The State housing issue is at the fore of discussions for the Iwi Leaders' Forum, and their committee which is tasked with looking into housing issues at a pan-tribal level and is moving forward with their plan.
There are around 70,000 State homes still in Crown ownership, but as they look at ways of selling the stock off, the Iwi leaders' Forum sub-committee on housing have jumped in with their bid for 20% of it, which is around 14,000 homes around the country, so iwi can run their own social housing initiative.
Five iwi confirmed their intent to take this on, they are:
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki on the east coast, and Ngāi Te Rangi in Tauranga;
and they're seeking just over 4000 State homes.
Although no concrete deals have been struck as of yet, Willie Te Aho and the Iwi Leaders' Forum are optimistic.
He says, "The Crown's biggest fear is handing control over to us, but I believe in time, if we are persistent, we'll get there."