13 Sep 2011

Govt offers solutions to Maori housing problems

6:04 am on 13 September 2011

The Government says its new Social Housing Unit will solve some problems faced by Maori wanting to build homes on their own land.

Last week a report by the Auditor-General described the process for building houses on Maori land as fraught, with people having to deal with a maze of agencies staffed by workers who don't know enough to give good advice.

The report challenged government agencies to seriously address the issues, adding that people face the same obstructions as they did 30 years ago.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says Maori should expect better co-ordination from the new Social Housing Unit, which has been set up with the goal of increasing the amount of social housing available.

He says the unit will advise and administer support needed by all sectors, including Maori.

Mr Heatley also says Maori have proven they can deliver successful housing projects through initiatives such as Maori Demonstration Partnerships, using funding from Housing New Zealand.

He says the Department of Building and Housing has been talking to Te Puni Kokiri, the Social Housing Unit and other organisations to see if Government policy needs to be tweaked.