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Papakāinga: Māori wellbeing in the context of collective living

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In Cram, F., Hutchings, J., & Smith, J. (Eds.), Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua: Māori housing realities and aspirations. Bridget Williams Books., , 26-40

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This chapter provides a critical analysis of the impacts of colonialism on Māori connections to place and well-being.

Pihama elucidates how colonial dispossession has not only led to physical landlessness but also inflicted generational trauma on Māori people, fundamentally altering their socio-cultural frameworks, particularly in relation to housing. She articulates how pre-colonial Māori communities thrived within tikanga-based systems that fostered collective guardianship and living, which were severely disrupted by colonial forces aiming to Europeanise Māori societal structures. Pihama critiques the ongoing colonial legacy that frames contemporary Māori housing issues, urging a rejection of deficit theories that pathologise Māori on an individual or collective basis. Highlighting the papakāinga movement as a form of resistance and regeneration, she presents it as a pathway towards revitalizing traditional Māori collectivity and reconnecting whānau to each other and their lands, offering a hopeful vision for the future grounded in tikanga. This chapter contributes to the broader discourse on indigenous housing solutions by framing Māori homelessness within the historical context of colonialism and advocating for housing initiatives that restore traditional values and practices.

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