Maia Ratana | Kaiako and Kairangahau at Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka

Maia Ratana, one of the three researchers who make up the rangatahi ahu for Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua – the flagship Māori housing research programme for the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge was recently interviewed by Dale Husband for Waatea News.

“If you think about state housing, and what Māori were living in as they moved into the cities during urban migration, those houses did not meet the way we live as Māori. At lot of the time, the lounge might be at one end of the house and the kitchen at the other, so how do you manaaki when you don’t have spaces that reflect the way we like to live. Jade [Kake], myself, and many others have spent a lot of time and effort thinking about and working towards creating spaces that reflect the way we want to live as Māori,” says Maia.

Maia Ratana. Photo: Desna Whaanga-Schollum.


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A home is a place of hope

Article by Jacqueline Paul.

A home is a place of hope. A home is a place of love. A home is a place of nurture. A home is a place of safety.

And yet, we live in a country where many rangatahi and their tamariki have no place to call home. So, it can be hard to imagine home as a place of hope when you have no home.

Our rangatahi research team recently released two research reports on rangatahi and housing. The first report, Youth homelessness in Tāmaki Makaurau in collaboration with Manaaki Rangatahi Youth Homelessness Collective, drew attention to youth homelessness with a particular focus on the growing number of rangatahi and tamariki experiencing the most severe housing deprivation in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The second report, A critical review of Rangatahi Māori and housing policy, highlights significant concerns about housing policy and the lack of support for many rangatahi Māori in desperate need of warm, safe, and secure housing. The report calls for investment into rangatahi Māori-led housing research and better housing policy for rangatahi Māori.

Tiana Kiro, left, and Beyonce Kahui, two young māmā who recently travelled to Wellington with E Tipu E Rea Whānau Services to share their thoughts on alcohol harm and the need for alcohol reform. Photo: Zoe Hawke, E Tipu E Rea Whānau Services.


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Wide-ranging new book revitalises understanding of home for Māori in the twenty-first century

Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua surveys the many ways whānau, hapū and iwi experience housing and home across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Arriving at a time of promise and change for Māori housing, these stories of home and belonging provide inspiration for the future. Over two dozen contributors from across the country also make this one of the most comprehensive accounts yet published of tangata whenua housing realities and aspirations.

Narratives of resilience open the book, showing how the broad currents of colonisation, social and economic history, and land and law changes have affected housing through time. Personal, heartfelt discussions of the relationships between housing, home and identity highlight contemporary challenges such as homelessness and rangatahi issues.

The concept of vertical papakāinga – high-rise, apartment-style accommodation – has been put forward as a way to meet the housing needs of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. While allowing for greater density, it requires careful navigation of aspects of tikanga and kawa, as whānau live above others’ heads (traditionally considered tapu). Image: Rau Hoskins.


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Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua: Māori housing realities and aspirations – chapter summaries

The Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua Kaupapa Māori Research Project draws on expertise from across the Māori housing sector. The project responds to the right and aspiration of Māori researchers, in collaboration with Māori organisations and communities, to develop Māori housing solutions. The outputs of the Kaupapa Māori Research Project include a collected volume of writing, entitled Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua: Māori Housing Realities and Aspirations, published this month by Bridget Williams Books.

The volume includes the reflections and research of the late Moana Jackson, as well as a foreword by tuakana, Ella Henry, who shares insights she has gained from her housing research, her engagements with communities, and her time and mahi with whānau, hapū, and iwi.

A brief is available which introduces seven chapters from the volume – a teaser for the main event. A full list of the chapters and authors included in the volume is provided at the end of this brief.

The production of the book has been supported by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Creative New Zealand, and Bridget Williams Books.


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Rangatahi Māori demonstrate the value of transformational approaches to housing

A talented team of Māori researchers are working alongside communities to create a repository of knowledge and resources dedicated to ensuring housing security for rangatahi Māori.

