Unaffordability means the quantity and quality of state and papakainga houses on Māori land needs to increase in Northland, which will also help reduce poverty, Labour list MP Willow-Jean Prime says.
Poverty, the Labour candidate for Northland said, was the biggest issue in her constituency but it's caused by a number of factors such as a shortage of quality houses, low income and a lack of infrastructure.
Kiwibuild was one way of helping people access housing but Prime said the median income in Northland wouldn't be able to afford the scheme's houses, hence a need for more state and papakainga housing.
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As well as housing, she said methamphetamine has not only been a challenge in the region for more than a decade, it was getting worse and needed to be dealt with as a health issue.
"There's a place for police in terms of the suppliers and the manufacturers of it but in terms of the users, I don't think the prison system deals with the issue."
Prime has been working with groups on the ground like He Waka Eke Noa in the Kaipara, Whakamana Tangata in Dargaville, Whaka Oranga Tangata in Kaikohe, and Waipuna Ora in Moerewa, who she says are coming up with unique community approaches and solutions
to the issue.
"But they are not typically the ones that receive funding. There are risks in terms of supporting those approaches so it's about working with them to be able to access funding to support their initiatives that are delivering results," she said.
There's merit in moving Ports of Auckland to Northport, she says, and it is something she has advocated for since 2014 because Northland needs economic stimulation and development.
Post-Covid, Prime is advocating more of what the Government has been doing since the pandemic began— its health response, protection of existing jobs through the wage subsidy, and help for small businesses.
"We have a pipeline of infrastructure work that needs to be done. If we borrow, fund that, we'll be able to create jobs and training opportunities so we come out of this with work that needed to be done, people remaining in employment."
Prime backs her community that rejected the idea of a single unitary authority for Northland when she was a Far North District councillor.
Similarly, she's throwing her support behind Northlanders who rejected the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into the environment.
Prime sat as a commissioner and heard evidence from the public on the issue.
Her mum has always inspired her in life.
"But I think I didn't give enough thought and credit to my dad and it was only after he passed away that I thought, 'what is it exactly about Dad that I am the person I am today?'"