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Ed Sheeran

Agencies challenged to back Maori housing moves

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The host of this week’s National Māori Housing Conference in Hastings says government supported Māori solutions to the housing crisis.

Ngahiwi Tomoana from Ngāti Kahungunu says there are 1800 people living in emergency housing or camping grounds in Hastings and Napier, almost 80 percent of them Māori, with no clear pathway to a stable home let alone home ownership.

He says there is Māori land that could be used for housing, but problems with financing projects on multiply-owned land as well as a reluctance by government agencies to partner means opportunities go begging.

"We don't only belong to the crisis end. We are also property developers and housing developers, we can do both ends, but they are not recognised as a bona fide answer to our own crisis, yet we have the land, we have the whānau, we have the employment potential," Mr Tomoana says.

The conference starts tomorrow and Ngahiwi Tomoana says it's booked out, showing the interest iwi have in housing their people.

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