Our Government has put housing at the centre of our ambition to build a caring and decent society.
This week I have been given the responsibility of Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development with responsibility for Māori housing.
There will be plenty to do as Phil Twyford said in making the announcement, Māori home ownership sits at just 43 per cent compared to 63 per cent for the rest of New Zealand.
Another chilling statistic –Māori are five times more likely to homeless then anyone else.
Many of our whānau have to deal with serious health impacts as a result of this utterly inadequate housing.
The good news is that partnerships with iwi and rōpūMāori are also becoming a significant feature of the KiwiBuild programme.
As Treaty settlements are completed, iwi are increasingly looking to invest their land and capital in developments that will supply much needed housing to tribal members.
The Land for Housing programme currently has, or is working on, 11 agreements in partnership with iwi for potentially 2,260 KiwiBuild units.
We are already seeing successful collaborations between Waikato –Tainui and Housing New Zealand which have created Te Kaarearea in Hamilton. This will mean 50 whānau get new homes.