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Mā Te Ringa Raupa: Repositioning Iwi-led Training Within the Design, Building and Construction Industry

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The New Zealand housing sector, especially for Māori, is facing a significant crisis with Māori experiencing the lowest home ownership and highest homelessness rates.

There’s an urgent requirement for faster, efficient, and economical house building to address the demand for affordable housing. The government’s 2018 response was the KiwiBuild scheme, aiming to construct 100,000 houses over a decade, in addition to the current rate of 34,000 homes yearly. The housing deficit is escalating social costs, notably impacting Māori communities. Many post-settlement iwi are creating their own housing strategies and participating in housing developments, along with considering their own construction workforce initiatives. A primary constraint to accelerating housing construction is the skill shortage in the sector. The discontinuation of the Māori Affairs trade training scheme in the late 1980s led to decreased Māori involvement in construction. Existing barriers to Māori engagement in apprenticeships include the absence of pastoral care and high urban living costs. While the government is recruiting overseas construction workers, there’s a growing pan-iwi discussion focused on supporting young Māori and adult learners into trades.

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