11 Dec 2014

Maori housing point lost on govt depts

5:25 am on 11 December 2014

A key recommendation to make it easier for Maori to build on their land has been ignored by government departments.

In 2011, the Auditor-General suggested there should be one organisation for Maori who want to build housing on customary whenua, instead of having to deal with a maze of agencies.

Three years later in a follow-up report, the performance watchdog found there was no single point of contact.

It said the response to its proposal had been slower than many Maori with aspirations to build might have wished.

However, the office did offer some positive comments, saying steady progress was being made and there was an ongoing commitment to act on its recommendations from 2011.

It noted that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment would monitor the effectiveness of the Government's Maori Housing Strategy, announced in July this year.

The Auditor-General said its evaluation needed to be shared with the public and should show how many houses had been built on Maori land.

Because this type of land had multiple owners, it could not sold and banks could not meet their standard requirements for mortgage security, making it harder for Maori to build a home on their own land.

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