INDEPENDENT NEWS

Maori Party commends bold action on social housing

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2011 09:39 PM
The Hon Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru
18 November 2011
Maori Party Co-leader, Tariana Turia, has praised the initiative of Ngati Whatua, Ngai Tahu, the Committee for Auckland and the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development on their bold vision in getting things moving in the Social Housing sector.
“The Maori Party will always support initiatives which come from the people, for the people, and the development that has emerged out of the Social Affordable Housing Hui held in Auckland this week is an excellent example of local leadership to the fore”.
“Aotearoa is currently confronted by the twin challenges of affordability and supply.
It is exciting to see our iwi coming together, engaging with community leaders and commercial agencies, to focus on the one goal of social housing outcomes”.
“The Maori Party is delighted to see the initiative and the enthusiasm expressed in this collaboration, to engage in commercially viable housing projects with sustainable social outcomes”.
“Having whanau members scattered in separate households, dependent on state or council rental housing, is far from ideal.
“Our policy thrust is focusing on improving living standards (insulating homes to make them warmer, healthier and cheaper to heat); moving people from being being tenants to owners (rent-to-buy) and emphasizing community housing designed and built in partnership with whanau, hapu and iwi”.
“But most of all, the Maori Party supports whanau taking control over how they live, and having the support in place to ensure their cultural, social and economic needs are met.
“We welcome the initiative taken by iwi to come together with others and move from the rhetoric of deficit to a focus on development”.
“It’s about being solutions-focused - inviting all of us to enter into the challenge of sharing our visions; being innovative about the funding models and the partnerships that we need to develop, to advance”.
“The Maori Party is certainly willing to step up to the plate and our 2011 Policy indicates our commitment to exploring new options for affordable social housing”.
Housing
We need to strengthen whānau capacity to identify housing solutions; improve agency capability to respond, and address homelessness, overcrowding and substandard housing.
• Devolve state housing to Māori and Pasifika community groups for whānau to purchase their own homes, including a rent-to-own scheme.
• Assessments for housing need of rentals undertaken by Housing NZ to be inclusive of whānau, e.g. accounting for health, social, cultural and economic wellbeing.
• We will promote the Lifemark design as a quality standard to ensure houses are accessible, usable and easy to adapt as people’s needs change over time.
• Direct the Social Housing Unit to respond to the Auditor General’s report into better utilisation of Māori land to support whānau initiatives into housing; including building on Māori land in multiple ownership.
• We will better match support available including a review of Kāinga Whenua loans and Māori Demonstration Partnership funds, to assist more Māori into affordable housing on their own land.
• Review adequacy of the accommodation supplement.
• Encourage whānau designed housing.

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