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In Cram, F., Hutchings, J., & Smith, J. (Eds.), Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua: Māori housing realities and aspirations. Bridget Williams Books., , 15-25

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In this profound reflection, Jackson, a respected Māori legal scholar and advocate, explores the nuanced distinction between ‘house’ and ‘home’ within the context of Māori experiences of homelessness in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Jackson argues that the prevailing discourse on the housing crisis often overlooks the deeper, more intrinsic notion of home as a place of belonging, identity, and well-being, particularly for Māori whose concept of home is inextricably linked to their connection with the land, ancestry (whakapapa), and community. Through personal anecdotes, historical analysis, and cultural insights, Jackson highlights the detrimental impacts of colonisation on Māori’s sense of home and belonging, illustrating how these historical injustices have led to contemporary challenges in housing accessibility and quality for Māori people. He advocates for a reconceptualisation of policies and practices that prioritise the restoration of a sense of home for Māori, grounded in principles of justice, equity, and Treaty of Waitangi partnerships. This piece not only contributes to the discourse on Māori housing but also calls for a broader societal reflection on what it means to be ‘at home’ in Aotearoa, emphasising the importance of relationality, belonging, and a deep respect for the land and each other. Jackson’s narrative is a compelling call to action for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to reframe their approach to addressing homelessness by centring Māori perspectives and aspirations for a home that transcends the physical structure of a house.

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