30 May 2012

Marae to help buy all state homes in Flaxmere

3:25 pm on 30 May 2012

A marae in one of the most economically deprived areas of the country plans to buy all the state houses there.

Te Aranga marae in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere is asking Housing New Zealand if it can purchase all its 317 properties.

Marae chairman Henare O'Keefe says poor families in the community will then be helped to buy the houses.

Mr O'Keefe told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme that he is sick and tired of the community being obligated to the state and wants the scheme to be completely independent from the Government.

He said the aim is to not only provide financial responsibility, but social responsibility as well.

Mr O'Keefe is also a Hastings District Council member and youth worker.