New Minister and Unit for Māori housing

To improve housing opportunities for Māori, a dedicated Māori Housing Unit will be established and Minister Nanaia Mahuta will be appointed the Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development (Māori Housing) to lead it, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today.

The Unit is being established within the new Ministry for Housing and Urban Development.

Phil Twyford said the Māori home ownership rate is only 43 per cent compared to 63% for the general population, Māori make up 36 per cent of public housing tenants yet comprise just under 15 per cent of the general population, and Māori are five times more likely than Pakeha to be homeless.

“These statistics are not acceptable to our Government. We are committed to making sure our policies deliver for Māori, through Kiwibuild, building more public housing, and ending homelessness.

“But we also recognise Māori can be and are already part of the solutions.

“Our Government is taking a collaborative approach with Māori organisations in a number of areas, including partnering to provide Housing First services for the chronically homeless.

“Partnerships with iwi and rōpū Māori are also becoming a significant feature of the KiwiBuild programme. As Treaty settlements are completed, iwi are increasingly looking to invest their land and capital in developments that will supply much needed housing. The Land for Housing programme currently has, or is working on, 11 agreements in partnership with iwi for potentially 2,260 KiwiBuild units.

“We also know that 13 per cent of those households who have enough income to service a mortgage on a KiwiBuild home are Māori households, which roughly reflects the Māori share of the general population. Whānau are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that KiwiBuild offers. We are also working on ways to broaden the pool of first home buyers to include more Māori households including looking for inspiration at schemes led by non-government organisations, such as the shared equity programme Te Tumu Kāinga has provided at the Waimahia Inlet development and others.                                                                                    

“This is just the start. I’m excited about what we can achieve together, under the helm of Minister Mahuta,” Phil Twyford said.