The Green Party is calling out the Government for its role in Te Waimana Kaaku whānau losing their deposits and the homes they were promised.
Waimana’s housing initiative was part of a wider integrated strategy to create jobs and whānau/papakāinga housing. These initiatives were initially funded and then government support abruptly ceased in 2021.
“All whānau should be able to live in a warm, dry home, especially one on their own whenua and papakāinga,” says Green Party Māori Development spokesperson, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.
“Te Waimana Kaaku is one of the four Tribal Authorities of Ngāi Tūhoe. They helped create the housing initiative that others are following across the country. We support their efforts to address the homelessness and severe housing deprivation their whānau are experiencing.”
Matt Te Pou, former chair of Te Waimana Kaaku, has submitted a Treaty of Waitangi Claim under urgency on behalf of Waimana whānau who have been denied essential housing due to barriers and delays caused by the Crown. He will be making a statement at Parliament on Tuesday 27 September at an event hosted by Dr Kerekere with Tūhoe kaumatua and whānau, including activist Tame Iti.
Matt Te Pou claims: “Suddenly all the doors closed, and we were told by these government agencies we needed to now obtain support from the Post Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE), Te Uru Taumatua. Despite the Waimana housing programme having the support of 10 of our 12 marae, Te Uru Taumatua rejected the proposal. In the meantime, our whānau continue to live in emergency accommodation or worse, garages or sleeping on the streets.
“This is in relation to He Tapuae: Tūhoe Service Management Plan (SMP – originally signed in 2012). Engagement Protocols were approved in 2021 which state Crown signatories to the SMP will work exclusively through the Settlement Trust.”
“The majority of our people didn’t see the SMP or the new engagement protocols and no way would the hapū or marae give their authority and tino rangatiratanga away to the PSGE,” says Matt Te Pou.
Dr Elizabeth Kerekere concludes: “The Greens support whānau, hapū, and iwi having a say in what affects them. We are not here to tell them what to do. This is yet another example of hapūtanga undermined by the flawed Treaty settlement process for the convenience of the Crown. We have been approached by several iwi and hapū who have expressed fear and anger at the powers of PSGEs, without the informed mandates expected in other parts of the settlement process.”