Tātaiwhetu ki te Rangi, He Rangatahi ki te Kāinga is a four-year research project investigating pathways to safe, secure, and affordable homes for youth in Tāmaki Makaurau. It will also explore potential kāinga (housing) innovations designed to support Māori intergenerational housing aspirations.

Kō atu I te rima tekau ōrau o te hunga e noho kāinga kore ana ki Aotearoa nei kei raro iho i ngā tau 25.

E ai ki te rangahau kātahi ano kia whakarewahia I te pūrongo Youth Homelessness in Tāmaki Makaurau Aotearoa New Zealand ki te pā te hunga rangatahi ki te raru kāinga kore, he kūrakuraku te haere mōna ki te whai tautoko, he koretake rawa atu hoki ngā rauemi kua whakatahangia mā rātou.

From left, Jacqueline Paul, Maia Ratana, Pania Newton, and Hanna-Marie Monga. Photo: Tuputau Lelaulu

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BBHTC-supported wetland restoration project enters new phase

A wetland restoration project in Te Kaha is about to launch into an exciting phase with funding secured to build a predator-proof fence around the Te Kinakina wetlands. The project, led by Kathleen Morrison and Violet Aydon-Pou, is using mātauranga Māori as a core principle to restore the whenua to its natural state after decades of dairy farming under Crown management.

The Te Kinakina wetland restoration project is supported by the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge through the Poipoia Te Kākano Kia Puāwai research programme, led by BBHTC researchers Dr Fiona Cram and Dr Tepora Emery. The programme enables mātauranga Māori around housing and whenua, to allow Māori to blossom by nurturing research that is by, with, and for whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori communities.

Read about the project in this Ōpōtiki News article.

Kathleen Morrison and Violet Aydon-Pou.


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Researchers combine identity and expertise to empower rangatahi in housing

A dedicated team of researchers are combining their identity and expertise to champion the intelligence and innovation of a generation in the housing sector.

Ngā Wai a Te Tūī, Unitec’s Kaupapa Māori and Indigenous Research Centre, has launched a research project that will investigate potential kāinga innovations to support intergenerational Māori housing aspirations. He tātai whetu ki te rangi, he rangatahi ki te kāinga project will investigate pathways to safe, secure, and affordable homes for rangatahi Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The four-year research project, supported by BBHTC, is led and delivered by rangatahi for rangatahi. The project team includes Maia Ratana, Jacqueline Paul, Pania Newton, Hanna-Marie Monga, Grace Walker and is supported by Ngā Wai a Te Tūī Director Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan.


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Te Puea Marae hopes to transform approach to transitional housing

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.

BBHTC researcher and Ngā Wai A Te Tūī director Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan says the evidence compiled identifies pivotal ways of thinking about marae and their ability to support communities.

“The contribution our marae provide in serving our whānau and addressing homelessness has seen compelling shifts for whānau in their physical and spiritual wellbeing.”

Families from diverse cultures who’ve experienced the meaningful support provided by Te Puea have shared their experiences with researchers.

Te Puea Marae.


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Te Puea Marae leads transformational approach to transitional housing

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.

Lead Social Worker, Whitiao Paul says people supported through the programme become a part of the whanau at their Marae which helps creates an enduring connection.

“When they move to their new homes our relationship with them doesn’t end, we stay by their sides to help make sure they have the right support to maintain mana motuhake (self-sustainability).”

The Manaaki Tāngata Programme Kaimahi.


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World’s top university awards scholarship to young Māori researcher

The world’s top-ranked university, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has awarded Jacqueline Paul (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) a full-ride scholarship.

The Ngā Wai A Te Tūī and He Kāinga Whakamana Tangata Whakamana Taiao (BBHTC) researcher has joined the chosen few accepted to MIT, ranked as one of the best universities in the world alongside institutes like Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford. For more than a decade, MIT has maintained the number one spot on the QS World University Rankings, and the competitive admissions process only accepts 4.1% or 4 out of every 100 applicants.

Jackie received the news of her acceptance to MIT just hours after graduating with her Masters at the University of Cambridge.

