7 Nov 2013

Rules relaxed on loans to build on ancestral land

8:02 pm on 7 November 2013

The Government has lifted some of the barriers blocking Maori from building whare on ancestral land.

It has made changes to some of the policies governing the Kainga Whenua Loan and Kainga Whenua Infrastructure Grants.

Associate Housing Minister Tariana Turia says the old rules were restrictive. She says before, a house had to be re-locatable, but they can now be constructed on a concrete slab - which is a lot cheaper than building on piles.

Ms Turia says Maori weren't allowed to borrow enough money, and the criteria stated that applicants must not have previously had a home loan. However, she says those guidelines have now been wiped.

Ms Turia says Kiwibank is offering the loans and other banks may join.