Report into Māori homelessness doesn't go far enough

Māori housing advocates have renewed calls for the establishment of a Māori housing authority following the release of a Waitangi Tribunal report into Māori homelessness. The report identifies breaches of the Treaty and a roadmap for improvements.

The stage one report of the Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa Inquiry on Māori Homelessness or Wai 2750, has been welcomed by Māori housing advocates but they want more action.

One of the report's significant findings is an acknowledgement of the Crown's inability to adequately respond to Māori homelessness, emphasising the importance of continued efforts to ensure solutions correspond with Treaty standards and commitments.

The report emphasises the importance of agency coordination, which it says is currently lacking and requires immediate attention but stops short of suggesting the establishment of a Māori housing authority.

"It's 2023... Really?"

Hurimoana Dennis, who heads the efforts of Te Puea Marae to address homelessness, says it's a start but that's all it is.

"As of last week there were 650 people we have put into homes. That's 202 whānau units. That's a lot of whānau bro.

"The Ministry of Housing and Development, the Ministry of Social Development and Kāinga Ora, which are government departments, aren't working together."

Dennis also challenged the tribunal's decision to not recommend a Māori housing authority.

"The taumata Māori is the only way that can happen. Having the three agencies at the same table with our Māori leaders, so we can do end-to-end. But right now I do worry that a lot of it is up for [government] 'discretion', could be, maybe, possibly we will look at that"

"I do worry. Because it's not do this, do this, do this, it's going to be left for [government] interpretation. Koira te tino āwangawanga. The people doing the interpretation. Kei reira rā, kei Poneke."