“I was in Lucy Cavendish College with a close friend and my sister when I received the news. It has taken me several weeks to process everything as it feels surreal to get into the one school I thought I would never get into. I feel so humbled and extremely grateful.”

MIT scholarship recipient Jacqueline (Jackie) Paul. Photo: Emma Wharepouri.


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Ecology of community

Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: He Kāinga Whakamana Tangata, Whakamana Taiao (BBHTC) was pleased to invest in a PhD scholarship to allow James Berghan (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri) to complete his important mahi on social tenure. In 2020, James successfully defended his PhD thesis at Otago University and is now officially Dr James Berghan. He is now also a Lecturer in Urban Design in the School of Surveying, at the University of Otago – the first Māori academic to join the school.

Dr Berghan’s PhD studies social (or communal) tenure – a system of rights which are based on social norms, processes, and relationships.

“Social tenures are a feature of many Indigenous cultures, where land and resources are managed from a collectivist, rather than an individualist, standpoint,” says James.

“For instance, in New Zealand, Māori society was traditionally based around territorial tribal living, with hapū (sub-tribes) controlling and defending particular territories.

“Western governance ushered in by Te Tiriti o Waitangi eroded this form of living by favouring individualised land tenure, and individualised tenure, private ownership and commodification have since tended to dominate the literature on housing and property.

Dr James Berghan at graduation. Photo: Kate Herdman.


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Te Tiriti-anchored housing strategies

The Government’s recently released MAIHI Ka Ora, the National Māori Housing strategy, envisages a future where “all whānau have safe, healthy, affordable homes with secure tenure, across the Māori housing continuum.” – it’s an ideal that should ultimately be extended to all New Zealanders, so why the particular focus on a Māori Housing strategy?

Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: He Kāinga Whakamana Tangata, Whakamana Taiao research has helped highlight the alarming decline in Māori homeownership – in 1936, 71 percent of Māori lived in dwellings that the whānau owned, by 1991 the ownership rate had fallen to 56 percent, by 2013 it was at 43 percent (See Homeless and landless in two generations). Māori homeownership rates are well below those of the rest of the population, even when accounting for the differences in age structures of the populations.

Ngā Wai a Te Tūī researcher and Building Better research partner Jackie Paul (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga) says this is a social and cultural issue, which needs to be challenged. A circuit-breaker is needed.


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Mahi Aroha: Māori work in times of trouble

Building Better researcher, social scientist Dr Fiona Cram (Ngāti Pahauwera) recently investigated the response of Māori to both the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes and the 2020 Covid-19 lockdowns. Her research was focussed on “mahi aroha” – work done by Māori out of a love for the people.

She said that the Canterbury earthquakes prompted expressions of mahi aroha during a natural disaster emergency. Similarly, the Covid-19 level 4 lockdown that began in the last week of March 2020 showcased Māori caring for one another during a pandemic.

“Whether people were paid or unpaid, out in their communities as essential workers, or broadcasting via the internet from their living rooms and kitchens, Māori around the country engaged in mahi aroha.”

However, Fiona cautions that while celebrating the capacity of Māori to move swiftly and effectively to care for others, the past two decades have seen an overall decline in the time Māori have been able to devote to mahi aroha, particularly voluntary work.

Following the Canterbury earthquakes, Māori Wardens mobilised to door knock and deliver food, water, and other resources. Photo: Leonie Wise, Unsplash.


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Woman says housing crisis has robbed her of her identity as a New Zealander


What: Stuff article, part of a series called Off the Ladder on housing affordablity, by reporter Geraden Cann

A 2019 report by Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities researchers Matthew Rout, John Reid, Di Menzies and Angus MacFarlane titled Homeless and landless in two generations – Averting the Māori housing disaster found in 1936, 71 per cent of Māori lived in dwellings owned by their whānau.

By 1991, the ownership rate had fallen to 56 per cent, by 2013 it was at 43 per cent, and by May 2019 it was likely below 40 per cent.

This article about Julia Frelan, who lost her family home in 2009 after a family illness resulted in some financial problems, discusses the housing crisis for Māori using research by Building Better researchers.

