Ahakoa te aha, mahingia te mahi – In service to homeless whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau

Lee-Morgan, Jenny; Hoskins, Rau; Te Nana, Rihi; Mohi Rua; Knox, Wayne

Abstract – Tuhinga Whakarāpopoto

Just before winter 2016, Te Puea Memorial Marae opened their doors to anyone in desperate need of shelter and support. Since then, the work of the Marae has continued and developed with a focus on supporting whānau to secure housing tenancy and to support home-building for achieve whānau ora. The issue of homelessness is neither new to Māori, nor is it an issue that is separated from wider societal shifts, and legacies of government policies that dispossess Māori within our own lands. The programme fully embraces whānau with an intimacy that ensures kaimahi get to know, see, hear, and feel the stories and lives of every whānau, adult and child who enters the programme. The ethos of the programme emanates from the Māori beliefs, values, knowledge, and culture, including tīkanga, of the Marae. There are three key phases of the model. Maruiti refers to the shelter of the marae that assures security and works to build positive relationships. Tīmatanga Hou is the move of the whanau to their new home where the marae maintains regular contact. Whānau Ora Mana Motuhake represents the whanau beginning to flourish in their communities and exercising their own agency.

Articles associated with this research – Karere Tūhono

Te Ao Māori news: Te Puea Marae hopes to transform approach to transitional housing

13 July 2022: An article in Te Ao Māori News by Muriwai Hei examines the work at Te Puea Marae in delivering transitional housing.

With researchers supporting by Building Better (BBHTC), Manaaki Tangata E Rua is New Zealand’s first marae-based transitional housing programme. Whānau engaging with Te Puea are experiencing transformative results. >> Read More.

BBHTC Press Release: Te Puea Marae leads transformational approach to transitional housing

10 July 2022: Te Puea Marae is transforming the lives of whānau experiencing homelessness with a tikanga Māori based approach to transitional housing.

Manaaki Tangata E Rua, funded by Building Better Homes, Towns, and Cities (BBHTC), is New Zealand’s first marae based transitional housing programme which has secured permanent homes for more than 100 families. >> Read More.

News: Te Manaaki o Te Marae

27 February 2019: In the winter of 2016, Te Puea Memorial Marae – based in South Auckland’s Mangere – was spurred to action to provide safe haven for vulnerable whānau seeking emergency housing. >> Read More.

Radio: Solving urban homelessness with manaakitanga

14 December 2018: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua Principal Investigator Jenny Lee-Morgan talks on air about her team’s research and why the work being done at Te Puea Memorial Marae is successful at getting people off the streets for good.

RNZ Te Manu Korihi news: Marae model to support urban homeless touted as possible solution

19 September 2018: The grass-roots model an Auckland Marae developed to house hundreds of homeless people is being seen as a viable way to deal with urban homelessness. For the last year, Te Puea Marae has worked with the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge on a research project to show why its transitional housing programme has been a success. >> Read More.

NZ Herald article: Te Puea Marae model of manaakitanga ‘key’ to tackling homelessness crisis

19 September 2018: NZ Herald Māori Affairs reporter, Michael Neilson, takes a look at what make Te Puea Marae special and outlines the Building Better research project into transitional housing.

“A homeless father carried his son on his shoulders from the opposite side of Māngere to Te Puea Marae, because he heard they might have space for them to stay. . . >> Read More.

Māori Television: New research about homeless programme at Te Puea Marae

18 September 2018: Māori Television’s Jessica Tyson covered research around Te Puea Marae and its work to address homelessness that was released at a symposium at the marae on 19 September.

Over the past year, researchers from the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge has been working with the marae to develop the Te Manaaki Tāngata E Rua programme. >> Read More.

Waatea News: Te Puea homelessness tikanga shared

17 September 2018: Te Puea Memorial Marae plans to share what it has learned about tackling urban homelessness.

It is holding a symposium on Wednesday, 19 September with researchers from Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamahorahora – the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge – who have been working with the Mangere-based marae over the past year. >> Read More.

Press Release: Te Puea Memorial Marae to host hui for urban homelessness

17 September 2018: Te Puea Memorial Marae and researchers from He Kāinga Whakamana Tangata, Whakamana Taiao – the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge – will hold their first symposium about their research and share initial insights that centre on the work of the Marae to address urban homelessness. The hui will be held at Te Puea Memorial Marae in Auckland on Wednesday 19 September 2018. >> Read More.

Parity Magazine article: Kāinga tahi, kāinga rua: A kaupapa Māori Response of Te Puea Memorial Marae

October 2017: In the winter of 2016, Te Puea Memorial Marae (TPMM) initiated a kaupapa Māori marae-led response, opening their doors to vulnerable whānau seeking emergency housing. >> Read More.

Keywords – Kupu Hāngai

Community, Māori, papakāinga, marae, homelessness, wellbeing, urban development, urban design

Fields of Research – Āpure Rangahau

Māori; Marae; Community planning; Urban wellbeing


Date – Te Wā Whakarewa



Type – Te Auaha


Citation – Kupu Hautoa

Lee-Morgan, J., Hoskins, R., Te Nana, R., Rua, M. & Knox, W. (2019). In service to homeless whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau. Report of the Manaaki Tāngata Programme at Te Puea Memorial Marae for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua, 60pgs. Auckland: Te Puea Memorial Marae