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Interventions in Māori house fire mortality rates through innovations in healthy Mā̈ori housing solutions.

Author Category Source

International Research Institute for Maāori and Indigenous Education. Research Report No. 14, New Zealand Fire Service Commission, ,

Published Year

Hoskins addresses a critical issue in New Zealand's public health and safety sector: the disproportionately high rates of house fire mortality among the Māori population.

Hoskins’ study is pivotal in identifying and analysing the underlying causes of this issue and proposes innovative solutions centred around the concept of healthy Māori housing. The report delves into various aspects of Māori housing that contribute to fire risks, including structural features, location, and accessibility to fire services. Specifically, it notes that a significant factor in the high rate of Māori deaths is substandard housing. This requires investment in smoke alarms, awareness programmes, interagency cooperation, and further research to determine how this can be ameliorated. The report also notes the frequency of Māori fire deaths related to the use of naked flame light and heat sources in houses, out buildings and caravans in rural areas. This, the report continues, requires the development of ways of minimising the use of naked flames for lighting and heating through alternative energy technologies and exploration of means of funding alternative technology ‘packs’ to be made available to both existing rural families and new Papakainga developments. The research for the report includes both a hui with key stakeholders and case studies of Māori fire deaths. Hoskins emphasises the importance of culturally sensitive interventions that not only adhere to safety standards but also respect and incorporate Māori cultural values. The study advocates for a collaborative approach, involving Māori communities in the design and implementation of these housing solutions.

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