PHOTO: Photo: RNZ / Maree Mahony
Hundreds of people have signed up for a programme aiming to support Māori whānau into home ownership.
Ownership has been disproportionately low and declining for decades, with the 2018 Census data showing just 31 percent of Māori own homes, compared to 58 percent of Pākehā.
Nohaka Rau is a course run through Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu offering free financial literacy, education on home loans, and tailored advice to get whānau on the road to home ownership.
It’s seen over 300 participants from across Aotearoa sign up to the latest round of workshops, with more being added to meet the demand.
Trudy Thomson of Mokowhiti Consultancy is contracted by Ngāi Tahu to lead Nohaka Rau, and says she’s moved every time a whānau purchases their first home.
“We have a number of our homes that have single parents and to see them in home ownership, it’s life changing.”
Thomson said it wasn’t just surface-level support on offer – she worked alongside one family for three years as they saved what they needed.
“We’ve supported 45 whānau onto the open market, so they’re whānau that had the ability to purchase a home and [sort] the finances, but didn’t have an understanding of how to do that process.”
Those with high enough incomes were also given the opportunity to enter into shared home ownership.
Sara, who went through the course, said she never thought she would own a home, but was able to through the shared ownership scheme.
She said she felt relieved every time she walked through the door.
“My kids have lived in nine homes growing up, and just that sense that we won’t have to move again unless we choose to is just amazing.”
She said the support she received changed her life and it has set up a better future for her children.
“Myself, my parents, my grandparents, we all grew up in state housing, and to be able to own my own home and break that cycle is amazing.”
General manager of Oranga at Ngāi Tahu Trevor McGlinchey was not surprised to see so many people lining up to join the programme.
READ MORE VIA RNZ
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