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A principles framework for taking action on Māori/Indigenous Homelessness in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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SSM Population Health, 8, 100450

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This paper explores the creation of a guiding framework for addressing Māori homelessness in New Zealand, integrating tino rangatiratanga, Whānau Ora, and the Housing First approaches.

This study emphasises the importance of cultural alignment in interventions and identifies colonisation and historical trauma as the root causes of Māori homelessness. The study highlighted the necessity of anchoring homelessness interventions in Māori cultural practices, worldviews, and principles. Key findings underscore the importance of recognising colonisation and historical trauma as root causes of Māori homelessness and the need for strong, rights-based frameworks for decolonisation and policy guidance. The paper identifies three pathways as creating opportunities for action on Māori homelessness: Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi is the Māori self-determination pathway; Whānau Ora, a government-sponsored policy supports whānau/family as the pathway for Māori wellbeing and disparities reduction; and Housing First, an international pathway with local application for homelessness that is being implemented in parts of Aotearoa. The potential opportunities of the three pathways shaped interviews with authoritative Māori about Māori principles (derived from the three pathways) for addressing Māori homelessness. Twenty interviews were conducted with Māori experts using Kaupapa Māori research processes, eliciting advice about addressing Māori homelessness. A principles framework called Whare Ōranga was developed to synthesise these views. The Whare Ōranga Framework was developed as a culturally aligned guide to address Māori homelessness, emphasising the critical role of Māori self-determination and the government’s obligation to reduce disparities. It focuses on the cultural collective of whānau and the principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Whare Ōranga Framework recognises the right to a home with the entitlement sourced in different places. It proposes a culturally informed guide to tackling Māori homelessness, highlighting the significance of Māori self-determination and the government’s role in reducing disparities. This research underscores the need for future exploration on the framework’s application and its relevance to other indigenous populations, offering a significant contribution to the understanding and resolution of homelessness within indigenous communities. Future research is encouraged to explore the practical application of this framework and its potential utility for other indigenous populations facing similar challenges.

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