A Ngāpuhi woman, Julia Frelan, who has been priced out of ever owning another home says she feels the housing crisis has resulted in the loss of her identity as a New Zealander. Photo: Chris McKeen/Stuff.


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Life when renting for older Māori

The proportion of Māori aged over 55 years living in rental accommodation is likely to rise as home ownership becomes less attainable. To examine what the future of rental accommodation may hold for older Māori, Building Better Researchers Dr Fiona Cram and Morehu Munro interviewed 42 older Māori renters in the Hawke’s Bay region of Aotearoa New Zealand about their experiences.

Participants had moved to their current home to be closer to whānau or out of necessity, and their whānau had often helped them make the decision to move. While some found paying their rent manageable, they often struggled with other living costs. Some struggled with the cost of rent.

“Until the mid-1970s, the proportion of Māori households whose members owned their own home exceeded those who lived in rented accommodation, but this has now been reversed,” says Fiona.

Between 1986 and 2013, the proportion of Māori living in rental accommodation increased from 41% to 77% of Māori.


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Kaumātua launch Māori-designed cookie cutters

The Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust (RKCT), a research partner of Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, has been investigating social enterprise initiatives that kaumātua and kuia in the village at Kirikiriroa (Hamilton) can launch to support not only their own ‘he kāinga pai rawa’ journeys and quality of life, but also strenthen their ties with the wider community and support the ongoing hauora and wellbeing of the village community.

At the end of November the Trust launched three Kuki Reka Kani (Māori-designed cookie cutters), lovingly named and inspired by its kaumātua, at its facility in Frankton, Hamilton.

RCKT chairperson, Owen Purcell says the enterprising kaumātua are extremely proud to celebrate a product they not only inspired but helped shape – in the form of pāua (abalone), pikorua (single twist), and kete (basket).

“I’m certain they’ll now want to do much more in the innovation area, and our job at Rauawaawa is to create an environment which supports them to do just that,” he says.


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A house that is a home for whānau Māori

What makes a house a home for whānau Māori? What are the things that enable the ideal and what are some of the barriers?

In conversational interviews, Building Better researcher Dr Fiona Cram spoke with 27 Māori key informants about what makes a house a home for whānau Māori and how does housing support Whānau Ora (Māori collective wellbeing).

For many people, our social and material environment is a source of confidence in our self-identity. But Dr Cram says that for Māori, this material environment extends beyond the four walls of a home and into the whenua (land), emphasising the importance of place for a sense of belonging.

“Likewise, the social environment extends to encompass whānau who may live in multiple dwellings, as well as whakapapa (genealogy) connections with tipuna (ancestors) who have passed and mokopuna (grandchildren) yet to be born.”


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Minister opens stage 1 of kaumātua building upgrade

Minister Nanaia Mahuta cut the ribbon to reveal stage 1 of Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust’s age-friendly facility upgrade on 31 January.

It has taken three years to complete the first stage of Te Puna o Te Ora’s much-needed improvements but the Hamilton Kaumātua service provider now boasts a new and improved health wing.

A BBHTC researcher from Phase 1 of the Challenge, Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust chief executive, Rangimahora Reddy, says completing stage 1 of the facility upgrade is a huge achievement for the organisation, the kaumātua it serves, and all who helped bring this part of the vision to fruition.

Minister Nanaia Mahuta (centre) celebrating the opening of stage 1 of the Rauawaawa Age-friendly Facility Upgrade with their Kaumātua Kapa Haka roopu. Photo: Megan Lacey.


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Urban regeneration and social cohesion

Following the transfer of 2,700 Glen Innes social housing properties from Housing New Zealand to the Tamaki Regeneration Company (TRC), a collaboration between Housing New Zealand and Auckland Council, the area is in a state of flux as the aging housing stock on large sections are replaced. During the on-going development, tenants are displaced, causing stress for many low-income families who have lived in the area for decades.

