Solutions sought to build on Māori land

By Leah Te Whata

A solution to the struggle of getting finance to build on Māori land may be near.

Iwi, financial and legal experts, banking sector representatives and Māori housing providers gathered in Auckland today to find a way forward.

He Korowai Trust CEO Ricky Houghton says, "Māori home ownership is at its lowest levels of all time and it's getting worse.  In terms of investing homeownership to a lot of families, it will kick start inter-generational financial prosperity, it'll give them a landing place, it'll allow them to reconnect their umbilical cord back to their whānau, back to their whenua and back to their futures."

The last Census showed Māori home ownership was at 28%. 

The CEO of host group Te Matapihi, Rau Hoskins says one outcome of the conference will be a policy brief paper to be presented to the government.

Te Matapihi He Tirohanga Mō Te Iwi CEO Rau Hoskins says, "We are optimistic that with the ingredients that we've got in the room, we'll get some real quality directives for policy development."

He says government buy-in is needed in order to remove barriers to financing housing development on Māori land.

"This time next year if we can see some Māori housing finance products released by the government and supported by the finance sector that'll show the success of the day."

The policy brief is expected to be produced on 31 August.