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Building sustainable Papakāinga to support Māori aspirations for self-determination.

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Auckland University of Technology, ,

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This PhD thesis explores the complex challenges faced by Māori in developing housing on their ancestral lands, using the case of the Motu family in Pukepotu, near Kaitaia.

The family’s experience, living in substandard conditions due to restrictive zoning regulations and the limitations of their one-hectare land, highlights broader issues impacting Māori housing development. These issues include spatial inequities, legislative restrictions, and obstructive government policies, particularly those related to land use and ownership. The study delves into the historical context, noting how the Māori Land Court’s multiple shareholding structure and the partitioning of land post-colonisation have led to the current predicament. It contrasts the deep, spiritual Māori connection to land as kaitiaki (guardians) with Western perspectives that view land primarily as a commodity. The research underscores the severe impact of land loss on Māori communities, leading to economic marginalisation and inadequate housing. The thesis emphasises the urgent need for alternative solutions that respect Māori aspirations and cultural values while addressing the practical realities of modern housing needs. This research is crucial in understanding the unique housing challenges faced by Māori in New Zealand. It provides an insightful analysis of how historical processes and contemporary policies converge to create significant barriers for Māori families seeking to build homes on their ancestral lands. By examining the specific case of the Motu family and placing it within a wider historical and legislative context, the research offers a nuanced perspective on the intersection of cultural values, land rights, and housing policies. This study is particularly relevant for policymakers, urban planners, and community advocates working towards more equitable and culturally sensitive housing solutions in New Zealand. It highlights the need for reformed policies that not only acknowledge the historical injustices faced by Māori but also actively facilitate the development of housing that aligns with their cultural practices and community aspirations.

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