A study by BBHTC researchers Ella Henry, Diane Menzies, and Jacqueline Paul, presented at the recent State of Australian Cities Conference in Perth, found that the relationship between TRC and community organisations dealing with the breakdown and replacement of this community has been pivotal in ameliorating some of those stressors.

Home Fires event. Photo: Dr Ella Henry.


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Toitū te Kāinga, Toitū te Ora, Toitū te Tangata

Affordable housing has become a primary focus of political and economic discourse in the current socio-economic environment. However, the discussion rarely examines the established links between housing and human wellbeing or considers the whole-of-life affordability of housing.

To examine these issues, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology initiated the Toitū te Kāinga, Toitū te Ora, Toitū te Tangata research project in partnership with the Matekuare Whānau Trust, Unitec Institute of Technology, Scion, and Tallwood (an Auckland-based design and technology company). The researchers aim to improve our understanding of housing affordability and how living conditions affecting human health and wellbeing, using the Matekuare whānau at Minginui as a study. Many whānau members in the study group lived in old and run-down housing.

An initial interior layout design by Tallwood. Research project partners Scion, Tallwood, and Toi Ohomai worked to develop base designs for eventual implementation as a papakāinga development for the Matekuare Trust at Tawhitiwhiti. Image: Tallwood.


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Regional development and the mana whenua of Pōkeno

During the 1990s, the township of Pōkeno was held up as an example of a declining rural Aotearoa New Zealand. By-passed from the national state highway, it lost its status as a service hub and drastic measures were introduced to revitalise the town, including renaming the town “”. Pōkeno has since undergone an unlikely transformation, with foreign investment and its location within an extended Auckland commuter zone meaning that the township has grown exponentially.

Building Better Thriving Regions researchers John Ryks, Jonathan Kilgour, Jesse Whitehead, Amy Whetu, and James Whetu have recently published a paper in the New Zealand Geographer examining the recent transformation of Pōkeno, including the historical development of the town, and uncover what has been missing in discussions about Pōkeno’s reinvention and revitalisation, namely, the place of mana whenua and Māori.

1863 map of Pōkeno showing the town and land to be auctioned. Source: Auckland Council.


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New designs offer range of options for marae

BBHTC researcher Rau Hoskins talks with Waatea News about the innovative resources for marae looking at housing programmes that were launched at Te Puea Marae in Māngere last week.

These resource were developed over the past two years by researchers funded through the Kainga Tahi, Kainga Rua programme in the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, National Science Challenge.

Rau Hoskins, who led the Te Manaaki o te Marae along with Unitec Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan, says marae started as the centres of kainga, but over the years most have lost their housing apart from a few kaumātua flats.


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Papakāinga People

NEW PODCAST: This podcast focuses on a papakāinga (settlement of homes and associated environment) in Ahipara where the whānau of Rueben Taipari (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāi Tuhoe) are building a papakāinga of muka-reinforced, cement-stabilised rammed earth homes – or whare uku – on Rueben’s ancestral whānau whenua. Dr Rebecca Kiddle talks to Rueben, his wife, Heeni Hoterene (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāi Tahu) and their tamariki to understand the everyday realities of life on the papakāinga. Rebecca also talks to Dr Helen Potter, a researcher working alongside the whānau to tell their story in an upcoming book on Māori Housing being produced by the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua research programme.

Rueben Taipari and whānau at their papakāinga, Ahipara. Photo: Desna Whaanga-Schollum.


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Papakāinga in the 21st Century: Going up

NEW PODCAST: Building papakāinga in urban settings where land is expensive and in short supply, is the focus of today’s papakāinga. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have been grappling with exactly these questions on their Orākei whenua. Dr Rebecca Kiddle explores with Anahera Rawiri from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, alongside researchers Rau Hoskins and Irene Kereama-Royal, the notion of a ‘vertical papakāinga’. They have been working to understand whether this apartment housing typology fits well with the ways that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have historical lived and how they want to live in the future. This innovative exploration builds on their existing papakāinga development that draws on medium density housing typologies to use land efficiently and house as many of their whanau as possible.

