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Housing on Māori Land, c.1870-2021

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Waitangi Tribunal, ,

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This Waitangi Tribunal report explores the evolution of housing policy and services on Māori land from circa 1870 to 2021, against the backdrop of significant historical events including the establishment of the Native Land Court, native land legislation, and the New Zealand Wars.

It scrutinises the Crown’s engagement with and awareness of housing conditions on Māori land over this extensive period, highlighting the linkage between substandard housing and adverse health outcomes for Māori communities. Furthermore, it evaluates the effectiveness of various government policies and legislative measures aimed at facilitating or hindering the construction of housing on Māori land. By comparing government housing assistance for Māori land with that for general land, the report sheds light on the disparities and challenges faced by Māori in securing adequate housing. Through a series of case studies, the report illustrates Māori initiatives to meet their housing needs, emphasising the resilience and resourcefulness of these communities. Commissioned as part of the Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa Inquiry (Wai 2750) by Judge Craig Coxhead, this report is one among six research casebook reports. It employs a Kaupapa Māori research methodology, integrating multiple research methods to provide a comprehensive analysis of the barriers and facilitators to achieving Māori housing aspirations. The report acknowledges several challenges encountered during the research, including defining ‘Māori land’, the scarcity of reliable quantitative data, and the use of sources primarily authored by Pākehā, which necessitated a critical approach to assess potential biases. Significantly, the report scrutinises the Crown’s consultation processes with Māori communities regarding housing needs and initiatives, the targeted legislative and policy responses to identified housing needs on Māori land, and the availability and effectiveness of housing assistance programs. It also examines the Crown’s response to barriers or discrimination experienced by Māori in attaining housing on Māori land and assesses the impact of Crown housing legislation and policies on Māori access to adequate housing. Structured thematically across six chronological eras and divided into eight chapters, the report offers an in-depth exploration of housing on Māori land, contributing valuable insights to the broader understanding of Māori housing issues.

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