The first batch of newly built state houses in the Hawke’s Bay region are now occupied.

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters was there and says the houses get his seal of approval.

“Well it looks seriously cosy, I didn't get time to examine the whole structure but they look seriously happy and clearly it is the right size for their decreased needs these days.”

Peters also says the two-bedroom house is one of 49 new state homes that will be built in Napier and Hastings as part of Housing New Zealand's regional housing programme.

“We do have a programme to bring housing to the regions and in fact, the Hawke’s Bay is doing seriously well out of this. We have to ensure the housing needs are met in the countryside as well as in the urban cities.”

Local iwi chair Ngahiwi Tomoana says the programme is a step in the right direction to meet housing demands in the Kahungunu area.

“Me mahi tahi mātou ki a rātou, tētahi ki tētahi, pokohiwi ki te pokihiwi, tērā te kaupapa me tēnei Karauna.”

The remaining houses in Napier and Hastings are expected to be completed by October.