Concept design for vertical papakāinga. Image: Design Tribe Architects.


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In service to homeless whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau

Just before winter 2016, Te Puea Memorial Marae (TPMM) opened their doors to anyone in desperate need of shelter and support. Following in the cultural tradition of manaakitanga and the legacy of Te Puea Hērangi, TPMM’s grassroots initiative was dubbed by the Marae, ‘Manaaki Tāngata’.

Research led by Building Better’s Associate Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan (Waikato-Tainui) and Rau Hoskins (Ngāpuhi) explores the work of the Marae, which has continued and developed with a focus on supporting whānau not only to secure housing tenancy, but also on supporting home-building to achieve whānau ora. The linked report below is part of the first phase of a two-year research project entitled ‘Te Manaaki o te Marae: The role of marae in the Tāmaki Makaurau housing crisis’.

The Manaaki Tāngata Programme Kaimahi.


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Māori Housing 4-Part Podcast Series

A series of four podcasts focussed on Māori housing has been produced by Dr Becky Kiddle with support from Desna Whaanga-Schollum and Associate Professor Jo Smith as part of the Ako ahu team in the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua (KTKR) research programme.

The role of the Ako Ahu team is to support KTKR researchers to build a community of interest related to the current housing issues facing diverse Māori communities and to help create research that our communities might find relevant, and ideally, transformative.

Māori housing is a complex issue and requires a whole of landscape (systems) research approach that is embedded in kaupapa Māori methodologies. The Ako Ahu team worked to use pūrākau (storytelling techniques) to synthesise research findings across the three whenu of papakāinga, hauora, and whai rawa to identify key issues, concerns, innovations, and educational opportunities relevant to Māori housing.

Housing Kaumatua. Daisy Haimona Upokomanu outside her Hamilton whare. Photo: Desna Whaanga-Schollum.


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Dr Hutchings appointed to NZ’s MBIE Science Board

Building Better’s Tumu Whakarae Dr Jessica Hutchings has been appointed to New Zealand’s MBIE Science Board by the Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods.

“Dr Hutchings is a well-respected kaupapa Māori research leader. Her expertise working at the interface of science and society will strengthen the Board,” the Minister said.

Jessica has 25 years of experience in the development and implementation of Māori science strategy which includes building and leading Māori research teams and programmes across a wide range of disciplines and science models.

Dr Jessica Hutchings (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Huirapa, Gujarati), Tumu Whakarae for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamahorahora, has been appointed to New Zealand’s MBIE Science Board. Photo: Louise Thomas.


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Dr Fiona Cram, MNZM

BBHTC researcher Dr Fiona Cram was admitted as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Māori health and education. Fiona, Ngāti Pahauwera, is a member of the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua research team, as well as the Improving the architecture of decision-making team. She has been involved in a multitude of housing research projects, including “The Architecture of Decision-Making: Uncovering the dynamics that inhibit us getting the housing we all say we want” and “Building the Future with Good Homes for the People”.

Dr Fiona Cram, MNZM. Photo: Louise Thomas

Exploring Papakāinga
A Kaupapa Māori quantitative methodology

Dr Ella Henry and Professor Charles Crothers from the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua research team have published a strategy for gathering and analysing large-scale data, that will contribute to understanding how Māori might better fulfil aspirations for the designing, financing, and building of housing, as well as understanding their perceptions of housing and papakāinga, and the contribution this has to Māori wellbeing.

Dr Henry says a study of this kind will contribute new knowledge and better understanding of Māori aspirations, in this case around housing, but that there is potential for such a methodology to be applied to a range of issues, where the data collected will contribute to improved wellbeing for Māori.

Ngā Wai o Horotiu marae, Auckland University of Technology. Photo: Louise Thomas.


