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More Taranaki Māori are expected to become homeowners thanks to a new programme

The first official Ngāruahine iwi participants in Ka Uruora, a new financial literacy programme, have graduated.

In addition to offering a programme and resources for financial literacy, Ka Uruora also aids whānau Māori in buying homes in cooperation with other Taranaki iwi.

A Ngāruahine participant and graduate of the programme, Corey Tito, says the knowledge he has gained from this programme has given him confidence in his own finances and pathway to home ownership.

“Knowledge is power - you don’t know what you don’t know. So, coming along to something like this, the fact that it’s run by the iwi certainly helps," Tito says.

"So, you’ve got real people with real experiences and that gives you hope that you’ve got the ability and the opportunities there to become a homeowner," he says.

Te Korowai o Ngāruahine Trust tumu whakarae Te Aorangi Dillon says the programme is by Māori for Māori and normalises financial literacy and debt management at the dinner table with and for whānau.

“This is about our people having access to education at a ground level and not leaving it for those who have come from generational resource," Te Aorangi says.

"This is a programme that shows us that we can all thrive if we have the same access to education,” she says.

The Ngaruahine uri facilitator of Ka Uruora, Ritihia Waller, says she aspires to break down barriers of access for whānau Māori to financial literacy and build their capacity and capability by teaching in a language that everyday Māori whānau understand.

"I think it makes the goal more realistic for whānau' because I think sometimes it’s quite daunting out there thinking ‘I could never own a home and I’m not in a position to own a home,” Waller says.

“This akoranga is vital as a stepping stone for whānau," she says.

Waller hopes more families will sign up for the programme as Tito did, so they can learn simple strategies for navigating the financial and house ownership pathways with more assurance.

“The biggest benefit I’ve taken away is having more faith in my own spending. I think I was being quite rough on myself but I think I’m in a pretty good position overall," Tito says.

For more information about Ka Uruora, visit its website here.

Public Interest Journalism