As the dust settles on what was a tumultuous election for the Maori Party, co-leader Marama Fox has her eyes set on building houses in Hawke's Bay.

She wants to build 3000 houses nationwide in the first three years and has earmarked Flaxmere as the starting point of a project set to rein in a consortium of businesses, communities and iwi.

The Maori Party scraped just 1.1. per cent of the party vote in the 2017 Election and after being soundly beaten by Labour's incumbent MP Meka Whaitiri, Ms Fox was left jobless.

Now free from parliamentary constraints, she says she's ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work on the project.


"Everyone asks me what I'm going to do, well I'm going to build houses. This is the plan, this is what we've got in the pipelines and we have to nail all that down and make it concrete before we can get to work."

Negotiations are underway with Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga in Flaxmere to build the first 100 houses following the papakainga model, using multiply owned Maori land.

Ms Fox said state housing didn't create home ownership pathways for Maori and merely served as a "band aid" on the growing housing crisis in New Zealand.

"It's about building security into families and family life. State houses don't do that. They provide people with a home to live in for now, until the government decides they want it back. That's not security. Security is home ownership and affordable rentals."

Working as a liaison between building companies, community organisations and local iwi, she said her job would be connecting entities with one another to find better solutions for Maori housing.

"We're just going to put all those factors together to try and overcome the barriers our whanau have to home ownership, affordable rentals and warm, environmentally friendly and energy efficient homes.

"This is about ensuring that our whanau have a home that is an asset behind them, not a deficit and can be an ongoing homestead for future generations."

Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chair Ngahiwi Tomoana welcomed the project idea as a way of breaking down barriers to Maori home ownership.

"The majority of us are renters now and there is no equity in renting. Creating equity in housing is the best saving scheme you could ever have but there's so very little enthusiasm about home ownership at the moment because it's too hard to get a deposit."

He said papakainga housing was a great approach previously held back by lack of investment as land often couldn't be sold or realise its true value on the market.

"We've got to get away from the traditional notion of papakainga housing as poor man's housing and start looking at it as every man's housing.

"We should be able to invest, or get investors involved, in that sort of housing because we have all the land but they've never been willing to invest in that land."

He said a housing initiative was "desperately needed" in Hawke's Bay.

"A lot of the jobs here are low paying and seasonal and that's putting people off getting a mortgage because they're not sure there will be longevity of jobs."

Auckland, Rotorua and Tauranga were also areas of interest aired by Ms Fox, whose final goal is to build a total 60,000 houses by an undetermined date.

She said her past term in Government would now serve her well as she embarked on this new building project.

"I'm not going to dwell in melancholy and bury myself in a mire of pain. I don't have time for that. We've got things to do and our whanau need our support.

"Now that I know what I know from being in Government for the last three years, I know the levers I need to pull to make change happen. So we're going to make change happen."