Politics | Housing

PM on housing, rongoā Māori bill and tourism recovery

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been busy in the past few weeks; the Queen’s funeral in the UK, war in Europe and concerns in the Pacific. At home, she spruiked a report on the government's $30 million Healthy Homes Initiative, even as an Māori advocate for housing said that the issues with whānau and homes were increasing.

Talking to teaomā, Ardern said the Healthy Homes Initiative had resulted in a 20% decrease in hospitalisations for whānau, so better homes and less pressure on the health system.

On the homeless living in motels, “these are only intended to be temporary measures,” she said.

“We have seen a reduction in some areas on the waiting list and a reduction in motel use. We’ve just got to make sure we have that effect everywhere.”

The PM weighs in on this week's political issues.

The tourism sector is expected to recover over the next few months, and international arrival numbers are expected to surge through the country’s now open borders, including from the UK, the US and Europe.

Ardern said the government was working on increasing worker numbers, employing workers from afar and locally, having decent wages in those jobs and making a comeback “sustainably”.

A petition has recently been made to Parliament to prevent rongoā Māori from being monitored under the Therapeutic Products Bill, and for tangata whenua to have tino rangatiratanga of the practice under Article 2 of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Ardern said she wanted to ensure knowledge, safety and consent were paramount.

“That’s what these kinds of regulatory frameworks are all about ensuring: safety for the practitioner but also the consumer.”