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Government announces more support for Māori housing

Tariana Turia

12 JULY, 2014

Government announces more support for Māori housing

Associate Minister of Housing Tariana Turia today announced the establishment of a National Māori Housing Unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) to co-ordinate strategic Māori housing policy across government.

The Māori Housing Unit will also support the implementation of He Whare Ahuru He Oranga Tangata – The Māori Housing Strategy which was announced recently. This strategy sets out six directions for improvement in Māori housing over the next 10 years.

“The establishment of the Māori Housing Unit is another step in the Government’s plan to improve housing for Māori, who more than other New Zealanders are affected by overcrowding, substandard housing and low levels of home ownership,” says Minister Turia.

The Māori Housing Unit will in turn be supported by a Māori Housing Reference Group made up of Māori business and housing practitioner experts.

“I am also announcing today that the funding provided by the Government through the Kāinga Whenua Infrastructure Grant and the Māori Housing Fund to support Māori housing development will be administered by the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency Te Pou Matakana,” says Mrs Turia.

“This organisation is working at a grass roots level to help meet the needs of whānau and families and provide the right kind of support that enables them to realise their potential.

“We want to see more Māori organisations involved in building houses, managing rental tenancies, providing affordable rentals and developing home ownership programmes for Māori whānau.

“By incorporating the Whānau Ora approach to include housing needs, whānau and families can achieve realistic goals. Te Pou Matakana is well placed to work with Māori organisations to help deliver this vision.

“Our future direction must be driven by strategies in which Government and Māori can work closely together to achieve mutual interests. The Productivity Commission concluded that Whānau Ora was the ‘best fit’ approach for Government to progress Māori housing aspirations.

“Today’s announcements, combined with the Government’s social housing reforms, the right of first refusal over surplus land as a result of Treaty settlements and the transfer of Housing New Zealand homes to community housing providers are designed to give Māori more control over how best to meet their housing needs,” says Mrs Turia.

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