A housing group is challenging a Government department to release funds to help more Maori own their own home.
The Coalition to End Homelessness says the interest gathered by the Maori Trustee from leasing land should go towards a scheme to assist tangata whenua in securing their own whare.
The most up-to-date official statistic, the 2006 census, shows 30.1% own their own house, while in 2001 this was 31.7%.
The coalition's co-chair Iris Pahau says the Ministry of Maori Affairs should take the lead and help people own the roof over their heads.
She says there's a huge amount of money sitting in the Maori Trustee fund, and the interest gained should be used to help whanau in owning their own home
In the last financial year to 31st March 2011, the Maori Trustee earned $4.74 million in interest.