The Government has finally agreed to meet with the whānau of Te Waimana Kaaku, a step the Green Party says must lead to warm, dry, secure homes being provided on their whenua and papakāinga.
In response to Dr Elizabeth Kerekere during Question Time in the House this week, the Minister of Housing (Māori Housing), Peeni Henare, offered to meet with whānau after a Government decision last year to withdraw support for affordable housing in Waimana.
Speaking to Te Upoko o Te Ika earlier today, Minister Henare went further to state that he wanted to hear how much money was lost in deposits and again, to work together for a way forward.
“We are pleased that the Minister has committed to kōrero with whānau about the loss of home deposits,” says the Green Party’s Māori Development spokesperson, Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere.
“I was proud to bring the voices of Te Waimana Kaaku into Parliament this week. We were inspired by their courage as they shared how the loss of their homes has impacted on them, their kaumātua and their tamariki.
“These whānau took part in a collaborative hapū-government process over several months with the certainty of a home at the end of it. They did everything that was asked of them. But without notice, the Government withdrew its support, leaving 15 whānau without the homes they worked so hard for.
“The Crown has an obligation to uphold the tino rangatiratanga of hapū over kāinga. For the hapū of Te Waimana Kaaku, they have failed. This is their opportunity to make things right for those who have already paid deposits or who had an expectation of a home through the programme. The Crown must urgently reinstate the programme, and provide compensation for any lost deposits.
“The Green Party is proud to support Te Waimana Kaaku in its efforts to address the homelessness and severe housing deprivation their whānau are experiencing. We will do so until those whānau are in their homes,” says Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.