PHOTO: LAWRENCE SMITH/STUFF Bella Heta’s garage is dwarfed by a luxury home at Rawhiti, Bay of Islands.

In the Bay of Islands, rich Aucklanders stay at their luxury holiday homes, while nearby people live in caravans and converted garages. Tony Wall and Florence Kerr report in part two of ‘No place to live/Kāore te kāinga, kāore te ora’, a Stuff investigation into a housing crisis in the Far North.

“This is the start of it all,” says Henare Heta, meaning New Zealand history. He points towards Kororāreka (Russell), the first permanent European settlement, where Hone Heke led a bloody assault in 1845.

Heta is standing on his whanau’s land at remote Hauai Bay, Rāwhiti, on the far eastern tip of the Bay of Islands near Cape Brett.

Behind him is a 30-year-old cyclone-damaged Skyline garage that is home to his 79-year-old mother, Bella. Henare sleeps in an old caravan.


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