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Inez White was valuing a Rotorua property when a horrible realisation dawned on her.

She had provided dozens of lawyers, agents and banks the figures they needed to help settle deals for prospective house buyers.

But as she looked at this property something didn’t sit right with her.

“I can remember walking in to a house to value in Koutu and talking to the tenants who were actually from Koutu and realising they were paying rent to the owner, who lived in Auckland.”

“I knew they were paying rent higher than it would cost for them to own the house themselves.”

A registered valuer with a university degree she earned while living in Australia, Inez (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao) has made it a personal mission to assist others through the various minefields associated with getting in to their own homes.

Having bought her first home as a 20-year-old university graduate, who rented out two of the bedrooms in the Palmerston North house to pay for the mortgage, Inez has sharpened her practical experience with a highly technical nous for home ownership.

And when she’s not offering her services to prospective home owners through her company Indigenuity or advising Māori landowners on how to develop their lands,  she is running free home ownership workshops in Rotorua for those struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

She has started her very first 12-week workshop that is kaupapa Māori based and is essentially aimed at Māori because: “We as people are becoming tenants on our own whenua and that doesn’t sit right with me”.

“It all starts from a budget and ends with us actually looking at houses. Every week we break down the entire process to things like what you have to look for with a building inspector, what agents will do, what contracts are, what Kiwisaver processes you have to do and what documents you need to complete.”

“For those who put in the effort over the 12 weeks I will then actively help them put together the team they need to buy that house. I’m hoping by the end of the 12 weeks people have done all they need to do and all they need me to do is to get me to take action.”

With skyrocketing house prices in Auckland causing a ripple effect in the regions, the programme is proving immensely popular. There is demand for Inez’s services elsewhere too with pleas for help from people in Whakatane, Hamilton and Taupo.

Inez looks at the economic feasability of house buying and offers lead proposals and strategic plans for home buyers in what is a process littered with pitfalls for the unwary.

And despite her qualifications in valuation, her degree and more than 14 years of experience in the industry she said the Certificate in Small Business she is undertaking at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has been invaluable.

“It has helped to give structure and process to my business and has streamlined the basics that you need for operating a business when you’re self employed or a small company like me.”

“I know my business really well, I came into it, started my business and went straight into operating making some moeny which is awesome but what I have found out about my business is you spend just as much time trying to run the company as you do trying to provide the services that your company provides.”

“This course has provided me with a template and the process and the things I need. It’s enabled me to cut down how much time I waste on the operating side of things.”


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Article By: James Ihaka



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