Speaking notes for Housing New Zealand Māori Housing Network

He Mihi

  •  E ngā maunga whakahī, e ngā uri whakatipu o ngā moana me ngā awa tapu o te motu nei tēnā koutou. 
  • E te hunga kua riro ki te pō, kua riro ki te kāpunipunitanga o te wairua. Kua mihia, kua tangihia rātou, nō reira ko te whakatau noa ake, ko rātou ki a rātou, ko tātou ki a tātou. Nō reira, tēnā tātou katoa.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

  • “Ka mate kāinga tahi, ka ora kāinga rua” – this whakatauki highlights the resilience of Māori in traditional times.  An interpretation of this proverb is as that if the first home is no longer able to sustain the whānau, another can and must be created, so that wellbeing can be maintained. 
  • It speaks to the importance to whānau of a home, not just as bricks and mortar, but home as a pillar of whānau development and community wellbeing – he kāinga ora.
  • That whakatauki has taken on new relevance as resiliency is needed more than ever.
  • But we know that ‘kāinga ora’ is not necessarily the reality for a lot of our whānau and communities - you know from the work you do every day, that many whānau Māori have serious housing challenges.
  • I would like to paint a broad picture of what we are doing to improve Māori housing, to help set the context for today’s hui.

Today’s kaupapa

 

  • This wananga is an opportunity for all to connect as Māori and discuss the goal of setting up network to benefit staff – which in turn will benefit the work you do, and the communities we serve.
  • Today is a space for whakawhanaungatanga, for thinking about the present and considering the future as you look to soon become a new organisation: Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

Māori housing aspirations

 

  • What do we know about Māori aspirations for housing?
  • We know that Māori have housing aspirations along the whole housing continuum – from whānau wanting to access healthy, affordable homes through to iwi and rōpū looking for development opportunities. As well as provision of wraparound services and support for whānau.
  • We know that healthy, secure and affordable housing is essential to the wellbeing of Māori and non-Māori alike.
  • We all know that wellbeing of whānau and individuals is essential for thriving communities and economic development, over successive generations.
  • We know that Māori require fit-for purpose responses – one size does not fit us all.
  • To meet those aspirations, to lift whānau and Māori wellbeing, is going to take system-wide approach and changes in housing and urban development.

 

Government focus on Māori housing

  • Government is working towards a cohesive, co-ordinated strategy for housing over the next 20 years, including Māori housing.
  • Government has identified six focus areas for the Māori Housing Work Programme. We are working to:
    • maximise opportunities to partner with Māori in the delivery and development of housing
    • ensure engagement with Māori across all housing work that impacts upon Māori
    • facilitate home ownership for whānau Māori
    • ensure that housing design and quality reflects Māori needs and aspirations
    • prevent and respond to Māori homelessness, through a kaupapa Maori approach
    • make sure  housing on Māori land happens.

Māori housing initiatives – Iwi/Māori Partnerships

 

  • We cannot make these changes alone. This is why the Government is taking a partnership approach with iwi and Māori.
  • I want to highlight one initiative that I believe will both help us ‘shift the dials’ on housing supply and support Māori aspirations.  
  • Earlier this week I attended the opening of the first show home for the Te Puna Wai development in Wainui-o-mata. This housing community led by Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika is an example of the kind of innovative development that we want to support.
  • The Iwi and Māori Partnership Programme which we have initiated enables us to take an integrated cross-agency focus to progress opportunities for new housing supply by and for iwi and Māori.
  • Currently iwi and Māori groups who want to develop housing, particular mixed-tenure developments, have to navigate multiple channels and processes to access government support.
  •  The programme that has been initiated is a joint agency initiative with Housing New Zealand, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and Te Puni Kōkiri.
  • Government agencies and partners are working alongside iwi and Māori to understand the opportunities and challenges of delivering new housing supply on Māori owned land.
  • On the ground projects will test this approach to delivering new housing supply, and will be reviewed and adjusted as valuable lessons are learnt.
  • I believe this engagement approach will build a pipeline of partnerships and housing projects to increase new housing by and for iwi and Māori.

Māori housing initiatives – kaupapa Māori

  • We are also supporting the development of Te Ao Māori centred responses – designed for Māori and to be delivered by rōpū Māori.
  • We have already seen innovative projects, such as the ‘Kaupapa Māori framework’ to respond to the cultural and spiritual needs of Māori, developed by the Auckland Housing First collective.
  • I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge Kāhui Tū Kaha, a Ngāti Whātua organisation which not only delivers the Housing First programme, but is helping build the capability of other iwi throughout New Zealand to deliver the programme.
  • We have also been gathering the voices of many providers working at the front line to inform our development to embed Kaupapa Māori approaches in developing a national action plan to tackle homelessness.

 

  • You will have heard in the last week that the Government has announced new initiatives to help more New Zealanders into homeownership through its KiwiBuild reset.
  • Some of you may have been involved in developing the reset, and we value your work.
  • By making improvements to the Government build programme, we can get more New Zealanders into warm, dry, secure homes whether they be public, rental or affordable KiwiBuild homes.
  • The reset includes:
    • New ways for people to become home owners, such as shared-ownership schemes
    • Boosting supply by building more homes where they are needed
    • Letting friends and family join their $10,000 deposit assistance together
    • Reducing to 5% the deposit required for a government-backed mortgage
    • Reducing the amount developers receive for triggering the government underwrite rather than selling to KiwiBuild buyers.

How the Maori staff network is contributing to better Māori housing outcomes

 

  • Many here today are on the frontline and you know the complexity of the issues.  You hold a wealth of experience about issues that Māori face.  Our voice is important in these changing workspaces.
  • I know how important it is to strengthen networks and support staff to bring their whole self and their whakapapa to work, so we can grow connections that positively improve services and how they are delivered. 
  • When staff bring their diversity, such as a lived Māori world view, into the workplace, this adds a dimension that can realise benefits for Māori and whanau, and to Aotearoa.
  • Housing New Zealand has worked to provide opportunities for Māori to flourish.  Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities will continue this, but with new opportunities.  It will build not only homes but communities.
  • The Government is committed to supporting Maori staff to be leaders in the public service and support Māori in leadership and decision-making roles is key to this success.
  • Growing this network will help build capability, which in turn will help you and your organisation engage with Māori whānau and communities in a meaningful way.
  • As our tipuna said, 'E kore e taea e te whenu kōtahi te whāriki te raranga' — 'one strand alone will not weave a tapestry'. By working together as who we are, we will achieve more.

Conclusion

  • It has taken us a long time to get to the point we are at with Māori housing, it will not be a short journey to change the course of the past.
  • Māori have an opportunity to re-shape and drive the future of the Māori housing continuum and change what the statistics tell us today.
  • The housing and urban system-wide changes we are making can provide for Māori aspirations and allow whānau to live in a way that connects them to their identity, language and culture, their whenua and whakapapa.
  • This Government is committed to putting the wellbeing of all at the heart of what it does, and you all have an opportunity to consider how we can make a real difference, as Māori, for Māori.
  • The challenge is big, and we need to come up with solutions together.
  • Thank you for your mahi and your dedication to serving some of our most vulnerable whanau.
  • I wish you well for the rest of your journey towards re-establishing the Māori Staff Network.
  • Nō reira e āku rangatira, tēnā koutou katoa.  Pai Mārire.