National | Homeless

Change the Māori land laws: Marama Davidson

If iwi and hapū want to free up Māori land for housing development, then it needs to be a government priority, Associate Housing Minister (homelessness) Marama Davidson says.

Today, the government's target to build more homes has fallen short of its target to house the homeless, and the need for more remains critical.

Davidson says this is where Māori and iwi housing providers help with accommodation and support for Māori. At this year's  Waitangi celebrations she heard many hapu and iwi especially from Taitokerau saying they wanted to build on their own land.

“But the current laws for housing development is not working. Many hapū don’t have the money to build and house their families”, she says.

Today, the government added 1,000 more transitional housing places as part of the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan.

Government target

Its priority in housing the homeless is targeted at families with children to reduce child poverty and improve the wellbeing of all young people, following Stats NZ’s latest findings that child poverty is more than twice as likely to affect Māori, Pasifika, disabled tamariki than Pākehā.

The government also said 40 percent of transitional housing is newly built homes, which is part of the goal to deliver 18,000 public and transitional housing places by 2024.

Davidson says the Homelessness Action Plan in partnership with Kāhui Tū Kaha, a Ngāti Whātua organisation - has delivered 21 places and is about to open an extra 150 transitional housing properties within the next two months.

“They provide essential housing and mental health support services for households in Auckland and Whangarei.”