Friday February 23, 2018   Last updated 11:57AM
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Decades of poor decisions behind housing crisis

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Maori homeless advocate Hurimoana Dennis says Housing Minister Phil Twyford is asking the right questions about the housing crisis, but he's still waiting for a specifically Maori response.

The minister yesterday released a stocktake of New Zealand’s housing sector prepared by an independent panel which found the housing crisis is deeper and more entrenched than previously revealed.

Mr Dennis, the chair of Mangere's Te Puea Memorial Marae, says when the marae opened its doors to the homeless in 2016 the then-Government did not beleive there was a crisis.

He says most of the families coming through the marae looking for help are Maori, and for Maori the roots of the crisis go back decades of failed government policy.

"The Maori picture was starting to emerge back then, particularly round the 1970s and 80s, selling state homes and restructuring Housing New Zealand, bringing rents to market rents, and now we are now dealing with all the decisions of the decades," he says.

Mr Dennis says the iwi leaders have been missing in action on developing a response to the homelessness of their whanau .

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