He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tāngata – the Māori Housing Strategy

He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tāngata – the Māori Housing Strategy was released by the Associate Minister of Housing, Hon Tariana Turia on 1 July 2014.

He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tāngata sets out six directions to improve Māori housing over the period 2014 to 2025. It aims to support two major outcomes:

  • Improving housing for Māori and their whānau
  • Increasing housing choices for Māori by growing the Māori housing sector.

The first three directions set out the opportunities open to Māori and their whānau to improve their housing situation. The remaining three directions set out the opportunities for Māori organisations to create more housing choices for Māori.

 A summary of the six directions, as well as links to useful information, are outlined below. 

Improving housing for Māori and their whānau

Direction 1: Ensure the most vulnerable Māori have secure tenure, and access to safe, quality housing with integrated support services.

This direction focuses on those who are most seriously disadvantaged in terms of housing because they struggle to maintain stable tenure or because of their complex needs. The Action Areas relate to tenancy education and support, integration of tenancy management into wrap around services and the development of new housing options based on Māori values.

Direction 2: Improve the quality of housing for Māori communities

This direction discusses the links between housing and health and safety. It describes the government programmes available to improve the quality of housing including increasing insulation and improving housing conditions related to the high incidence of rheumatic fever. It also describes the assistance available to home owners to make essential repairs to their houses.

Direction 3: Support Māori and their whanau to transition to preferred housing choices

This direction focuses on the opportunities available to Māori to make choices about the type of housing they live in. These include the support available to Housing New Zealand Corporation tenants to move to alternative accommodation and how to prepare for home ownership. Government assistance available for home ownership through mainstream programmes and those targeted at Māori is set out in He Whare Āhuru.

Increasing housing choices by growing the Māori housing sector

Direction 4: Increase the amount of social housing provided by Māori organisations

This direction sets out the opportunity for Māori organisations to become registered as community housing providers and receive tenants attracting income related rent, if they contract with the Ministry of Social Development. Community housing providers also have the opportunity to partner with iwi, land trusts or other land-holding Māori organisations that want social housing on their land but do not want to become landlords.

Direction 5: Increase housing on Māori owned land

Developing housing on Māori land has special value for many Māori. However there are numerous barriers to building housing on Māori land including planning restrictions. This direction highlights the recommendations made in a 2011 report from the Controller and Auditor General, Government Planning and Support for Housing on Māori land. These recommendations focus on a coordinated approach by local authorities and central government to make it easier to build on Māori land. This direction also recognises that significant growth in housing development led by Māori will depend on their ability to access not only government funding but also private sector capital.

Direction 6: Increase large scale housing developments involving Māori organisations

This direction sets out the opportunities for Māori organisations to be more involved in large scale developments for social and affordable housing. These large scale projects, and new construction in provincial and rural areas, could provide opportunities for Māori to further develop their building and trade skills.