Think Tank hui aims at visible and disruptive contribution to housing debate

13 February 2018

Making a highly visible and disruptive contribution to the housing, urban design, and planning debate was the aim of a Māori Housing Think Tank hui, convened on 24 January to establish a kaupapa Māori research programme for the Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua research area.

The hui, attended by over 30 participants, divided into three streams or whenu:

Whenu 1: Supporting Hauora Through Successful Māori Housing Initiatives Further understand, from the perspective of whānau, the nexus between poverty, housing, and well-being for diverse Māori communities and to examine solutions that can support transformational hauora outcomes.

Whenu 2: Economic Solutions to Support Māori Housing To develop a suite of economic and finance solutions for diverse whānau that can address issues of lifetime renting and home ownership, and explore the tensions between commercial return of assets, social housing for iwi, and enhanced hauora outcomes.

Whenu 3: Growing Papakāinga into the Future To examine a wide range of papakāinga developments to understand what is innovative and propose ways forward for the future of papakāinga housing that account for kāinga tahi kāinga rua.

Hui participants were asked to workshop "what is our vision for culturally appropriate housing?" At a report-back session to the wider group, participants organised their group's feedback according to the three key themes of hauora, economic solutions, and papakāinga. An additional theme of knowledge transfer was generated by the roundtable discussion.

The discussion was wide-ranging and a summary can be found in the Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua publications section. Some of the key areas of discussion were the need to consider hauora and housing from the worldview of Māori. The need to validate mātauranga around turangawaewae (belonging), kāinga, building homes, and their function and purpose, including supporting inclusive and inter-generational living for tamariki, rangatahi, pakeke, kaumatua, and those with disabilities.

The hui summary paper outlines that "Housing for hauora requires inter-connected, inter-related thinking 150 years into the future with a future-generational focus, and which is inter-disciplinary: educational; cultural; economic; alongside the physical."

The hui agreed that culturally appropriate housing is housing that enables Māori to live as Māori (in all their diversity). "Whānau Ora study gathering kōrero from 43,000 Māori suggested that what Māori want most is to be Māori - learn te reo, tikanga, mātauranga. Housing needs to be able to facilitate this learning and be a puna for us where we can recharge as Māori and speak our language, transfer our mātauranga to future generations, and keep to our tikanga, values, and philosophies.

For more about the hui please see Māori Housing Think Tank Hui - Hui Summary Paper (PDF).

For all queries, please contact Dr Jessica Hutchings, Building Better Homes. Towns and Cities