"The Governments rough-shod approach to social housing in Auckland has forced the Minister to clarify and uphold his Treaty Settlement obligations to Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui," says Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.
“While it's a positive undertaking for Ngati Whatua and the Tamaki Collective, Nick Smith cannot simply pass the buck to iwi to pick up a core obligation for providing affordable, healthy state homes.
“The Government needs to do more. The Minister must consult with iwi and make it absolutely clear that this will happen prior to offers to private commercial stakeholders.
"In a post-settlement context iwi are seeking to engage on a number of critical issues and housing provision is an important matter for tribal members.
"Housing supply and affordability issues in Auckland make the prospect of home ownership a distant dream but iwi involvement may just lift Maori whanau over that hurdle.
"Labour remains vigilant about the Government partnering with iwi post-settlement because National and the Māori Party cannot be trusted to fight for the interests of the most vulnerable."