Government accepts it breached Te Tiriti in addressing homelessness

By Contributor

The government has accepted a Waitangi Tribunal report that found it breached it's Treaty obligations in dealing with Māori homelessness.

Housing Minister Megan Woods, Associate Housing (Māori) Minister Willie Jackson and Associate Housing Minister (homelessness) Marama Davidson also acknowledged and accepted the historical injustices and grievances that have been raised by claimants in WAI2750.

“Over the coming weeks, the government will take the time to carefully consider the finding and recommendations in the tribunal’s report and provide a response. 

“The issues raised in the report are historical in nature and span many decades. This government recognises the extreme housing deficit and the disproportionate impact on Māori," Jackson said.

Woods said the Labour government had increased the public housing supply by well over 10,000 new houses and existing homes for community housing providers since coming to power in 2017.

“There has been a recent acceleration in Māori housing with MAIHI Ka Ora the National Māori Housing Strategy, launched in September 2021. So far, we have approved/contracted 1018 homes, 1615 infrastructure sites, and 415 repairs to homes."

'Community-led solution'

Davidson says the report confirmed Māori had been disproportionately impacted for years.

"Māori face historical barriers and successive governments have not helped Māori in the way that has been needed”.

“Everyone should have a safe, secure, and stable home to call their own – but right now thousands of whānau do not have a permanent place to live. This report reaffirms my commitment to that." 

Woods said the government remained committed to ensuring a community-led solution to the country's housing crisis to increase the housing supply and move whānau and individuals into safe, dry homes including those in emergency, transitional and public housing.

“We are confident we have in place the foundation for building a more secure and stable housing system with Māori that will ensure housing supply is increased to address the issues raised in the report and provide longer-term security for New Zealanders. However, we know there is much more to enable by Māori, for Māōri solutions,” Woods said.

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