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Homeless and Landless in Two Generations – Averting the Māori Housing Disaster

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In 1936, 71% of Māori owned their dwellings, but by 2013, this number dropped to 43% and is likely now below 40%, compared to a 70% ownership rate for Pākēha.

The decline in home ownership not only impacts socio-economic aspects but also deeply affects Māori culture, identity, and psychology, intertwining homes and identity. Moreover, this trend questions the rights of Māori under Article 3 of Te Tiriti, as they miss out on the implicit home ownership social contract many Pākēha New Zealanders enjoy. This paper suggests the primary cause of the Māori housing crisis is structural, rooted in historical and current institutions since colonisation. The significant dip in Māori home ownership started around 1991, coinciding with the ‘Mother of all Budgets’ and a rise in Māori unemployment. The article aims to identify solutions to address and reverse this declining trend by analysing its historical causes and proposing interventions to amend existing state structures or introduce new ones.

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