The Government needs to take urgent action to reverse plummeting Maori homeownership rates which have fallen by 20 per cent since 1986, says Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri.
“Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today make for grim reading.
“National’s refusal to address the housing crisis is exacerbating this decline which will affect Maori for generations to come.
“We are seeing more and more of our whanau in desperate situations; living in cars and garages or sharing homes with a number of other families.
“Some of those renting are living in substandard properties which are making them and their kids sick. Preventable illnesses such as rheumatic fever cause life-long health complications.
“Maori are at the sharp end of the housing crisis. This must change if our people are to have a better future.
“The Government must take meaningful action now, not continue to tinker around the edges with minor changes.
“National should embark on a massive state-backed affordable house building programme and crack down on speculators that are driving up house prices. Instead of selling-off state houses, National should buy more,” Meka Whaitiri says.