There was a Chinese drum dance blessing, a dawn Māori blessing, an opera singer leading the national anthem, speeches and a very long red ribbon that was cut at the very impressive opening celebration of CNSST Kotuku House in Panmure, Auckland, recently.
Mayor Phil Goff officially opened the new property. Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister for Building and Construction and Ethnic Communities, and Simon O'Connor, spokesperson for Social Housing and MP for Tamaki, gave speeches.
CNSST Kotuku House was built by the Chinese New Settlers Services Trust (CNSST) in partnership with Government, for senior Asian people that face a number of social issues, including isolation, safety concerns and a lack of independent living options.
Minister Salesa said "We are looking to partner with community housing providers." She acknowledged that MBIE provided $5.2M in capital funding as well as an IRRS contract for rent subsidy, and the success when a partnership is between Government, Council and the CHP.
CNSST's Executive Director, Jenny Wang, says CNSST Kotuku House is just the start of what the Trust aims to achieve in the public housing space.
"The Trust is focussed on developing further social housing projects for local Asian seniors, and re-investing our housing surpluses back into social housing to meet the increased housing, social and cultural demands of the people we work with,"she said.
CNSST Foundation (CNSST), formerly known as Chinese New Settlers Services Trust, a registered charitable trust since 1998, offers culturally and linguistically appropriate services to both Asian new settlers and the wider community.
CNSST's team consists of seven board members, 25 full-time and 12 part-time staff, 105 contractors and over 50 volunteers to serve more than 15,000 people annually. In the past 20 years, CNSST has been working closely with other sectors and community groups providing social services, social housing and education.