Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says, “The Māori Party supports the housing aspirations of whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori and that is why we have supported the Social Housing Reform (Transfer Mandate) Bill.”
“Māori want to provide social housing and we believe they will do a better job than the State. Ultimately it’s about Māori exercising their rangatiratanga,” she says.
Eight Māori groups from across the country have already registered to become Community Housing Providers (CHPs). Other iwi and Māori organisations are in the process of getting registered in order to realise these opportunities too.
“Tangata whenua groups around the country are already working relentlessly in their communities to provide whānau with affordable, safe and healthy homes. They’re developing papakāinga and building capability in the housing sector”, says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.
“We totally support those groups that are providing housing and other essential services to their communities in a way that best meets their specific needs.”
Mrs Fox says the growth of CHPs will challenge all other housing providers to lift their game.
“In my view, HCNZ is doing a poor job with a lot of our whānau. I deal with cases of HCNZ tenants all the time. If CHPs challenge public and private landlords to lift their standards then that’s a great outcome.”
The Government intends to sell no more than seven percent of the 64000 HCNZ houses it owns by 2017.
Mr Flavell says, “The State should still maintain primary responsibility for providing low-cost social housing but we welcome the opportunity for other CHPs to offer other housing options.”
“History has shown us that the most successful initiatives for Māori communities are driven by Māori communities themselves,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.