KiwiBuild failing Māori and Pasifika - stats reveal

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

KiwiBuild is failing Māori and Pasifika, according to figures revealed by Q+A on Sunday. 

Just 4.8% of KiwiBuild buyers are Māori and 4.4% Pasifika, figures for people who gave their ethnicity on application forms show. This is despite Māori comprising 16.5% and Pasifika 8% of the general population.

The figures represent a “systemic failure” to raise Māori home ownership rates through KiwiBuild and across the board, Māori housing advocate and architect Jade Kake (Ngāti Hau, Te Parawhau) told Q+A.

“Māori are on lower incomes overall, and so therefore these policies or these properties are less accessible to Māori overall,” Kake said.

“It’s repeatedly been demonstrated that mainstreaming doesn’t work for Māori. If it’s mainstream for everyone but under Pākehā cultural norms, and taking into account things like Pākehā incomes and ability to purchase homes, then of course you’re setting yourself up for failure.”

The figures indicate Pākehā at 47% are the largest proportion of KiwiBuild buyers, while Asian New Zealanders, including Chinese, Indian and Korean communities, are 39% of purchasers of these homes.

Housing Minister Megan Woods when approached by Q+A acknowledged that KiwiBuild “isn’t shifting the dial enough when it comes to Māori and Pasifika families”.

However, she pointed to other policies where “we’re helping whānau and hapū to create communities and build on whenua Māori, while Pasifika and Māori are two of the three priority groups of our $400 million Progressive Home Ownership Fund”.

Māori Housing Minister Peeni Henare has committed to building 1000 houses for Māori under MAIHI Ka Ora, the national Māori housing strategy and has so far signed agreements with iwi to build homes in areas, including in Tairāwhiti, Taranaki and Ngāti Kahungunu.