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Ed Sheeran

Underground assets good investment for iwi

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National Party Māori development spokesperson Shane Reti says iwi may want to look at investments in infrastructure rather than just the housing that sits on top of the ground.

The annual Māori Housing Conference is being held this week in Hastings, including input from government agencies, ministers, and iwi who are promoting various housing schemes.

Dr Reti says reform of the Resource Management Act will be a critical component of any solution, and National is prepared to work with the Government on that.

He says the Māori development portfolio already includes programmes for papakainga housing on collectively owned Māori land and for building infrastructure.

"The services under the ground, not just the house on top, and they tend to be durable assets that generate a reasonable rate of return, they have some degree of tenure in perpetuity so they're good assets, desirable assets, and one would think that Māori and iwi, potentially with settlement funding or whatever, could and would and should want to be part of that, the under the ground as well as the above the ground," Dr Reti says.

Shane Reti says there could also be a case for allowing councils to take on more debt to fund infrastructure, as was done to help in the Christchurch rebuild.

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