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Maori housing crisis - government to work with iwi

Office of Hon Mark Gosche
Minister of Transport
Minister of Housing
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
Member of Parliament for Maungakiekie

Media Release

8 March 2000

Maori housing crisis - government to work with iwi

"The government will work alongside iwi to address the housing crisis facing many Maori in rural areas of New Zealand," the Minister of Housing Mark Gosche said today.

Mr Gosche is to meet with iwi representatives in Whakatane and Opotiki tomorrow and will be joined by local MP Mita Ririnui.

He is to meet with families from the Upokorehe hapu in Kutarere to discuss housing concerns and visit their homes.

"I understand poor quality housing and overcrowding is a serious problem for these families and I intend to hear their concerns and see for myself the kinds of conditions they have been living under."

"Housing problems are as diverse as the people and families that experience them," said Mr Gosche.

"Therefore we want to work alongside iwi to find solutions that work for them."

"Some families have been living in serious substandard housing simply because of bureaucratic barriers to building on multiple-owned land - we want to help find solutions to these obstacles."

Mr Gosche will also meet with Ngai Tai iwi who have been working on a joint venture with Habitat for Humanity New Zealand to build homes in the Torere area. He will also visit the a group self build project in Opotiki which will soon see the construction of at least seven homes for participating whanau.

Associate Housing Minister Tariana Turia said proper housing was fundamental to improving the social situation of whanau.

"The government has an obligation to provide affordable, adequate housing for those in serious need," said Mrs Turia.

"There are serious issues facing Maori landowners such as rules that create barriers to whanau utilising their own land - we are committed to addressing these obstacles," said Mrs Turia.


Itinerary - Thursday 9 March 2000

10.30 am Powhiri Ngai Tai iwi,
Torere Marae, SH35, Main Road, Torere

12.30pm Informal Welcome Opotiki Self Build Project
49B Bridge Street, Opotiki

2.30pm Powhiri Upokorehe Hapu
Roimata Marae, Wharf Road, Kutarere

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