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Practicing respectful, reciprocal, and relational co-designing

A new report Problematizing replicable design to practice respectful, reciprocal, and relational co-designing with indigenous people examines the tensions with designing among indigenous and non-indigenous people. The authors provide personal stories as Māori, Pākehā, and Japanese designers, which show accountability and articulate pluralities of practices. “In respecting design that is already rooted in local practices, we learn from these foundations and construct our practices in relation to them. For us, respect, reciprocity, and relationships are required dimensions of co-design as an engaged consciousness for indigenous self-determination.”

The report was coauthored by Desna Whaanga-Schollum from Building Better’s “Ako Ahu: Pūrākau as Support for Co-created Research Practices” research team, with colleagues Yoko Akama and Penny Hagen.

Report coauthor Desna Whaanga-Schollum.


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Te Manaaki o Te Marae

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.

In the legacy of Te Puea Herangi, the Marae opened its doors to homeless whānau across the Tāmaki rohe. Initiating this kaupapa Māori response was vital. While the grassroots programme disrupted the wider Auckland housing narrative by revealing the ‘crisis’, for whānau Māori who were homeless, the Manaaki Tāngata E Rua transitional housing programme offered not only a chance to get off the streets but ultimately by taking a uniquely Māori approach – based on manaaki tāngata and tikanga Māori principles in general – many families were effectively transitioned into homes and stable living environments.


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PM’s Chief Science Advisor says hui with Māori experts ‘Ka rawe!’

Building Better’s Director Māori Dr Jessica Hutchings chaired a Rauika Māngai hui this month for the Māori experts who are playing leading and advising roles within each of the 11 National Science Challenges. Hosted by the SfTI Challenge, the group’s special guest was Professor Juliet Gerrard, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.


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Māori designers a hit at RAIC

In May 2017, members of Ngā Aho, a national network of Māori design professionals that includes several Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities researchers, attended and presented at the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium in Ottawa.

The researchers, including Rau Hoskins, Jade Kake, Jacqueline Paul, Rebecca Kiddle, and Desna Whaanga-Schollum, delivered a series of seven short, sharp presentations done in the Pecha Kucha model. Known as a “Kora” event, it represented the diversity of Māori design practice – igniting conversation and ideas.

Proceedings from the conference are now available and include: The evolution of Marae Aotearoa, New Zealand as a critical factor in cultural resilience by Rau Hoskins; Papakāinga Design Principles and Applications by Jade Kake; Te Aranga Design Principles by Jacqueline Paul; Decolonizing the Colonial City by Rebecca Kiddle; and Ngā Aho: Network of Māori Design Professionals by Desna Whaanga-Schollum.


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Power to the people: Maia Ratana

Architecture researcher Maia Ratana is on a mission to empower young Māori to take control of their spaces.

“I can remember when buildings first began to fascinate me,” Maia Ratana recalls. “I was seven. Ever since, I’ve compulsively picked up pen and paper to map out floor plans.”

Currently studying for her Masters in Architecture at Unitec, Maia is one of the three emerging researchers who make up the rangatahi ahu for Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua – the flagship Māori housing research programme for the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge.

Read Maia’s interview in Architecture Now.

Maia Ratana. Photo: Desna Whaanga-Schollum.


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Solving urban homelessness with manaakitanga

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.

Te Puea manaakitanga tangata kaimahi – core team led by Hurimoana Dennis. Photo: The Treehouse Creative.


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Rangatahi: Perceptions of housing and papakāinga

The Rangatahi Ahu within the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua research programme recently led three wānanga in Kaikohe, Auckland, and Dunedin. The Rangatahi Ahu engaged particularly with young Māori around their aspirations for and perceptions of housing. James Berghan, Maia Ratana, and Jackie Paul made a video summary of their thoughts after the last wānanga in Dunedin.


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Marae model to support urban homeless touted as possible solution

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.

Dr Jessica Hutchings at the Te Puea Marae. Photo: RNZ/ John Boynton


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Te Puea Marae model of manaakitanga ‘key’ to tackling homelessness crisis

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.

“They did, and now they are two of the 332 people Te Puea Marae has helped find homes since it opened its doors to homeless whānau on July 24, 2016, in the midst of Auckland’s housing crisis.”

