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Eleanor Ainge Roy
A 30% rise in people waiting for state housing in Northland region fuels country’s ‘desperate’ shortage in affordable homes.
New Zealand government MPs have heard that the housing situation in Northland has become so desperate some families are living in the woods, in huts built in the forks of trees.
Northland is one of the most deprived regions of the country, with a median income of NZ$23,400. The population is also 32% Māori – double that of the rest of the country.
At a housing hui (meeting) held in Whangarei on Thursday, the Māori affairs minister, Nanaia Mahuta, who is also associate minister of housing, was told by local housing advocates that the shortage of affordable housing had become “desperate” in the north island region, with families forced to live in trees, self-built huts, old vehicles, lean-tos, derelict houses and carports