A $54 million social housing project has been launched today in the Auckland suburb of Waterview.
The project, a joint venture between Te Whānau o Waipareira (TWOW) and Ngāi Tai, will see TWOW build the housing complex on behalf of Housing New Zealand over a three year period.
There will be a mix of terrace and appartment block style homes and all housing will be rentals - with 120 houses available for state tenants.
Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere said elders blessed the turning of the soil for the building of the first houses.
"Housing in Auckland is unaffordable for the low incomes our people are on so we have to get our people into warm fit for purpose houses."
Mr Tamihere said the standard of rental housing was extraordinarily poor.
"The health of our children, and therefore the education of our children, is badly affected when they are off school, which impacts their parents when they are off work."
Māori trade trainees and apprentices from West Auckland will help to build the houses.
The first units will be completed in 2018.