Minister for Māori Development and Associate Minister of Housing Hon Nanaia Mahuta congratulates all New Zealand nominees and winners in the Australasian Housing Institute Professional Excellence in Housing Awards.
"I would especially like to acknowledge the Te Puni Kōkiri Māori Housing Network for their constant dedication to support whānau, hapū and iwi Māori in achieving their housing needs and aspirations," Minister Mahuta says.
This vision was celebrated last night when a number of Māori Housing Network initiatives were recognised as winners.
In 2017, the destruction from Cyclone Debbie led to over 200 houses being evacuated in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
"I know this had a devastating impact on whānau in the region where many permanently lost their homes," Minister Mahuta says.
"Kōkōhīnau Marae was one of the first to provide temporary shelter and support for affected families and almost overnight Kōkōhīnau Papakāinga Trust became a social housing landlord and is now planning its next homes as a community development hub."
Minister Mahuta also commends the Sorted Kāinga Ora: Financial Capability Programme on winning the Leading Community Engagement Award.
This is a partnered initiative between Te Puni Kōkiri: Māori Housing Network and the Commission for Financial Capability.
"Sorted Kāinga Ora has been specifically designed through a kaupapa Māori lens to empower tenants, whānau and community capacity to identify, plan for and respond to their housing needs.
"Importantly, it recognises that sometimes, a specific Māori response is essential.
"Our $40m contribution to Māori Housing in Wellbeing Budget 2019 will allow 'Sorted Kāinga Ora' to be rolled out as a national programme to build the financial capability of 300 whānau Māori so they can make choices about how to meet their housing aspirations," says Nanaia Mahuta.
Both initiatives will now be considered at the Australasian Awards presented during the National Housing Conference in Darwin, Australia.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)