An Iwi Housing Symposium was held on Wednesday, December 9 in Ahuriri to address the urgency required for housing solutions.
Iwi chairs agreed at their November hui that this symposium should be held to progress thinking and opportunities to develop an approach and response for housing among the Iwi Chairs collective.
Ngahiwi Tomoana, chairman of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, hosted the symposium to support the forum in understanding some of the current issues, what is happening, what is working, challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.
The symposium was not only to share but to inform key steps to deliver better housing outcomes for whānau, hapū and iwi.
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"One of the key outcomes was for the Government to accelerate its procurement process to allow Māori to contract and build houses for Māori on general and Māori land as they had failed spectacularly to do so over the last three years," Tomoana said.
"This is against a backdrop of $300 million spent on emergency accommodation over the last 12 months. Up to 1200 houses could have been built for this amount.
"In our rohe we need 800 homes at the moment just to satisfy the housing requirements of the 1500-plus whānau in motels and those on housing waiting lists against a backdrop of $700,000-plus a week spent on emergency accommodation."
An excellent array of presenters identified key themes that were collated as recommendations on how issues and opportunities can be managed better.
This includes informing approaches with current Government programmes, reducing barriers and challenges that Māori face to achieve their housing aspirations, the ability to build on successes and design a Māori housing delivery model (resourcing and policy settings) and key roles to ensure continued momentum and action.
A number of assignments were made and will be reported at the next hui, which will take place on February 3, 2021, at Ōrākei Marae, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, just prior to the ministerial presentations at Waitangi as part of their scheduled Iwi Chairs Forum.
Tomoana has been asked by the Iwi Chairs Collective to continue leading this work.