1 Nov 2022

Govt partnership with Māori aims to fund up to 100 homes in Te Tai Tokerau

12:57 pm on 1 November 2022
Peeni Henare

Associate Housing Minister Peeni Henare said housing needs across Te Tai Tokerau were huge. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The government has signed a $55 million partnership with Māori providers which it says will build up to 100 homes Te Tai Tokerau.

The deal with Te Pouahi o Te Tai Tokerau - a collective of iwi, hapū and Ahu Whenua Trusts - would fund between 80 and 100 affordable rental homes and prepare infrastructure on 110 sites by the end of June in 2025.

Associate Housing Minister Peeni Henare said the partnership was a novel approach with providers who knew where houses were needed.

"If you look across Te Tai Tokerau the needs are huge," Henare said, with particular challenges in parts of Hokianga where there is no infrastructure.

"It needs to be targeted in a way that is able to sustain it.

"There's no point promising houses, places with no infrastructure, until we get the infrastructure built."

Ultimately it was up to Te Pouahi o Te Tai Tokerau, with the iwi, hāpu and other groups, to make sure they had good models of dispersing and distributing, he said.

He said the region was facing difficulties in supply of materials.

"In the Far North, it's hard to get supplies to some of the far reaches of the north so they're up for a huge challenge. But I'm confident they can do it."

Te Pouahi o Te Taitokerau chair Pita Tipene said the housing crisis was so bad in the region some people were forced to live in milk sheds or shelter under park benches.

The funding comes from $730 million for 1000 new Māori homes announced in last year's Budget.