about her company’s award-winning concept of utilising land to create a self sustaining eco-village.  

Her proposal was to potentially do this on part of our collectively owned whanau trust land.  The plan would provide an  opportunity to develop housing solutions for whānau that reflect our values, traditions, and aspirations, which would enhance our whānau identity and well-being.

Utilising our land for housing would allow our whānau members to retain ownership and control over our land, enabling us to make decisions that align with our priorities, needs, and values.  It's about fostering tino rangatiratanga, greater self-determination and empowerment.

The eco-build 'tiny housing' proposal utilising our land could help address housing  affordability issues by providing housing options that are accessible to us as individuals and families, particularly those facing housing insecurity or homelessness. 

This proposes small housing development is premised on contributing to whānau revitalisation efforts, by creating spaces for cultural activities, language preservation, and intergenerational knowledge sharing.


Holistic concepts incorporating marae, papakāinga and cultural facilities into housing developments can strengthen cultural identity and social cohesion.

Her proposed model offers  opportunities for eco-based sustainable housing development that respects the land, environment, and natural resources. Integrating sustainable design principles, renewable energy technologies, and environmentally friendly practices into housing this proposed  project can promote ecological stewardship and resilience.

Some of our challenges are around resolving our land access and title issues (which may require collaboration between Māori landowners, government agencies, and legal experts).  She promoted adequate access to essential services including water, electricity, and sewage, which is essential for the viability and sustainability of housing projects.

Her company will make sure that the proposed village complies with relevant regulations, planning requirements, and building codes. 

They will navigate the regulatory frameworks and obtain necessary permits and approvals in this proposed development project, on behalf of the trust.

A multitude of  innovative financing mechanisms, partnerships, and funding sources that could help overcome financial barriers to owning the homes was discussed.

Our next step is to invite meaningful engagement and consultation with the Trust's owners, stakeholders, and relevant community to ask what we may want with regard to housing options, models and products, on our whenua.  How do you see this innovative idea?  Do you think we should consider this proposal?

 How do you see this innovative idea?  

Do you think we should consider this proposal?

Utilising our land for housing presents an opportunity to address housing needs, promote cultural revitalisation, and empower our whanau. However, it also involves challenges related to land access, infrastructure, regulation, funding, and community engagement. Effective collaboration, planning, and resource allocation are essential for realising the potential of Māori land for housing development.

Please come to our next Trusts hui, which is scheduled for 6th April at Kererū Marae from 1pm to 3pm.

Johnny McGregor


Manawatū Kukutauaki No3 Sec 2B1 & 2E5 Trusts