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Codesigning a Culture-centred Age-Friendly Community for Māori Kaumātua: Cultural Principles and Practices

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The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 77(12), 2265-2275

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This study, focusing on Māori age-friendly housing development in Aotearoa New Zealand, explores the integration of culture-centred and co-design principles to meet the housing needs of kaumātua.

Utilising Kaupapa Māori and participatory research methodologies, the research engaged 19 residents and 12 organisational stakeholders through interviews, alongside three focus groups, to understand the development’s impact on kaumātua well-being. The findings reveal the importance of kaumātua-centred vision, the realisation of this vision, and the lived experience of the shared vision in creating a supportive, culturally resonant community. This approach not only addresses the economic, social, and health needs of kaumātua but also offers a model for other Indigenous communities seeking to develop age-friendly housing solutions. The study underscores the critical role of cultural practices in housing design and community organisation, suggesting that such culturally grounded approaches can significantly enhance the quality of life for Indigenous elders. The collaborative effort between Māori community groups and various stakeholders highlights the potential for community-driven, culturally sensitive housing projects to address broader social and health disparities faced by Indigenous populations.

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