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Public participation in housing: The Waahi Maori of New Zealand.

Author Category Source

Geography Research Forum, 10(199), 68-69

Published Year

Stea explores the unique approach of the Māori community in Waahi Pā, New Zealand, to housing and urban planning.

The article emphasises the integration of Māori cultural values into the design and planning process, highlighting the importance of community participation. It discusses the application of environmental modelling as a tool to bridge the gap between professional planners and the Māori community. This approach facilitated the communication of the community’s spatial preferences in their own terms, thus empowering them in the planning process. The case study reveals the significance of incorporating indigenous perspectives and values in urban development, offering valuable insights for urban planners, architects, and policymakers working with indigenous communities. As Stea notes in the conclusion, while there are Māori architects, currently considerable power over environmental form rests in the hands of Pākehā professionals. To share in that power, Māori must learn to communicate their needs in graphic terms that cannot be misunderstood. The Waahi project was a significant step in the direction of providing housing that is not just affordable to Māori, but appropriate to the integration of housing into the Māori world view.

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