National | Budget 2024

Housing advocates looking for Budget plan to help whānau buy homes

Māori housing advocates are hoping this year’s Budget will provide direction as well as funding, to help more Māori families and first home buyers into their own homes.

Māori housing advocacy group Te Matapihi chair Ali Hamlin-Paenga says there are many projects where tools have been put down and housing developments have paused due to uncertainty over policy and funding.

She said true direction on how much resourcing would be injected into the sector had been a long time coming.

“Many of us in the housing sector are waiting for decisions, waiting for direction, waiting to understand how we can support this government to achieve the housing aspirations that we are hearing from them.”

She said there were many experienced Māori community housing providers and developers who were ready to pick up from where they left off to keep the momentum going. “

Now is the time to lift the gaze and shine the light on our Māori providers who understand what our Māori people need, and inject some resource into them to allow them to do what they need to do.”

“We can deliver, we know how to deliver and we can deliver for all, not just Māori.”

Hamlin-Paenga said the ability to build on Māori land was an important part of the housing system that nobody had got right yet, and wouldn’t happen until the right people were at the decisionmaking table. She said there also needed to be a balance between delivering social housing and helping Māori into first home ownership.

“Sometimes the narrative is that social housing is enough for Maori. What it should be is a start because, as we know, there are more of us on the housing register, and that register does not necessarily capture the various types of homelessness; the people who are living in overcrowded situations, they are still homeless.”