Could the largest Pacific Island and Maori city in New Zealand be unintentionally white washed by Labour’s new affordable housing KiwiBuild project?
Banning foreign buyers will reduce demand and building 100 000 new houses is all very good for the children of the middle classes who have been squeezed out of home ownership, but the ugly truth is that Labour’s definition of ‘affordable’ at $600 000 is completely out of the grasp of most Māori and Pacific Islanders in Auckland.
Why does that matter?
Well with Labour in such a dominant position in terms of the political voice of Māoridom, the expectations and demands upon them are far greater and building 50 000 ‘affordable’ houses in Auckland that are out of reach for most Māori isn’t a solution.
Some Iwi are involved in social housing in Auckland, but they are falsely invested meaning they are mostly invested in the prime profit motives of the fully priced properties with a tiny pittance carved out for ‘social housing’.
This isn’t solving or helping ease the problem of housing affordability, it is actually exacerbating it and to date the previous Government’s social housing projects using profit as its motive have all been terrible and embarrassing failures.
What we need is an urban Māori Authority mandate for getting more Māori into home ownership. Over 25 years between 1991 and 2013, Māori and Pacific Island home ownership rates have plummeted 25% in Auckland. The Government Stats are grim…
Between 1986 and 2013, the proportion of New Zealand’s population living in dwellings not owned by the household increased from around one-quarter to over one-third of the population (24.8 percent to 36.3 percent) – up 46.4 percent. As home-ownership rates have declined, Māori and Pacific people have also been increasingly living in properties rented from private landlords, businesses, or a trust, rather than from other sources.
Since 1986, the proportion of Māori living in private rentals has increased more than for the total population (up 88.3 percent and 42.7 percent, respectively). The increase for Pacific people was 58.5 percent.
The falls in home ownership did not just occur in our largest cities. For Māori, falls were close to 40 percent in the Whangarei, Southern Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, and Hastings urban areas.
The decline in home-ownership rates for all Pacific people in Auckland was similar, down over 40 percent in Western and Southern Auckland.
…what we have here is a systemic poverty issue deeply rooted in colonialism which have left Māori and Pacific Islanders with less economic certainty than Pākeha.
Building more houses for the children of the middle classes is fine, and we should want those children to be able to buy homes in the city they live in, but Labour has a moral mandate to do far more for Māori and building $600 000 ‘affordable’ homes is not and can not be the solution to that mandate.