Associate Minister of Housing Tariana Turia today announced the establishment of a National MÄori Housing Unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) to co-ordinate strategic MÄori housing policy across government.
The MÄori Housing Unit will also support the implementation of He Whare Ahuru He Oranga Tangata – The MÄori Housing Strategy which was announced recently. This strategy sets out six directions for improvement in MÄori housing over the next 10 years.
“The establishment of the MÄori Housing Unit is another step in the Government’s plan to improve housing for MÄori, who more than other New Zealanders are affected by overcrowding, substandard housing and low levels of home ownership,” says Minister Turia.
The MÄori Housing Unit will in turn be supported by a MÄori Housing Reference Group made up of MÄori business and housing practitioner experts.
“I am also announcing today that the funding provided by the Government through the KÄinga Whenua Infrastructure Grant and the MÄori Housing Fund to support MÄori housing development will be administered by the North Island WhÄnau Ora Commissioning Agency Te Pou Matakana,” says Mrs Turia.
“This organisation is working at a grass roots level to help meet the needs of whÄnau and families and provide the right kind of support that enables them to realise their potential.
“We want to see more MÄori organisations involved in building houses, managing rental tenancies, providing affordable rentals and developing home ownership programmes for MÄori whÄnau.
“By incorporating the WhÄnau Ora approach to include housing needs, whÄnau and families can achieve realistic goals. Te Pou Matakana is well placed to work with MÄori organisations to help deliver this vision.
“Our future direction must be driven by strategies in which Government and MÄori can work closely together to achieve mutual interests. The Productivity Commission concluded that WhÄnau Ora was the ‘best fit’ approach for Government to progress MÄori housing aspirations.
“Today’s announcements, combined with the Government’s social housing reforms, the right of first refusal over surplus land as a result of Treaty settlements and the transfer of Housing New Zealand homes to community housing providers are designed to give MÄori more control over how best to meet their housing needs,” says Mrs Turia.