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National Māori Housing Conference, Heartened By The Turnout

The sixth National Māori Housing Conference 2021, is being hosted in Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga over the next few days. Approximately 300 participants from around the motu attended the pōhiri at Waipatu Marae today. “It clearly illustrates the distress whānau are experiencing in achieving secure housing let alone home ownership” says Ngāti Kahungunu Chairman, Ngahiwi Tomoana, “We are heartened by the strong turnout”.

This biennial event takes place in different regions to showcase leadership and contribution in the “housing space”. The conference provides a platform for Māori and stakeholders to share ideas, information, network and to formulate strategies to assist Māori into quality affordable housing.

The fifth biennial National Māori Housing Conference 2018 was hosted by Waikato-Tainui and was a great success with more than 400 delegates from all over Aotearoa creating relationships and sharing ideas. At that Conference the tono was put forward by Ngāti Kahungunu to host the next conference in 2020. Due to Covid-19 the event was postponed to 2021.

The Conference is being held at two venues, Clubs Hastings and the Conference Dinner is being held at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre. The theme of the Conference is ‘Providing Shelter and a Foundation for whānau’ which encourages us to support, build and nurture communities that put people first.

“Quality, affordable housing is important for whānau. It not only fulfills a basic human need for shelter, but it also contributes to the overall wellbeing of the whānau”, says Ngahiwi Tomoana.

“This conference is occuring simultaneously with many other Housing initiatives taking place throughout the country. More now than ever, there is an urgency to provide solutions to this growing problem”

“I am sure an excellent array of presenters will identify key themes on how issues and opportunities can be better managed. This includes informing approaches with current government programmes, reducing barriers and challenges that Māori face to achieve their housing aspirations”

The Conference is organised by Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga with contributions from the major sponsors, Te Puni Kōkiri, Kainga Ora Homes and Communities, and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Presentations will start with Mr Tomoana who will set the scene, followed by a range of speakers including local and regional council leaders, iwi specialists, Associate Minister Māori Housing - Hon. Peeni Henare, Minister Māori Development - Hon Willie Jackson, Associate Minister Housing (Homelessness) - Hon. Marama Davidson, Associate Minister of Māori Development - Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Housing - Hon. Dr Megan Woods and Māori leader – a wahine who walks the talk, Dame Tariana Turia.

A Conference APP to help participants navigate to the programme, presenters profiles, register for add on sessions including bus tours to Papakainga housing, has been developed for a quality experience for participants and organisers.

Following the pōhiri, the first activity for the day was a bus tour to 48 papakainga homes situated at Waipatu, Kohupatiki, Waiohiki, Moteo, and Te Hauke. The buses filled quite fast with a host of vans cars following behind. If this is a sign of things to come over the next two days, participants are in for a fast and furious ride.

Ngāti Kahungunu is the third largest iwi with 36,000 registered members. Geographically the tribe has the second longest coastline in the country from Paritū in the North to Turakirae in the South. Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated maintains an independent position to provide research, advice and advocate for the interests, rights, values, beliefs and practices of Ngāti Kahungunu alongside our whānau and hapū. Our mission is to enhance the mana and well-being of Ngāti Kahungunu.

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