New Zealand Labour Party

Minister in denial over Pacific home ownership fall

As long as the Minister of Pacific Peoples continues to deny that Pacific families have had the greatest home-ownership falls under his Government’s watch, nothing serious will be done to fix the housing crisis, says Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

 “Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has to stop his gamesmanship with denials, excuses and blaming everyone else except his Government for ignoring the housing crisis.

“The Household Net Worth Statistics report speaks loud and clear of the growing inequality gap between Pacific people and the rest of New Zealand. Pacific people’s average net worth of $12,000 is nine times lower than the average net worth for the European population at $114,000. This is largely due to falling home ownership rates for Pacific people. 

“These facts are supported by Statistics New Zealand who said that ‘Pacific people have the greatest home ownership falls’ from 34.8 per cent to 18.5 per cent. 

“We see it in our communities with families struggling to cope with increased rents, and more and more families living in garages, emergency housing, or in overcrowded boarding houses - once the realm of seasonal workers, couples without children, released offenders and those with mental illnesses. 

“The constant flow of evictions from Housing New Zealand is literally forcing people into homelessness and overloading limited emergency housing places. 

“If we don’t put a stop to these falling home ownership rates and increasing homelessness for Pacific people, inequality will widen as the poor will get poorer and the rich get richer. 

“These grim statistics are a direct consequence of the National government’s policies and will change when there is a change in government,” says Su’a William Sio.