KiwiBuy critical to unlocking housing outcomes for Māori in Auckland

30 April 2019

The Independent Māori Statutory Board (the Board) welcomes the Salvation Army-led community housing sector KiwiBuy campaign calling for community housing investment for vulnerable whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau, Board housing spokesperson, Tony Kake, said today.

Mr Kake, who is also CEO of Papakura Marae, says he sees the impact of housing deprivation daily.  "The  KiwiBuy campaign reminds NZ Inc. that successful community housing supports, systems and organisations operate here now, development ready and delivering outcomes with Māori whānau every day. But we also recognize these are mostly charitable organisations and require government investment to scale up to meet the needs of more whānau. 

“Getting whānau on the home ownership ladder, in secure tenure and eventually benefitting from capital gains must be an advantage to them,” Tony Kake says. 

Mr Kake considers the large scale use of public land to develop Housing New Zealand (HNZ) social housing, KiwiBuild, and market supply, at roughly a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split (through the Auckland Housing Programme, for example) could fail low-income whānau by excluding marae and community housing partners who deliver results for those whānau.

“Ownership is unaffordable for whānau who visit Papakura Marae, but maybe more importantly the market lacks diversity of ownership options. KiwiBuild is one alternative to market ownership at one entry price, but in planning our housing future we need more diversity of options providing choice for low-income whanau pursuing home ownership.

Supporting lower income whānau will involve more investment and could look something like a 1/3 HNZ social, 1/6 marae and housing provider KiwiBuy, 1/6 KiwiBuild, and 1/3 open market split. This revised split retains overall revenue from open market sales and the planned increase in social housing provision, but it creates more choices, and supports communities and providers to scale up support and ownership outcomes to a larger more vulnerable group. It offers whānau choice and options to exit state tenancies,” Mr Kake said.

 Mr Kake says the principle here is simple: everyone should benefit from large scale government investment in housing. Accessible diverse ownership options are critical to the government’s aspirations which is what KiwiBuy can enable.

"KiwiBuy cuts straight to the government’s intent around reducing inequities in housing for low-income whānau. Being socially responsible must continue to be a key responsibility of this government.

"Marae are natural community hubs where whānau access support and advice, and they should be included in all planning to improve social outcomes. The community housing sector are experts in supporting low-income whānau into ownership but it is not resourced to meet to its natural capacity. That capacity is the housing need it could meet for whānau earning $50,000 to $100, 000 – a big group currently locked out of ownership," Mr Kake says.

"The Independent Māori Statutory Board and others want to see government policy and operational settings that create, promote and improve housing outcomes for Māori whānau. The KiwiBuy campaign and the community housing sector are quite unique in that the sector, the tools and the capability to address a major social issue exist now and are ready to grow to meet demand and support government priorities. There is no need for government to create a new operating environment or develop policy or regulation from scratch, just to partner fully with existing, successful, effective entities who deliver outcomes on the ground.

"The Auckland Māori Housing Summit 2019 (May 14) provides an opportunity for this conversation to continue with stakeholders and government, and we welcome the participation of a wide range of parties from across the housing sector,” Mr Kake said. 

Contact: Brennan Rigby 021836359