Associate Housing Minister Tariana Turia launched a national strategy for Maori housing on Tuesday, in Kaitaia.
The locally-based He Korowai Trust is moving the first nine families into former state houses, on a 20-hectare site it's bought to create a self-sufficient village.
Trust manager Ricky Houghton said some of the families had been living in caravans and cowsheds, but they would now be able to pay off their own homes, over time.
Mr Houghton said the Government had put $900,000 into the Kaitaia housing project, through its Rural and Maori Housing funds, and the trust had raised the same amount.
Tariana Turia said the Government wanted to see more Maori organisations building homes and providing affordable rentals and home-ownership programmes.