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Youth homelessness in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa New Zealand: A scoping report prepared for Manaaki Rangatahi ki Tāmaki Makaurau Youth Homelessness Collective

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Ngā Wai a te Tui Māori and Indigenous Research Centre, ,

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This scoping report, prepared for the Manaaki Rangatahi ki Tāmaki Makaurau Youth Homelessness Collective, focuses on youth homelessness in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Utilising a Kaupapa Māori approach, the report is developed ‘by rangatahi, for rangatahi’ to support the advocacy efforts aimed at eradicating youth homelessness. It forms part of the ‘Urban Intergenerational Kāinga Innovations’ research programme under the National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, seeking innovative housing solutions that foster socially cohesive, resilient Māori communities. The report underscores the increasing issue of homelessness among youth in Aotearoa, with a notable absence of local data and literature. It critically examines existing definitions of homelessness, emphasizing the unique challenges faced by Māori and LGBTIQ+ youth. The research attributes homelessness among Māori to colonization and its disruptive impacts on Māori social systems. It points out the structural roots of homelessness, exacerbated by housing stress, inadequate governmental support, societal ignorance, and discrimination. The report also explores the difficulties young people encounter with the available social support systems. Concluding with insights into the lived experiences of homeless youth, the report presents innovative housing models from community programs and offers six strategic recommendations for systemic change: respond to the immediate needs of rangatahi by providing targeted funding and resources tailored to addressing youth homelessness; review all research and data pertaining to youth homelessness; review support services available to young people and children; review: definitions and measures of homelessness to include youth/rangatahi; review housing and youth policies, plans and strategies; and, reset policies and processes to enable Kaupapa Māori and youth organisations to lead housing solutions.

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