The Government will give $1 million to Papakura Marae in Auckland to build six kaumātua flats.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement at the marae this morning as hundreds of Aucklanders waited in line for food parcels.
That reality was brought home when someone in the line shouted out to Ms Ardern while she was waiting for formalities to begin, "We're pohara!" which means, "We're poor".
Inside the whare the welcome was warm as kaumātua praised her for trying to build a fairer society.
Ms Ardern said she was looking forward to speaking to those families. The statistics show the market had failed Māori, who are less likely to own their own home and five times more likely to be homeless, she pointed out.
"We know that our Māori community members, our Māori whanau, are doing it the toughest when it comes to housing," Ms Ardern told the crowd. "That over-representation is an indictment for us as a nation.
"The housing market has failed our people."
She said the kaumātua flats were a start in trying to change that situation.