News Archive 2023

NEWS: 2023

Tribunal Report Highlights Government’s Failure to Protect Vulnerable Rangatahi
By Jacqueline Paul

A Waitangi Tribunal report has exposed the government’s failure to adequately protect and support vulnerable rangatahi. According to statistics, 50 percent of people experiencing homelessness in New Zealand are under 25.

“Kāinga Kore: The Stage One Report of the Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa Inquiry on Māori Homelessness” primarily evaluates the Crown’s response to Māori homelessness. The report is stage one of a Waitangi Tribunal inquiry into housing policy and Māori homelessness. It emphasises the lack of support for homeless rangatahi, and highlights breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles related to active protection and good governance.


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Co-governance strengthens influence of kaupapa Māori research

Co-governance strengthens influence of kaupapa Māori research

He tauira motuhake kua whakatinanahia e te kāhui whakahāere o He Kainga Whakamana Tangata, Whakamana Taiao. Kua whakatōngia e rātou te mauri o Te Tiriti o Waitangi hei tuāpapa mo te katoa o a rātou mahi.Mea rawa ake kua whai oranga te mana ōrite ki ngā taipitopito katoa o BBHTC, kua whakapakari ake hoki ngā rauemi tautoko ma ngā hapori kua kaha tāamia e ngā raru whai kāinga.

Embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership has bolstered BBHTCs ability to provide dedicated resource and support to marginalised communities.
The four inspirational leaders of the National Science Challenge, have entrenched equitable representation of Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti throughout their organisation and the ripple effect is helping make meaningful change.


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Call for input for two PMCSA evidence synthesis projects

The Office of the Prime Ministers Chief Science Advisor has two smaller evidence synthesis projects in progress exploring:

Details of the project are available via the weblinks above. The PMCSA is looking to identify researchers that have both relevant expertise and would be interested in feeding back as a peer reviewer over the next 2-4 months for either project.

If you are an expert or stakeholder in this area, and would like to be involved, please reach out by emailing with your name, contact details, and a short statement on your relevant expertise by 5pm, 24 February.

Access and susceptibility to false online information, including information that is misleading, harmful and hateful, is a rapidly growing global challenge. The increased use of the internet and social media by children and young people poses a significant risk for Aotearoa New Zealand. These threats from Polluted Information include the undermining of social cohesion, well-being, and a well-informed citizenry.


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Water Sensitive Urban Design ‘desperately needed’

At the end of January, an “atmospheric river” deluged Auckland, causing wide-spread flooding and a State of Emergency in the region.

Although the rain was an unprecedented record setter, how has the city performed? When the water recedes, are there lessons to be learned and changes to be made in how we create our urban environments? Do our stormwater systems need revising in the face of a changing climate? Do we need to radically change our thinking about non-porous hard surfaces that force water into surface run-off? Should councils be mandating Water Sensitive Urban Design on all new developments and actively retrofitting existing infrastructure to try and prevent the events that occurred in Auckland from happening again?

A team of researchers supported by BBHTC say we need to shift our thinking and start adopting Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) now, as extreme events such as that in Auckland are likely to become more frequent.

Dr Robyn Simcock says the large, tree-filled raingardens in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter show how to absorb excess run-off water from impermeable surfaces. There are a myriad of ways to help create ‘sponge’ cities such as dual use of low-lying parks to hold runoff, roadside raingardens to reduce flow into guttering, trees beside roads, greenroofs, and reducing impermeable surfaces. Photo: Robyn Simcock, Landcare Research.


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The city as laboratory: What post-quake Christchurch is teaching us about urban recovery and transformation

In this The Conversation article by BBHTC researchers Kelly Dombroski and Amanda Yates, the pair explore post-quake urban recovery in Ōtautahi Christchurch. In the aftermath of a series of earthquakes that devastated the city 12 years ago, impromptu and transitional organisations kickstarted the city’s recovery.

On the many vacant sites in the demolished city, they supported pop-up shops, installations and events to keep city life and urban wellbeing going during the slow post-quake rebuild.

Such transitional urban wellbeing efforts are just as relevant elsewhere as cities experience the impacts of climate chaos and wider ecological decline, and are subject to shocks, both acute and chronic.

Cities are under increasing pressure to shift to circular, zero-carbon and ecological living systems to support social, cultural and ecological wellbeing. Researchers studying urban system change have identified key areas of action for holistic wellbeing.

The Commons in Christchurch is now a regular space for markets and events. Photo: Gap Filler, CC BY-ND.


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Innovating housing futures: case studies from the Waikato and Nelson

There have been several innovative responses to housing unaffordability in both the Waikato and Nelson. Researchers in the Affordable Housing for Generations (AHfG) research programme in the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge (BBHTC), Bev James, Gauri Nandedkar, and Simon Opit have been exploring the potential of local innovation through land and financial investment strategies.

Bev explains that in the Waikato region, they encountered two linked innovative responses, “These were strategic networking, as exemplified by the Waikato Housing Initiative (WHI), and the establishment of a community land trust, as exemplified by the Waikato Community Lands Trust (WCLT).”

The WHI is a multi-agency and cross-sectoral group with goals to improve the delivery of affordable housing that responds to local housing need. The WCLT is a charitable trust aiming to acquire land on which partners will build affordable housing.

“These responses have gradually developed over the past decade, in the context of a deepening awareness of critical regional housing issues, including lack of housing supply, declining affordability of homes to rent or buy, a growing intermediate housing market, an ageing housing stock and poor dwelling conditions, as well as rising homelessness,” says Bev.


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