6 Sep 2011

Building a house on Maori land fraught, says report

8:11 pm on 6 September 2011

The Auditor General has found the Crown has failed to break down barriers to allow Maori to build housing on their land, or whenua.

It's published a report that examines Government planning and support for housing on Maori land.

The Crown watchdog found the process to build a house on Maori land is fraught and people have to deal with a maze of agencies staffed by workers who don't know enough to give high-quality advice.

It says land owners have to go to their local authority for planning and compliance information, Housing New Zealand for information on funding initiatives, and the Maori Land Court for information on Maori land administration and law.

The Auditor General says its findings challenge the government agencies to seriously address the issues, adding that people face the same obstructions as they did 30 years ago.

It recommends there should be one organisation to act as a single point of contact for Maori who want to build housing on their land.

It also suggests that the Department of Housing does a better job of making financial support available and affordable to Maori.

As part of its investigation, the Auditor General did interviews and with people in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and Canterbury.