MORE Maori will now have the opportunity to build on ancestral land after the government agreed to changes to the Kainga Whenua Loan and Kainga Whenua Infrastructure Grants this week.
Associate Minister for Housing Tariana Turia says the changes allow a wider group of Maori to access loans and is another important step in advancing housing aspirations for whanau, hapu and Maori land trusts.
“All Maori face barriers to accessing loans for buildings homes on Maori land, regardless of income. These changes will remove those barriers making building on their ancestral lands a reality for more Maori,” says Minister Turia.
“In Budget 2013 the Government announced the Kainga Whenua loan and Kainga Whenua Infrastructure Grant aimed at helping Maori land trusts and other collectives to develop housing on ancestral Maori land.”
“The new changes also mean that grants and loans which apply to designated Maori land will now also include land that hapu and iwi receive from their Treaty settlements.”
“Kiwibank is the New Zealand bank to have stepped up to support the scheme and others may join. This has allowed for the removal of the requirement for houses built on ancestral land to be re-locatable (which was mandatory in the event of a loan default) as long as there is alternative security for the loan. These changes open the way for urban family members to come together with their whanau who live in rural locations to build homes on their ancestral lands.”