It is all happening in Māori housing, with major initiatives this month which will pave the way to a national resurgence of Papakāinga homes.

In Hamilton we are seeing already the impact of KiwiBuild with the decision by the Government to make Jebson Place a Special Housing area for 80 homes.

The new Hamilton homes will be a mix of private houses, state houses and homes by Waikato-Tainui. It's hoped that these homes will sell below the Hamilton median house price of $537,000.

The Government's focus in housing will be widespread from homelessness to home ownership. For our people, this month's blueprint for Papakāinga was just the beginning. This month I was proud to champion a broad sweep of Māori housing announcements in


In Whangārei we will build four new community homes, a home for a support worker and a central whare.

The other initiative I am really proud of is the test project by the He Korowai Trust in Kaitāia for a model that will mean whānau can put a roof over their heads which they can eventually own.

I find it worrying that the last census found that only 28 per cent of Māori adults owned their own homes. The rest of the country has a 50 per cent ownership rate.

So Budget 2018 will improve the lives of whānau, strengthen our communities and rebuild core public services, providing a better future for our tamariki.

Jacinda Ardern has made it clear that she wants this to be a Government that brings back manaakitanga.

This Budget realises that vision. With a $2 billion investment over four years in the future of Māori, this Budget will deliver for our people.

$57 million will go towards Māori-specific funding, with initiatives for papakāinga housing, moving rangatahi Māori from learning to earning and providing pathways for our tamariki and rangatahi to excel in both te reo and tikanga. This Budget will help see Māori succeed as Māori.

The Families Package will contribute $1.2 billion over four years directly to Māori whānau. The package targets 181,000 children living in low income households — and a third of them are Māori.

Around 143,000 Māori and their kids will get the Winter Energy Payment, and the Best Start tax credit will give a boost to the parents of the 17,000 Māori babies born each year.

We're rebuilding our health system by investing an additional $3.2 billion for more doctors, nurses and improved treatments, as well as $750 million to fix our hospitals. 540,000 kiwis on low incomes will get cheaper GP visits and all under 14 year-olds will see their GP for free.

I was mindful of this when I read this week the University of Otago is celebrating research that shows Māori studying to be doctors has risen by nearly two thirds over the last decade. That is more great news for our people.