Māori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell says Budget 2015 provides operating funding of $35.3 million over the next four years to improve housing outcomes for whānau Māori.
This will provide practical assistance to whānau and Māori housing projects and will be coordinated through the establishment of a Māori Housing Network.
$5.7 million a year is set aside for the Māori Housing Network. This will fund regional housing development facilities that will provide practical assistance and expertise at a local level. The funding will also be used to address housing deprivation among whānau Māori.
An additional $1.5 million a year will boost the Special Housing Action Zone programme (SHAZ). SHAZ is distinct from other housing programmes because it looks at community solutions to housing rather than focusing on individual households. Te Puni Kōkiri has administered this fund since 2004.
This investment is in addition to the $28 million over four years currently committed to improve housing through the Kainga Whenua infrastructure grant and the rural Māori housing initiative.
The new Māori Housing Network will coordinate the quite of funds to support a range of Māori housing aspirations. It will improve housing outcomes for Māori in three main ways:
- Providing practical assistance for Māori housing projects
- Providing Crown funding for Māori housing
- Leading the Government's strategic approach to Māori housing.
Mr Flavell says "The Government is committed to providing quality housing for all New Zealanders, and this funding will support the further implementation of the Māori Housing Strategy."
He also adds "We are focused on better supporting whānau to meet their housing aspirations. Access to safe and healthy homes in the right location, of the right size and at the right price for current and future generations is important to whānau."