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No excuses – Maori Housing

"There is absolutely no excuse for substandard housing conditions to exist in New Zealand," the Minister of Housing Mark Gosche said today.

Yesterday he met iwi representatives in Whakatane and Opotiki to discuss their housing concerns. He also visited the homes of whanau from the Upokorehe hapu in Kutarere. The average income in the neighbourhood he visited was less than $10,000 a year.

Mr Gosche said overcrowding, drainage problems and dampness were a problem there.

"Kiwi families deserve decent, affordable accommodation and this government is committed to making that available once more."

He said iwi also felt the previous government did not trust them to deliver housing services to their own people.

"These people are doing a magnificent job. We are going to work alongside iwi and that means putting trust and faith in them. Any future housing agency will have strong Maori input at senior levels," said Mr Gosche.

Mr Gosche was surprised to learn from iwi that his trip was the first visit by a Minister of Housing since the previous Labour Government.

"It is shameful that the previous Minister of Housing and local MP Tony Ryall let this happen in his own backyard," said Mr Gosche.


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