Māori housing ownership stats cause for concern
Māori home ownership is at an all-time low of just 28%, half the rate for non-Māori which sits at around 57%.
The sobering finding was part of an independent report released by the government today.
Minister of Housing, Phil Twyford says the government has come with a suite of measures to increase Māori ownership.
“I'm working very closely with Minister Mahuta on a Māori housing strategy that will sit within the overall New Zealand housing strategy.”
Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says one of the key findings is to eliminate barriers to building on Māori land.
“He take anō ki a rātou e hiahia ana te hoki atu ki ō rātou nei whenua, kia whakamāmāngia me kī te āhuatanga ki te hanga papakāinga, he tauira kei waenganui i a mātou mō tērā huarahi.”
Māori housing advocate, Rau Hoskings of Te Matapihi says knowing basic facts is the key to addressing the problem
“This is a big ship to turn around, it's encouraging that the government at least wants to face the facts and actually commission the facts.”
But Bill English and National are ignoring the report.
“The report's completely unnecessary. Look it's bound to be doom and gloom otherwise the government wouldn't have been bringing it in.”
Twyford also says the government believes that KiwiBuild is a solution to this issue.
“We're determined to make sure that Māori whānau get the benefits of the KiwiBuild homeownership programme. Like Pasifika communities, Māori, have been hammered by the housing crisis and we've seen Māori ownership drop to less than half the rate of the general population.”
Although Hoskings supports that strategy, he has another idea.
“We've advocated for a long time now the desirability of having a Māori housing one-stop shop - a place where people can go to sort out emergency repairs, a place where people can go to look at how to begin to plan for developments on their own whenua.”
According to Twyford, there's also a desire from the government to work with iwi and different groups.
“There are huge opportunities to partner with iwi and other Māori organisations - particularly in development.”