A network to support Maori-led house building projects has been launched at the opening of a housing development by a Ngaruawahia whanau.
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell launched the Maori Housing Network at the opening of a development by the Ranga-Bidois whanau today.
He took the opportunity to highlight the role iwi are playing in providing quality housing, a key to building strong communities around the country.
The network has been set up under government agency Te Puni Kokiri to support Maori-led housing initiatives and develop greater Maori capability in the sector.
"Te Puni Kokiri essentially becomes a one-stop shop to work alongside whanau and lets them know what funding is available, while also offering expert advice, information and support to help improve their housing situation," says Mr Flavell.
In the last four years Maori-led projects have funded the building of 95 new homes and infrastructure has also been put in place to new and existing homes.
The Ranga-Bidois whanau developed a plan with Whanau Ora support, and successfully applied for funding from Te Puni Kokiri to help develop the project.
They then got funding for infrastructure and to build the homes from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as part of the wider housing investments by the government through the Social Housing Fund.
The whanau also made a significant contribution with labour and a bank loan.
As well as new homes they now have a rich base of skills and experience in the planning, funding and implementation of a papakainga housing development, Mr Favell said.
Papakainga is a form of housing development which occurs on multiply-owned Maori or ancestral land.