Three Tauranga iwi authorities are coming together to bid for the transfer of social housing in the Tauranga area.

A formal Heads of Agreement was signed today between the Tauranga Moana and Te Puke Housing Consortium and the Masterton Trust House Community Enterprise.

The Tauranga Consortium is made of three Bay of Plenty Treaty settlement tribes - Nga Potiki a Tamapahore Trust, Tapuika Iwi Authority and Nga Hapu o Ngati Ranginui Settlement Trust - established to bid for the transfer of social housing in the Tauranga area.

The agreement was established to enable the trust house to assist the consortium to provide effective tenant, property and commercial management systems.

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The agreement is the first of its kind in New Zealand. It comes at a significant time in the area of social housing with central government and local authorities reviewing their housing portfolios, and the start of social housing transfers in Invercargill and Tauranga.

Consortium spokeswoman Victoria Kingi said the agreement was "a visionary initiative".

"As treaty settlement tribes and community housing providers, we believe, like Trust House Masterton, that our community is best placed to take responsibility for social housing in our region. Our consortium has the capability, the commitment and the historical knowledge to achieve the best results."

Ms Kingi said the three iwi involved in the consortium had already been working in the area of social housing specifically in the construction of new homes for their kaumatua.

"The potential for social housing to be devolved to the community is an exciting one because it offers all the benefits of local knowledge and skills coupled with initiative and the potential to work with like-minded organisations."

Allan Pollard, Trust House Masterton chief executive said trust house had a rental portfolio of 500 homes in Wairarapa and Tararua which made a significant contribution to social housing in the region.

"The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment approved us as New Zealand's first registered community housing provider in 2014," he said.