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Stories from the haukāinga: Embracing homeless whānau at Te Puea Memorial Marae

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In Cram, F., Hutchings, J., & Smith, J. (Eds.), Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua: Māori housing realities and aspirations. Bridget Williams Books., , 106-116

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In this chapter, Morgan and Te Nana explore how Te Puea Memorial Marae (TPMM) responded to growing numbers of homeless whānau, following the ancient tradition.

As the authors note, their research shows that while TMM cared for whānau in need of emergency and transitional housing, the marae had also become a storehouse for homeless stories. Consistent with its cultural practices, the marae had sought to preserve these stories. The chapter seeks to outline the multi-layered narrative that centres on the haukāinga led by the chair of TPMM and the work they do through the Manaaki Tāngata programme to seek and facilitate hauora. As they note, the haukāinga at TPMM helped generate powerful messages that assisted in disrupting the dominant discourse of the National government of the time, which was asserting that homelessness and poverty were not significant issues. The chapter explains who the stories of landlessness, homelessness, and devastation experienced by tupuna are retold on a daily basis and how these epic stories are connected to current experiences. The chapter also outlines the manaakitanga of TPMM and the Manaaki Tāngata Programme, noting how humanising and powerful this is for both those seeking refuge in the marae and as part of the broader counter narrative.

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