Topic: Housing

Fraught process to build on Māori land

By Mere McLean

There should be one organisation that acts as a single point of contact for Māori who want to build on their land. 

That's one of the key recommendations made in a report released by the Controller and Auditor General of New Zealand, which showed that building a house on Māori land was a fraught process. 

Building on multi-owned land has been a struggle for Māori but hopefully that's about to change.

According to James Swindells, “What we found is that the process remains a little fraught that there has been progress due to our recommendations.”

The report released last night also recommended better communication between agencies and Māori.

“We know that there are multiple agencies involved, it'll be up to them to work out how that looks and feels in each region, as each region presents its own unique opportunities and barriers,” says Mr Swindells.

Two of the current initiatives reviewed in the report were the Kāīnga Whenua loans scheme and the Māori demonstration Partnership Fund.

Each scheme helps seek funding for Māori to build housing on Māori land however there were faults found.

James Swindells says, “'There's been improved targeting of financial assistance, lots of people wanting to build on Māori land, mainly improvements to the Kāinga Whenua load scheme where borrowing has been made easier and it's been boarded to a wider range of people.'”

Te Ururoa Flavell, Minister of Māori Development welcomes the report.

He says the report records the progress that has been made when building on Māori multi owned land.

Work is already underway to address other concerns raised in the report and he's committed to making it easier for Māori to build houses on their own land.

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