Family of 13 moves into new Habitat home

The Te Moananui family, ready to move into their new home, recently completed by Habitat for...
The Te Moananui family, ready to move into their new home, recently completed by Habitat for Humanity. With father Mike (rear) and mother Christine (sixth from left), are (back, from left): Blaize (16) and Teiheitia (10 months), Taonga (10), Patience (19), Freedom (18), S'Vania (13), Gilbert (2), Pri-anne (20), Ripeka (14), and (front) Ana-tia (8) and Tainui (4). Photo by Jane Dawber.
Habitat for Humanity's latest project paved the way for a special, and emotional, day for the Te Moananui family yesterday, as the organisation handed over the keys for the 13th house it has built in Dunedin.

For Mike and Christine Te Moananui, the ceremony was the start of a new phase in their life.

"What you stand for, what you do for people is outstanding," Mike Te Moananui told family and volunteers who packed into his new lounge room yesterday afternoon.

"I thank you for showing us when you give, it's giving from the heart."

And Christine Te Moananui, despite promising herself there would be no tears, tearfully said the day meant "helping me build my world".

Work finished on the Ashmore St, Halfway Bush home on Saturday, and a ceremony and blessing for the house was held yesterday.

The family of 13 - parents; 10 children and one grandchild - were selected for the house earlier this year.

Former board member Dave Brown said Habitat for Humanity was funded by grants from various organisations.

Families who took the houses paid for them through an interest-free loan, and that money went back into building more homes.

"It sort of becomes a self-funding thing," he said.

Eight families had applied for the home, and there was a "difficult" selection process that followed.

While the organisation had built about one home a year, it was hoping to increase that to two, and a family had already been selected for the next project, Mr Brown said.

Families who received houses were expected to put in 500 hours of work, helping a core of volunteers who built the house, and Mr Te Moananui's experience as a gib stopper had helped.

And to all the people who helped "we give you a lot of love and respect".

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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