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Geographies of homelessness in New Zealand.

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Parity, 20(9), 11-Dec

Published Year

This article by Collins and Kearns provides an overview of the spatial and societal aspects of homelessness in New Zealand.

Highlighted in the article are the various factors that contribute to the prevalence and visibility of homelessness, particularly in urban areas like Auckland and Wellington. The authors discuss the cultural invisibility of homelessness in New Zealand, shaped by assumptions about the country’s welfare state and housing policies. They argue that such perceptions lead to a general misunderstanding of the homeless as either non-existent or comprising only a small number of aberrant individuals. The paper outlines the differences in homelessness between urban and rural settings, with the latter experiencing less visibility due to the availability of alternative shelters like farm sheds and caravans. The authors also delve into the paradox of homelessness among the Māori population, particularly in Northland and East Cape, where cultural ties to land conflict with the availability of adequate housing. Furthermore, Collins and Kearns explore the role of government policies in addressing homelessness. They discuss the papakainga lending scheme in rural areas and the varied responses of local governments in urban centres, which range from supportive strategies to punitive regulations.

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