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Fading expectations: The crisis in Maori housing : A report for the Board of Maori Affairs.

Author Category Source

Department of Maori Affairs, ,

Published Year

Douglas, in this report commissioned by the Board of Māori Affairs in 1986, undertakes a critical examination of the housing needs of Māori families and the resources required to address these needs.

The report is a compilation and analysis of various studies on Māori housing, providing a comprehensive overview of the existing conditions and challenges. Douglas expresses scepticism about the effectiveness of the Housing Corporation in addressing Māori housing issues, differing from the more positive stance of the Department of Māori Affairs. He critically assesses the 1982 Māori Housing Review (Cornwall Report), noting its recommendation to relegate the Department of Māori Affairs to an advisory role in housing and transferring lending responsibilities to the Housing Corporation. Douglas’s analysis aligns with Gael Ferguson’s view that the report minimised the role of the Department in promoting homeownership among Māori and questioned the validity of Māori ‘special needs’ in housing. Furthermore, Douglas highlights the Housing Corporation’s failure to monitor its service delivery to Māori and the National Housing Commission’s lack of research on Māori housing, terming this oversight a ‘conspiracy of silence’. He also identifies low expectations of gaining a mortgage as one reason that few Māori applying for housing assistance. The report also notes that the gap between Māori and non-Māori in regards to home ownership had been widening since 1971.Douglas provides a crucial critique of the institutional responses to Māori housing needs during this period, revealing significant gaps in policy and practice. It serves as an important document for understanding the complexities and shortcomings of housing policy for the Māori community in the mid-1980s.

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