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Huaki: Cultural Landscape Recognition Needed for Māori to Flourish in Housing

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Landscape Review, 19(1),

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This paper provides analysis of the intersection between urban design, planning practices, and the incorporation of Māori cultural values within the urban fabric of New Zealand.

It highlights the historical context of state housing and its impact on Māori communities, particularly through policies such as ‘pepperpotting’, which aimed at integrating Māori into predominantly non-Māori neighbourhoods but often fell short in fostering genuine social cohesion or respecting Māori cultural practices and extended family structures. The paper underscores the failure of early housing schemes to accommodate Māori cultural values, despite later attempts by Māori architects like Rewi Thompson to introduce responsive designs. It critically examines the ongoing struggle of Māori communities to maintain their cultural identity and connectivity to the land amidst urban development pressures, emphasizing the importance of co-design and collaborative planning processes that respect and integrate Māori cultural landscapes and values. The narrative shared by residents of Glen Innes and Māngere reflects a deep-seated connection to their land, community, and cultural heritage, which is often challenged by urban renewal projects and housing policies that disregard these bonds. The residents’ experiences and aspirations highlight the significance of storytelling, communal living, and cultural landmarks in fostering a sense of belonging and identity within urban settings. The paper advocates for a more inclusive and culturally sensitive approach to urban design and housing that not only acknowledges Māori cultural values but actively involves Māori communities in the planning and design process. It points to the potential of Māori principles, such as Te Aranga and He Awa Whiria, to guide urban development in a way that respects and celebrates Māori identity, while also enhancing the urban experience for all residents. By emphasising the need for secure tenure, the preservation of cultural landscapes, and the integration of Māori values into urban planning, the paper argues for a model of urban development that promotes equality, social cohesion, and cultural sustainability.

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