Ministry for Pacific Peoples — Chief Commissioner calls for housing stories Chief Commissioner calls for housing stories Skip to content

Chief Commissioner calls for housing stories

Chief Commissioner calls for housing stories

  • 07 Nov 2022
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(Picture caption: Visit the He Kāinga Rawaka, A Decent Home website to help create awareness of the housing situation in Aotearoa.) 

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt says a decent home is a human right because decent housing improves health, education, and work.

It provides a sense of safety and belonging and without a decent home, it is difficult to contribute to society.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) recognise housing is vital to our mana and wellbeing, and it is a human right.

Housing for Pacific Aotearoa is indeed a priority for MPP and aligns with the Lalanga Fou goals we have set as an organisation.

The Pacific Housing Initiative is part of a government response to the growing housing needs of Pacific people in Aotearoa.

Through Budget 2020, the Ministry received up to $41.315m over four years in the Improving Housing for Pacific Families and Communities initiative to lay the foundations and provide skills required for Pacific peoples to gain improved housing conditions and home ownership.

Visit the MPP website for more information on our Pacific Housing Initiative.

Meanwhile, a new housing inquiry website, He Kāinga Rawaka, A Decent Home, to put human rights at the centre of government and private sector responses to the housing crisis has been launched by Te Kāhui Tika Tangata - the Human Rights Commission.

Commissioner Hunt says as the housing inquiry has progressed, they have heard some upsetting stories from people.

“There’s been a common thread, they don’t want others to relive what they have been through.   

“Now, we hope to hear from many more people through our website, where people can submit their experiences and solutions for housing.”  

The Commission is asking for people’s experiences generally and on the three topics of emergency and transitional housing, rental conditions, and the cultural adequacy of housing. 

“We want to accelerate calls for an accountability mechanism for housing and to put the right to a decent home, grounded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, at the centre of government and private sector housing plans,” Commissioner Hunt adds.  

The right to a decent home includes international human rights obligations that local and central government, and the private sector, must work together to fulfil.

Yet very often, these duty-bearers are not aware of their obligations.  

“The public also are not always aware of the human right to a decent home, so the website can help people learn about this fundamental right that we all have,” Commissioner Hunt says.

He adds we are now seeing the potential for communities and groups to use the human right to a decent home as a tool for change in our housing system.  

“Whether it is calling on a local council to put the human right to a decent home at the centre of local housing policy, or organising a community discussion, it is important people get involved.  

“Collectively we need to find our way out of this housing crisis and prevent a future one,” says Hunt.  

The website provides some basic tools – posters and an advocacy guide – to assist groups who might want to advocate for their human right to a decent home grounded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  

The experiences that people share will inform the housing inquiry’s reports and findings.  

Share your story HERE.