25 Jul 2012

Eyes cast on Maori Trustee's cash cache

6:32 am on 25 July 2012

Maori are lobbying the Government to allow the Maori Trustee to release funds for housing.

Associate Housing Minister Tariana Turia has been approached by a delegation that attended the World Indigenous Housing Conference in Vancouver last month.

Victoria Kingi of the Nga Potiki Treaty Settlement Trust was among the 35 people who represented Aotearoa in Canada - and also had the ear of the Minister.

She says they put forward a suggestion that money from the interest earned by the Maori Trustee - from land leases - is released to build properties for Maori.

A housing group, the Coalition to End Homelessness, has also been challenging a the Maori Trustee to release funds to help more Maori own their own home.

Trustee Jamie Tuuta has already told Te Manu Korihi that his organisation is looking at potentially unlocking money - but has warned the fund isn't huge.

The Maori Trustee is in charge of managing more than 100,000 hectares of Maori land.