24 Feb 2014

New Caledonian housing delegation visits NZ

7:35 pm on 24 February 2014

A delegation from New Caledonia is in New Zealand to discuss how government housing can be tailored to better suit indigenous populations.

The head of the delegation, William Ihage, says it will exchange information with the Ministry of Business and Te Matapihi, the national Maori housing advocacy group.

Mr Ihage says the delegation will visit social housing projects, such as Pomare in Lower Hutt near Wellington, to talk to people who live there.

He says integrating indigenous values into an urban landscape is a priority in New Caledonia.

His words are translated.

"Many people have left their tribes and when they come to the cities and they live in these official social housing areas, they tend to sort of recreate the environment that they knew from the tribe. And social policies have been arranged from metropolitan France, and it just doesn't apply to New Caledonia. Local realities are different."

William Ihage says the delegation will also discuss issues surrounding collective land ownership.