Productivity Commision: Affordable Housing - a focus on Māori Issues

This document highlights the Commission’s findings and recommendations most relevant to Māori aspirations for warm, safe, healthy and affordable housing – rural and urban, on general or Māori title land.

A house is more than just a roof over our heads our homes are where our whānau gather, and housing is important for our health and well-being, and for the development of tamariki.

For many Māori communities, housing is valued more for keeping whānau connected to land, tradition, tūpuna, and whanaunga, than as a financial investment. This is not to say that Māori are never interested in housing for financial reasons, but housing solutions for Māori will sometimes need to be different, particularly in areas of traditional settlement.

The aspirations Māori have for housing are challenged by the lower household incomes and lower financial literacy of many Māori. Financial literacy education was emphasised to the Commission as an important part of any solution to Māori housing needs, especially if a community development approach is taken.

It was emphasised to the Commission that the social and cultural resources Māori have are as important as financial resources, and that in combination, these could enable Māori to overcome the barriers they faced to affordable housing solutions. The Commission is persuaded that this is a realistic approach.