Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox is turning her hand to house-building after being ousted from Parliament.

Fox is involved in a recently-created consortium which wants to build 3000 prefabricated homes in the next three years for homeless or low income families. Set up before the election, the newly-jobless Fox said she could now focus her energy on it.

"I'm going to build houses everywhere," she said. "They will be affordable and gorgeous and they will be homesteads for families forever."

Negotiations are underway with a social housing provider in Flaxmere to build the first 100 houses.


Fox's unnamed company would follow the papakainga model for housing, which uses ancestral or multiple-title land for housing.

By using this model, building at scale, and using prefab housing, Fox hoped some of the houses could be sold for as little as $60,000.

"We have been approaching iwi who have land that they want to put affordable houses on for their whanau," she said. "We want to build to scale so we can reduce the cost. They will be energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and top of the range."

While in Parliament, Fox's party was part of a cross-party inquiry into homelessness. It also tried to encourage and get funding for initiatives which helped get Maori into secure housing.

Maori ownership rates have fallen to a paltry 28 per cent in New Zealand - well below the national level of around 50 per cent. Maori also make up a disproportionate number of the 40,000 Kiwis in insecure housing.

Fox, a list MP, lost her place in Parliament after her party polled just 1.1 per cent in the election and co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell lost his Waiariki seat.

Flavell is retiring but Fox plans to stand for Parliament again in three years. Her party has been given a boost by the recruitment of high-profile doctor and former New Zealander of the Year Lance O'Sullivan.

She was angry after the election result on Saturday, she said, but she refused to be "melancholy" and was already looking ahead to 2020.

Pita Paraone says disagreement over the settlement is tearing Ngapuhi apart. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Pita Paraone says disagreement over the settlement is tearing Ngapuhi apart. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Former NZ First MP Pita Paraone said he had always known a political career was not a certainty.

"I accept it's all part of politics so while I'm disappointed I'm not part of the current team because we'd be in government this time, other than that I have no regrets."

Paraone, 71, missed out on returning after being an MP since 2002 with a six year break between 2008 and 2014. He expected to remain involved in Maori development - and possibly the drawn-out struggle to get Ngapuhi around the negotiating table for a Treaty settlement.

"I hope that now I'm free of the politics that people at home might see I have a place to play in the Ngapuhi settlement."

He said disagreement over the settlement was tearing the iwi apart.

"People say the Crown is the enemy, but the way people have been reacting amongst ourselves, you've got to point to ourselves as the enemy."

Paraone said he had no idea what decision Peters would make in relation to forming a new government but did believe the first obligation should be to the voters which had supported NZ First.

Peters would likely be concerned by "hypocrisy" on the National side of the equation and the number of parties involved on the Labour side.

"It doesn't really matter which side NZ First decides to go, we'll always be criticised for it.

"And I think it's a little bit rich all the commentary telling the party which way they should go when you know a large proportion of those people didn't even vote for us."

He said it would not be a decision by Peters alone.

"People really don't appreciate just how much the boss does take into consideration the views of the rest of the party and the rest of the caucus. One could say that is reflected in the list that came out - I'm sure he would have liked to see more of the previous caucus up there, but as he keeps reminding people who will listen, he is only one voice."

Paraone missed out on returning by two list places - Mahesh Bindra is above him and will be next in if an MP drops out or NZ First does very well on the special votes.