$27mil announced for marae and housing

By Aroha Treacher

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell paid a visit to Waipatu Marae in Hastings today to announce a $27 million housing and marae package, designed to get Māori into home ownership and help sustain marae across the country.

It was a full house on the marae as the minister made the pre-budget announcement, "it's about the ability of our people to take control of their own destiny," said Flavell speaking at the launch.

The package includes funding for Marae Ora, $10mil over four years to help with the upkeep of marae including revitalising the paepae and kaikaranga to help maintain the protocols of the marae.

Also included is $8mil funding for Kāinga Ora,  which will enable whānau to get into affordable homes including whānau housing projects.

Funding will also continue the momentum of the Māori Housing Network which has supported 140 housing proposal worth $37.5mil since it was launched at the end of 2015.

"I know what a huge difference it makes when you can allow people to move in, onto their own land and into houses that they will be contributing to and that they don't have to move away from home anymore and most importantly that they can contribute back to their own marae."

Alongside that is Te Ara Mauwhare which will provide $9mil over a three year period to trial innovative new approaches to help whānau achieve more housing independence.

"Can we solve everything?  I can't say we can because it's a huge issue wherever you might be.  But the mere fact that we can create a space for our people to move into papa kāinga housing I think is an important step."