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Service responses to Maori urban homelessness.

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Parity, 29(8), 15-16

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This article discusses the critical need for Māori-driven interventions in addressing the issue of urban homelessness in New Zealand.

It emphasises the importance of confronting issues of trauma, violence, and oppression that stem from historical intergenerational trauma. The document suggests that urban Māori authorities and urban Marae could play a leading role in responding to Māori urban homelessness due to their urban locations, long-established relationships with mataawaka populations, and experience in administering Whānau Ora programs. The article also highlights the need for culturally-appropriate primary services, including cultural competence training for all frontline staff. It points out that mainstream organisations often lack the resources and cultural understanding necessary to address the complex needs of urban Māori experiencing homelessness. The development and delivery of cultural competency training by Māori organisations are proposed as a way to support mainstream providers. Furthermore, the article discusses the relevance of culturally-based restorative justice in the context of homelessness. It notes the success of Indigenous restorative justice programs in Aotearoa and Hawai’i, focusing on community connectedness and cultural rehabilitation. The document references Te Kooti o Timatanga Hou – The Court of New Beginnings, an Auckland-based court that applies therapeutic jurisprudence principles to reduce re-offending and link people to appropriate services. This model is proposed as a potential framework for Māori-led homelessness interventions that incorporate restorative justice principles under tikanga Māori.

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