The Government continues to move away from the state’s obligation to provide social housing for those most in need, says Labour’s Maori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.
“Today's launch of He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tāngata Māori Housing Strategy is an indication that much of the cost of social housing will be passed onto Maori or Iwi organisations.
“This out-sourcing of the state’s responsibility to put a decent roof over the heads of those who are struggling financially follows Census data showing Maori are only half as likely to own their own home as Pākehā.
“That Maori are twice as likely as Pākehā face the trials of renting: uninsulated damp cold homes, rising rents and the risk of being evicted at any time. This is tough on our whānau and stops our tamariki getting a decent start in life.
“After talking up the possibilities of iwi and Maori community organisations becoming housing providers, those organisations have been left empty handed. The Government has failed to put money on the table to help them build up their housing stock. And in the case of the Flaxmere project, the Government has started selling off local Housing NZ homes without consultation.
“The utilisation of Treaty settlement lands for housing purposes will respond to the needs of distinct groups of tribal members. However, this is no substitute for the Government meeting its obligation to those most in need of affordable state housing.
“Labour will work to reduce the impediments on Maori land that prevent successful utilisation for initiatives like papakainga housing. We will also increase the social housing stock and find innovative ways to partner with iwi to increase the range of housing development opportunities,” Nanaia Mahuta says.