“Housing is one of the key issues leading into the next election not just for Maori but for all New Zealanders. That is why we need to address housing affordability and why so many of our people are still unable to get on the ownership ladder. But its more than that; its homelessness, it’s the plight of our people in their later years and why lack of secure housing can often lead to downward spiral. Safe and secure housing is a human right that we would all do well to remember – especially our politicians.” Matthew Tukaki, Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council
The New Zealand Maori Council has bought on a national gathering of Maori from across the country as it fights to address the lack of affordable safe and secure housing. As part of its Housing Claim in the Waitangi Tribunal, the National gathering will take place at Papakura Marae on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of March attended by senior Ministers, Maori organisations and representative groups, the building and construction sectors and those Maori with a lived experience of the system:
“We know that we have a housing crisis and we also know that the factors around housing affordability in key rental markets, the ability of our people to save for a home and the rising tide of homelessness is having a major impact in the Te Ao Maori world. We have our people sleeping on the streets, in their cars or couch surfing with relatives. We have our people who are on the lower side of the wage growth part of the economy and its not just those on benefits its also people I would argue are part of the growing poor in Aotearoa.” Tukaki said
“The gathering will focus on solutions and new models of housing – from kaumatua and papalkainga housing, unlocking Maori land through financial support to whanau, iwi and hapu, looking at current models and how those programs can reach scalability. But its also about testing the Government housing policies where more often funding is deficient. For example a community may only be provided for capital to build five homes, yet they applied for twenty builds but really need to build fifty.” Tukaki said
“Then there is the recent announcement by National Leader, Simon Bridges who has announced winding back rental sector reforms – it would take an absolute fool to know that winding back those rules is not the answer and yet National don’t themselves have a current housing policy to address the issues.” Tukaki said
“What we need is action and I expect that the hundreds of people that will attend the national housing hui at Papakura Marae on the 20th to the 22nd will unlock more answers and solutions.” Tukaki said.