A Napier city councillor is hoping to start a conversation with central government over the funding of council-run social housing.

Maxine Boag has asked the council to take a remit to Local Government New Zealand, with the aim of starting a conversation about the funds for social housing.

"We've got a housing crisis here in Hawke's Bay, there is not a question about it.

"All social housing, whether it be social housing providers, Housing New Zealand or councils, we've got long waiting lists."


She said in Napier, and most local territorial authorities who still have social housing, most were built in the mid-late 20th century by the government.

In Napier, the average age of a social house is 48 years.

"They've got to the stage where they are really not going to be fit for purpose very soon."

She said they would need major investment in the near future, which would be difficult to fund through rates.

She said it would be a win-win situation for a government which says it is committed to helping end the housing crisis.

Hastings councillor Henare O'Keefe says we need to work collaboratively to solve the housing crisis. Photo / File
Hastings councillor Henare O'Keefe says we need to work collaboratively to solve the housing crisis. Photo / File

"We've got the houses already, they don't have to build them, we're not asking for them to take them over or whatever, we are saying we've got the capacity, we've got the ability, we just don't have the funds."

The remit is primarily about beginning a broad conversation about how central government could help with funding, rather than suggesting specific options.

Hastings councillor Henare O'Keefe said if the remit was put before Hastings District Council, it was only a slight exaggeration to say he would speak with the devil if it meant a conversation about social housing was started.


"We all know the issues and the problems and the shortage, don't we?

"As far as I am concerned, I don't care where the resources come from, government, private enterprise, just get it.

"We have a huge need here, we've got to collaborate, we've got to come together."

Napier City Council will vote whether to progress with the remit on Tuesday. If passed it will go a meeting of Zone 3 councils at the end of the week for approval before being put to Hastings District Council.