Housing initiatives in Western Bay of Plenty shine out in Audit Report

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Te Matapihi, a newly established national organisation that is calling for increased support for Maori housing initiatives, has commended the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) for work it has done to highlight positive developments for Maori housing in areas such as the Western Bay of Plenty.

Te Matapihi spokesperson Rau Hoskins says the series of hui the OAG has organised for Northland, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Canterbury this month should help foster continued attention on the need for better planning and support for housing on Maori land.

One of the encouraging aspects to the Audit report published about housing on Maori land is the way that it shone a light on the excellent work being done, for instance, in the Western Bay of Plenty where a hui to hear feedback on the report is being held at the Horaparaikete Trust papakainga in Papamoa on Tuesday (11 October).

Community-based Maori housing initiatives in the Western Bay of Plenty have been going from strength to strength. The Audit report highlighted the way, for instance, that a Joint Agency Working Group formed in 2009 has been making a compelling amount of difference by bringing Te Puni Kokiri (TPK), the Maori Land Court, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Tauranga District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Housing New Zealand around the table with Maori land trusts and their Maori Housing Forum.

This level of coordination is too rare in Aotearoa New Zealand, so it is encouraging that the Audit report has called for both central and local government agencies to do more of this. One of the tasks that Te Matapihi has set itself as a promoter of the benefits of more Maori housing initiatives is to ensure that these successful approaches are built on and that they receive the support they need to become sustainable for future generations,says Te Matapihi spokesperson Rau Hoskins.

The Western Bay of Plenty is home to a number of large papakainga projects awaiting capital assistance to commence construction including the Makahae Marae papakainga in Te Puke and the Rangiwaea Island papakainga development in Tauranga.

Local Maori land trusts have already proven their capability, successfully completing papakainga housing projects via the Horaparaikete Trust project of six family homes and the Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Inc papakainga of 10 two bedroom homes designed specifically for Kuia and Kaumatua.

More recently the Western Bay of Plenty Maori Housing Forum (a collective of 52 maori land trusts in the WBOP sub-region) is delivering a series of 8 Papakainga workshops based on a toolkit for housing development on Maori land in the WBOP Te Keteparaha mo nga Papakainga (available on the Western Bay of Plenty District Councils website). The workshops are intended to introduce Maori land trustees to a sequential process of developing papakainga on their Maori land, and is supported by a joint agency approach.

Links: OAG report, see http://www.oag.govt.nz/2011/housing-on-maori-land/; Horaparaikete Trust, see www.horaparaiketetrust.com

Contact for further information:
Rau Hoskins Te Matapihi spokesperson
Tel: 021 658 019 or email to: rau@designtribe.co.nz

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