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All low income New Zealanders will never be able to afford a home; Maori chief among them

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has said that home ownership was now not possible for the vast majority of Maori and those on lower incomes unless something dramatic changed in economic policy. Tukaki was speaking after the release of data showing the average house price in New Zealand was now more than a million dollars. According to property data company CoreLogic's House Price Index, the year finished with the average price at $1,006,632 and record-breaking annual market growth of 27.4 percent.

“The reality is that home ownership for many is now confined to the dream of winning Lotto and if that’s what our country has come to then its been a slow moving train wreck going back more than a generation and spanning Governments of different colours. The bare knuckled truth is none of this is good enough and to be blunter it is a human right to have access to safe and affordable housing.” Tukaki said

“The other truth is the cost of living is on the rise – we have whanau who are just scrimping by robbing peter to pay paul when it comes to food and power, they can’t afford to even put gas in the car and the number who are at risk of homelessness because of unpaid rent stacking up is going through the roof. And when we see house prices going up, we see mortgage payment pressures coming to bear, we see rising costs of insurances which all lead to the fact that if you are renting expect to see higher rents – because as sure as night follows day those with mortgages are struggling just as much” Tukaki said

“And if all that wasn’t bad enough we have a problem with building materials and those costs going up, supply issues of those same materials and we don’t have anywhere near enough trades to build the very houses need to keep up with demand in supply – it was always going to happen without focussed and joined up plans – in other words; for too long in this country we have had policies pulling in different directions and none of it is as joined up as we need it to be” Tukaki said

“That’s why Im calling on an all of Aotearoa approach – those with the money, those in workforce development, those in the business of laws and consents with those in the business of creating the very operating environment we need to once and for all get a handle on ensuring affordable and accessible housing is in the reach of every New Zealander.” Tukaki said

“We need a joined workforce plan, supply and distribution of products and materials plan combined with access to capital for low income earners – but most of all we need all of the political parties to at least be on the same page when it comes to housing. And for Maori that is more important because it is generally our whanau who are at the bottom of the cliff” Tukaki said

The National Maori Authority will be releasing a policy statement on Housing and Housing Affordability in February


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