Kainga Ora o Otangarei

Our own Urban Regeneration programme with a vision to achieve a vibrant and successful Otangarei community and proactive, proud and prosperous whānau.


In 2015, Te Hau Awhiowhio o Otangarei Trust saw an opportunity to better align services to meet the needs of the community.  The Trust merged their social services arm with the community health organisation and continued to explore opportunities for transformational change, to improve the wellbeing of whanau and create a community of hope.   A strategic intent is Kāinga Whanau Ora, whereby the Trust seeks to reinstate the traditional structure of community by supporting and growing social kinships and economic wealth.

Kāinga Ora o Otangarei is a regeneration programme which builds on and expands the 2014 Otangarei Village Plan – developed through residents’ contribution and supported by the Otangarei Neighbourhood Safety Panel.  There is a strong emphasis of connecting people to place, bringing together the elements of Community Revitalisation, Whanau Investment and Prosperity.


The Programme seeks to create an environment for change by transforming how organisations and the community work together to achieve regeneration in Otangarei.

The programme is a collaboration between our organisation, partner agencies, business and the community, who all share the goal of advancing the social and economic wellbeing of Otangarei whānau.

What is the programme about?

The programme of work includes a range of projects that improve the physical space and facilities, and connect social, health, education and economic initiatives to create a community where people are connected, participating, and active.

This programme of work will contribute to rebuilding and restoring social and economic wealth and wellbeing which creates protective factors for the individual and in the community that will support and maintain change.

What work has been completed?

By aligning, working collaboratively and building on connections we can together achieve the vision.

Work to date includes:

  • development of community facilities in line with the Otangarei Village Plan, led by WDC with the support of Otangarei Neighbourhood Safety Panel: public toilets, traffic calming measures, walkway development;
  • a community workforce engaged in planting wetlands and restoration of reserves;
  • a feasibility study to consider development of the local rugby clubrooms to cater for a broader range of sports and recreational users;
  • strategy development to support increased housing choices for Otangarei whanau, to respond to the increased demand for affordable housing with services in support;
  • an innovative, membership-based pilot programme, working with whanau who struggle with mental health and/or addiction issues, to provide support to get well, stay well and to participate in the community and employment;
  • most recently, consultation with the community to form a master plan for development of the Central Reserve. The plan will encompass a number of ideas; research highlights a playground as the key priority.

Strategic Partners

Kāinga Ora o Otangarei programme is led out by Te Hau Awhiowhio Trust and supported by a core group of strategic partners: Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kōkiri, Whangarei District Council, Housing NZ, Northland District Health Board, Manaia PHO, Opus NZ.  As a community development plan, we invite everyone in the community to participate in building a vibrant, successful community.

Opportunities ahead

We invite Councillors to come on board, together with a number of organisations who are keen to support the community’s efforts to ’pull itself up by the boot-straps’. To back this community in the heart of Whangarei, and support the regeneration and development of the Otangarei neighbourhood.

Investment in Otangarei has been deferred for some time. In addition to leveraging the strengths of our strategic partners, we will look for support from a range of funders particularly for large ticket items.

We encourage Councillors to give regard to how Council’s Long Term Plan can support the development of the Otangarei community, and consider prioritising contribution to or delivery of key facilities:

  • a playground for kids in Otangarei is overwhelmingly supported by the community, where almost 40% of residents are under the age of 14;
  • other activities for youth through the development of public space per the Otangarei central reserve Masterplan: eg pump track / skatepark; fitness circuit;
  • enhancement of the shopping centre into a vibrant hub where businesses, residents and visitors feel welcome and safe. Upgraded footpaths, street furniture/bus seating would improve amenity value and sense of place;
  • improvements to the recreational space at the rugby clubrooms and gymnasium, to better interface with the central reserve and provide increased activity options;
  • improve facilities at Fishbone Park sports field and its inclusion into the Council’s overall sport strategy. Fishbone Park would benefit from improved drainage, turf management, and lighting and toilet/changing facilities are required.

Other safety recommendations made by the safety review in 2013 that are undelivered: wayfinding, footpaths, lighting gaps.


Contact kaingaora@otangarei.org if you’d like to know more about the Kāinga Ora o Otangarei programme.

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Otangarei papakāinga officially opened by Minister Nanaia Mahuta

Otangarei papakāinga officially opened by Minister Nanaia Mahuta

Papakāinga which have long been a vision of the Otangarei community have been officially opened. The six two-bedroom units – five of which will be available for whānau and one for onsite kaumātua and kuia support – have been under construction since mid-last year but have been a vision of Martin Kaipo, the chief executive of Te Hau Āwhiowhio o Otangarei Trust, for much longer.