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He Kāinga Rua : A Home Away From Home

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Māori professionals play a fundamental role in the growing aspirations of our communities.

From health and wellbeing to economic and social development, it is evident that having Māori representation in all professional industries is essential in developing a truly bi-cultural society in Aotearoa. For generations Māori have been marginalised within a Eurocentric education system creating various disparities and unequal opportunities for Māori. Treaty settlements and unrelenting Māori leadership have ensured a modest but significant Māori presence within tertiary education. Additionally, the increase in Māori student support programmes and initiatives has had a considerable impact on the number of Māori enrolling and completing tertiary qualifications. However, despite these positive steps forward, Māori continue to be under represented and face various hardships that inhibit their ability to complete tertiary study. This includes a lack of appropriate support, role models, housing and money. This research examines these barriers to study through a historical exploration of Māori education and accommodation and interviews with current and past Māori students. It also recognises the impact of preceding support schemes such as the trade training hostels which provided space for Māori in what had become a dominantly Pākehā world. Whilst these hostels were architecturally colonial and, in some ways, proposed as a means of racial assimilation, they ultimately created comradery, safety and a sense of belonging for Māori away from their homelands. Furthermore, the hostels highlighted the positive effect secure housing can have on a student’s ability to succeed and grow. Using a Kaupapa Māori framework, the data gathered through these methods has been analysed to answer the question; how can Māori students be better supported through purpose-built housing? The design solution is a residential building that offers a holistic, supportive environment for Māori students to not only live and learn but thrive. It considers Māori ways of living, the diversity of Māori students, and the need to feel grounded and supported when away from home. The aim of this research is to create space for Māori in tertiary education and work towards mitigating the various negative impacts of colonisation.

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