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Ethnicity, racism and housing: discourse analysis of New Zealand housing research

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Housing Studies, 37(8), 1331-1349

Published Year

This article analyses the relationship between housing, race, and political power across settler-colonial states, with a particular focus on Aotearoa New Zealand.

It outlines the historical context of racial divisions in homeownership and the consequential social and economic impacts on Indigenous and marginalised communities. The paper argues that housing is not just a commodity but a fundamental aspect of social life that structures autonomy, self-determination, and access to resources, thereby making struggles over housing inherently political. The analysis highlights the stark racial disparities in homeownership rates in New Zealand, especially among Māori and Pacific peoples, and connects these disparities to broader patterns of institutional racism and systemic violence that have persisted over decades. It critically examines how housing policies and practices have historically been used as tools of control and exclusion, contributing to the ongoing marginalization of Indigenous and other racially marginalised groups. The paper also critiques the academic discourse on housing in New Zealand, noting a lack of attention to racial disparities and the mechanisms of institutional racism within the housing market. It calls for a more nuanced understanding of how race and racism shape housing outcomes and stresses the importance of addressing these issues in efforts to resolve the housing crisis. Overall, the paper provides a comprehensive analysis of how racialised housing policies and practices have reinforced social inequalities and hindered the pursuit of equity and justice for Indigenous and marginalised communities in New Zealand and other settler-colonial contexts.

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