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Waiau, which is 30 kilometres east of Hanmer Springs, lost a third of its housing after the 2016 Kaikōura quake.
Since then its population has dwindled and its school role has dropped to 32 pupils.
The Hurunui Community Development Trust has decided to take matters into its own hands and build 10 houses in the next five years, which families can buy under a mixed-equity scheme.
Rebekah Kelly, one of its members and a local farmer, spoke to Morning Report.