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Ministers Help With Northland House Build

5 August 2001 Media Statement

Two interest free loans to help two Northland families into new homes were announced by Housing Ministers Mark Gosche and Tariana Turia today.

The two Ministers were in Northland with Te Tai Tokerau MP Dover Samuels to launch construction of the two houses by Habitat For Humanity volunteers and members of the local communities.

Both families had previously lost their homes in fires.

Habitat is an international non-profit organisation that aims to eradicate substandard housing. The Northland project is part of World Leaders' Build, a week-long international event by the organisation beginning today. Former US President Jimmy Carter has invited leaders of more than 60 countries to help build more than 1000 houses during the week.

"This government is committed to assisting low income people with their housing needs. We welcome this partnership with Habitat as one way of doing that."

"We are acutely aware of the particular housing problems facing Northland and the East Cape. We are committed to working with local communities to find solutions that work for them."

Similar assistance has been available in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, where Housing New Zealand is working with Habitat for Humanity and Ngai Tai Iwi Authority in Torere, near Opotoki, to build 20 houses for families in the Ngai Tai iwi.

In addition to helping house the families the Torere project gives those working on the project the opportunity to develop their trade and administrative skills.

More than 103,000 houses have been built around the world by Habitat since it began in 1976, including 122 In New Zealand. The new homes are built with donations of material and cash from corporate and private donors, and are constructed by the recipient families and other volunteers.

The new owners purchase the home at no profit with an interest free loan. Repaid loans are then used to finance other houses.

The Northland houses are expected to be completed in the next week. Prime Minister Helen Clark will dedicate the Kaitaia house next Saturday, August 11. A separate "key ceremony" will be held for the Herekino house on August 15.


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