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Māori Home Ownership, 1991–2021

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Waitangi Tribunal, ,

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This report for Waitangi Tribunal's Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa Inquiry (Wai 2750) explores Māori home ownership from 1991 to 2021.

It forms a part of a six-report research casebook intended for the second stage of the inquiry, with its counterparts covering historical Māori housing, the private rental market, social housing needs, and housing on Māori land within specified periods. Waldegrave’s report is pivotal in outlining the participation of Māori in home ownership on general land, examining the substantial shifts in Crown legislation, policy, and practice from the late 1980s and early 90s up to 2021. This includes an analysis of the 2020 Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation (MAIHI) framework and the 2021 Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), alongside the extent of Māori consultation during this era. The report is tasked with answering seven critical questions that explore government intentions with housing reforms, the extent of Māori consultation, barriers to Māori accessing government home ownership programs, responses to lender discrimination, the contribution of home ownership to intergenerational wealth among Māori, and the impact of planning and building legislation on Māori housing models. Through an examination of primary and secondary sources, alongside quantitative and qualitative analyses, Waldegrave addresses these questions, forming hypotheses around the Crown’s universal, market-driven home ownership policy, minimal consultation with Māori, inattention to Māori cultural processes, and the significant negative impacts of housing insecurity on Māori. Chapters of the report are chronologically arranged, with a notable exception dedicated to analysing the benefits of home ownership. This layout facilitates an understanding of the historical context, the neo-liberal reforms of the 1990s, the social and economic benefits of home ownership, and the progression towards more inclusive housing policies up to 2021. The report culminates in conclusions responding directly to the commission’s questions, shedding light on the profound effects of government housing policies on Māori participation in home ownership and outlining the emergence of new strategies aimed at addressing these challenges.

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