Speech: Community Housing Aotearoa Conference
Hon Te Ururoa Flavell
Māori Development Minister
22 October 2015 Speech Notes
Community Housing Aotearoa Conference
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about the Māori Housing Network
I acknowledge all the effort to help being done in the sector to help out New Zealanders with their housing needs.
I want to give you a snapshot of Māori Housing:
• According to the 2013 Census, fewer than 110,000 Māori own or partly own their own home
• About 70% of tāngata whenua live in rented homes
• Around 22,000 Māori are in social housing (around 1 in 3 of Housing New Zealand’s tenants)
• The issue that is of most concern to me? Around 12,000 Māori are living in severe housing deprivation. That’s 34% of the New Zealand total. Pacific families also experience high levels of housing deprivation. That’s disproportionate to both our populations
• However, while the level of Māori housing deprivation is high, there is also a real energy, enthusiasm and spirit of enterprise in Māoridom
Whānau want to find whānau solutions to whānau housing needs
The Māori Housing Network which comes under Te Puni Kōkiri is here to support and encourage Māori housing initiatives.
It will share practical advice, information and will help with Māori housing projects.
The network will also work with other agencies to co-ordinated a Māori housing approach.
Whānau Ora has played a role in developing this kaupapa [Whānau came together and started identifying what they wanted – in many cases housing was recognised as a priority]
I was recently in Ngāruawahia to celebrate the completion of a housing project by Ranga Bidois whānau.
The family utilised Whānau Ora – they prioritised their aspirations to use their whenua for housing.
Today they have three new homes to complement an existing four-bedroom home and two-bedroom cottage on their whenua.
The Ranga Bidois papakāinga development is a great example of what can be achieved.
In Hamilton, Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa is creating about 75 new affordable homes, a community where a supportive whānau environment can be created. There will be a mix of ownership options as well as quality rentals.
Another example closer to home is the Te Aro Pā Trust development in Evans Bay. Wellingtonians will know the site well – it’s at Greta Point where the Sheepskin Warehouse was located.
This development was able to benefit from the Kāinga Whenua Infrastructure Grant scheme and the Māori Housing Fund, both new pūtea when the project was starting, as well as feasibility funding. This funding is now managed by the Māori Housing Fund.
At Te Aro Pā, over 1000 owners had to be engaged, as the best use of this small site was considered. Their decision was to use the land to provide rental homes to families in need of affordable accommodation.
Fourteen units are being developed. These will give whānau a chance to live on their own land in a papakāinga environment.
But every initiative - from the small-scale Ranga Bidois whānau project to the large-scale Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa’s Enderley development adds to the capability we have in the sector.
Each initiative confirms what we have learnt, and keep learning, through Whānau Ora - that if a whānau-centred approach is taken to Māori development, much can be achieved.
This drive by whānau to take ownership of housing will be supported by advice and funding through the new Māori Housing Network.
The Māori Housing Network is a resource that is available to whānau throughout the motu. It will administer a budget of just over $14 million a year.
The funding initially focuses on smaller scale projects that:
• improve the quality of housing – with an emphasis on whānau living in homes in serious disrepair
• build capability and capacity in the sector, and
• increase the supply of affordable housing
The network will help whānau identify what their housing goals are, help them plan how to achieve these goals, and link them to the resources they need. That means connecting whānau to people with specialised housing experience and grants that may be available through the Network.
The activities of the Māori Housing Network complement the Government’s wider housing initiatives and contribute to the Government’s Māori Housing Strategy, He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tangata.