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He mātou whare, he mātou kāinga hoki – a house that is a home for whānau Māori.

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Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, ,

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This report explores the perceptions of 27 Māori key informants regarding the elements that transform a house into a home for whānau Māori, focusing on the support housing provides to Whānau Ora, or Māori collective wellbeing.

Utilising conversational interviews and thematic analysis underpinned by the concept of ontological security, the research explores the importance of both social and material environments in shaping self-identity for Māori. Key informants highlighted the significance of collective (social and cultural) capital, financial capital, and structural responsiveness as facilitators in making a house a home. Conversely, barriers such as poverty, poor quality of housing, and structural resistance were identified. The study emphasises the role of social and cultural relationships in ontological security, alongside the material aspects of housing quality and its impact on health and wellbeing. Concerns regarding the security of tenure, affordability, and the potential of social and affordable housing solutions were discussed. The narrative also touched upon the value of neighbourhood and community planning for whānau, as well as the relevance of living within one’s iwi rohe. This research offers valuable insights into the complex interplay between housing, cultural identity, and wellbeing among Māori whānau, suggesting pathways for policy and community development to enhance Māori housing outcomes.

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