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“It feels real good having my own space” – Young Māori mothers in the E Hine Study talk about housing.

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New Zealand Population Review, 47, 171–197

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This study investigates the housing experiences and challenges faced by young Māori mothers, emphasising the importance of quality housing for their health and well-being.

Through the E Hine study, a longitudinal, qualitative, Kaupapa Māori research project, the housing journeys of 44 young Māori women were followed from pregnancy or the early antenatal period until their children were 2-3 years old. The analysis reveals their struggles with housing autonomy, relational tensions, and material dilemmas within the context of a housing crisis. The findings highlight the significance of seeking spatial autonomy, maintaining relational connections, and navigating material constraints to create a sense of ‘home.’ This research underscores the complex interplay between spatial autonomy, relational autonomy, and material dilemmas young Māori mothers face in securing housing. By employing a Kaupapa Māori methodology, the study not only prioritises Māori perspectives but also contributes to a deeper understanding of indigenous well-being in relation to housing. It articulates the critical need for housing policies that are responsive to the aspirations and needs of young Māori mothers, emphasising that good quality housing is fundamental to supporting their health, well-being, and cultural identity. The study concludes that young Māori mothers face a complex matrix of challenges in securing housing that meets their needs and aspirations. It underscores the critical need for housing policies and practices that are culturally responsive and recognise the unique socio-economic realities faced by young Māori families. The findings underscore the importance of viewing housing not just as a physical structure but as a critical determinant of health and well-being, deeply intertwined with cultural identity and community connections.

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