Mana Party announces big housing plan

By Kate Shuttleworth

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira. Photo / File / Doug Sherring
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira. Photo / File / Doug Sherring

The Mana Party wants to build 10,000 state houses a year.

Mana's Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidate Te Hamua Nikora announced the party's housing policy today in Pomare, in the Hutt Valley.

He said Mana would build 10,000 state houses a year, 500 of them immediately in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.

Its policy includes reinstating the Maori Affairs Housing Scheme which ended in 1989.

The scheme would be updated and administered through a restructured Te Puni Kokiri, Mr Nikora said.

Under the former scheme, 23,500 houses were built and 5000 existing houses bought.

The party called for land to be made available to Maori in the same way it was being made available to local government and bodies to ease the Auckland housing crisis, he said.

Maori first-home buyers would be able to buy homes with no deposit, at the same interest rates that Government pays and with negotiable mortgage terms.

The policy did not say how many Maori first-home buyers would be able to borrow under the scheme or how much they could borrow.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said the party had done no costings on the policy but believed affordable houses could be built for $200,000 each.

Mr Harawira and Mr Nikora criticised Labour's housing policy, saying it didn't target those in need.

Mr Harawira said there hadn't been any talks with Labour or the Greens, so no cross-party support for the Mana policy had been signalled.

Mr Nikora said the party supported the idea of a housing warrant of fitness for state and private rentals.

"We want to see it enforced like they do with cars," he said.

"If the house isn't warm and dry then the owner must be made to get it up to scratch."

The next part of Mana's housing policy, targeting all low-income New Zealanders, will be announced when Mr Harawira next appears in court over a housing protest in Glen Innes where he was arrested.

- APNZ

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