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Rent to Buy does nothing when it comes to Maori housing

NZ Maori Council says Greens plan for Rent to Buy does nothing when it comes to Maori housing

“What we would like to see is every one of our people owning their own home – free of the rental market.” Said Matthew Tukaki, Executive Director of the Maori Council.

The Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council has told a hui in Wellington that the Greens Rent to Buy Scheme is akin to economic madness and that “these sorts of schemes could well end up costing more than they are worth with very little in terms of return.”

“The reality is that this is not a long-term solution to those in the low wage growth side of the economy nor is it a solution for those who struggle day to day to pay current market rents in our major urban centers. What it fails to do is address the underlying issue with a credible pathway to home ownership – that includes typically low wage growth across the low skills side of the economy and the fact that many people cannot currently keep up with the cost of living. What happens when you cannot afford to keep up with the rent in a rent to buy model? You get your house taken of you.” Tukaki said

“When it comes to Maori, we know that home ownership rates are low so where do we go from here? If the Greens had any economic credibility, which they don’t, then we would instead be having a discussion about building something meaningful that address everything in one foul swoop.” Tukaki said.

For Maori what would work is a national Maori Housing Authority where we could begin really taking a look at the ownership structure of Maori land, the business and capital case for building more homes and houses as well as more targeted forms of co-investment into building the housing base.” Tukaki said

“I’ll give you an example. While there may well have been a single owner of a parcel of Maori land a hundred years later there may be over a hundred or more. In other words, the type and profile of that number of landowners inhibits the development of that land not just around the decision making process but also the ability to raise capital to build.” Tukaki said

“By pulling everything under a Maori Housing Authority, including the Papakainga investments, we can also look at the shift of housing stock currently owned by the Crown into iwi or hapu ownership. Address the challenges of access to finance, build a strong financial literacy base and take on the complexity of Maori land ownership.” Tukaki said

“So I ask the Greens to release the economic modelling to support the policy – lets not go into any of this blindly – instead lets have a good crack at the underlying problems associated with home ownership. What we would like to see is every one of our people owning their own home – free of the rental market.” Tukaki said

ends

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