ASB's Māori land lending helps whānau return to their whenua

19 December 2023

One important way ASB is supporting Te Ōhanga Māori (the Māori economy) is with lending solutions enabling whānau to build homes and return to living on ancestral land.

The Māori economy is valued at $69 billion and is an important and growing part of New Zealand's economy, made up of Māori individuals, collectives and businesses.

Māori freehold land makes up around 1.47 million hectares or six percent of Aotearoa New Zealand. This land has been through the Māori Land Court and converted to freehold titles, with ownership that is often decided by whakapaka (genealogy) or connection to the whenua (land).

The legal features of Māori land require a unique approach to lending.

ASB has developed a framework for lending on Māori freehold land for residential purposes where there is a maximum of six owners or trustees on the title.

"We are focused on how we can accelerate Te Ōhanga Māori (the Māori Economy) and build a sustainable Aotearoa with solutions that will make a difference for whānau and the generations to come," says Anthony Ririnui, Kaihautū, Te Waka Whaihua, at ASB.

"We're proud to be supporting Māori housing solutions. It has been rewarding to see whānau realise their long-held dreams of returning to their ancestral whenua in new, affordable homes."

The framework for lending, developed by Te Waka Whaihua, ASB's Māori banking team, has recently seen the completion of several housing projects for Māori whānau in Waikato, with more underway.

The lending is a key part of ASB's Ōhanga Māori Strategy that is working to address the challenges Māori experience in accessing capital, as highlighted by Te Pūtea Matua, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

ASB is also supporting Iwi, Māori collectives and Land Trusts and working with Māori entrepreneurs and businesses, to support Māori economic development.

In November, ASB launched its Accelerated Housing Fund to, in part, support social and affordable housing development by Māori for Māori.

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