Te Puea Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis said they had been successful at helping homeless Māori because they did not judge. Photo: NZ Herald


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New research about homeless programme at Te Puea Marae

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 have been working with the marae to develop the Te Manaaki Tāngata E Rua programme.

The research aims to better understand why Manaaki Tāngata E Rua is so successful at supporting whānau Māori who are homeless using tikanga Māori.

The project is co-led by Unitec Institute of Technology’s Rau Hoskins and University of Waikato Associate Professor Jenny-Lee Morgan.


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Te Puea homelessness tikanga shared

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.

Research co-leaders Rau Hoskins and Jenny-Lee Morgan say having the ability to study what works in Māori communities has given new insights.


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Te Puea Memorial Marae to host hui for urban homelessness

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.

For the past year, the research team has been working with the Marae to co-develop the Te Manaaki o te Marae research programme.

Key to the research is to better understand why their Manaaki Tāngata E Rua transitional housing programme is so successful at supporting Whānau Maori who are homeless.


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Tāmaki Makaurau Cultural Landscapes

Podcast from Indigenous Urbanism: Jade Kake interviews Building Better Homes, Towns & Cities Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua researcher, Rau Hoskins. “On this episode of Indigenous Urbanism, we travel to Tāmaki Makaurau, our largest city, to look at how Māori designers are working alongside mana whenua to re-shape the city to better reflect their unique identity and culture and to create a distinctive sense of place that benefits us all.”


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Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua – Project Team Hui

On 17 and 18 June, Te Herenga Waka hosted around 30 Māori researchers connected to the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge. Under the banner of the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua strategic research area, and led by Director Māori, Dr Jessica Hutchings, the hui provided opportunities for kairangahau to share their ideas, methods and approaches on how to actively support Māori aspirations for long-term affordable and healthy housing that meets the needs of their communities.

Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua project team. Photo: Desna Whaanga-Schollum.


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Māori solutions to future proof housing

Jessica Hutchings, the director Māori on the building better homes national science challenge, spoke with Radio Waatea, she says her team has been looking at how to create culturally fit-for-purpose housing both in the regions and the cities where space is short.

She says housing is more than bedrooms, a roof and a place to put the car. “We talk about a housing shortage. We talk about whānau Māori being life long renters. But also in the Challenge we are really interested in supporting the well being of whānau into houses so it is not just about building houses,” Dr Hutchings says.


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Mātauranga Māori provides pathway to future-proof housing

New research conducted by He Kāinga Whakamana Tangata, Whakamana Taiao – Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) National Science Challenge – has uncovered traditional approaches to housing that stand up to climate change and strengthen communities.


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Think Tank hui aims at visible and disruptive contribution to housing debate

Making a highly visible and disruptive contribution to the housing, urban design, and planning debate was the aim of a Māori Housing Think Tank hui, convened on 24 January to establish a kaupapa Māori research programme for the ‘Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua’ research area.


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Māori and indigenous housing annotated bibliography report

Home for Māori starts with the ancestral home-place: important to Māori cultural identity. Home-place links are reinforced by physical associations with land, whakapapa, proximity to extended family, experience of te reo, and the importance of the marae. Home is about whānau, whenua and whakapapa. However, nearly 85% of Māori in New Zealand live in urban areas: a small proportion of whom are mana whenua, who may have remaining, or regained ancestral land. This latter aspect has enabled exemplar urban papakāinga developments in Auckland and Wellington. There are also increasing examples of rural papakāinga, where Māori have returned to their ancestral land to build housing. Ironically this trend, and the hard won successes, are the result of urban homelessness, or the struggle to survive with impossible rental payments.


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Toi Ohomai gets $700k for Maori health research project

With the launch of the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua research programme, the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology received $700,000 in Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge funding to research new designs for sustainable and affordable homes and identify how these contribute to health and wellbeing for Māori.


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Kāinga Tuatahi

Kāinga Tuatahi is an innovative residential development on Ngāti Whātua Orākei tribal land.  The development embodies the principles, objectives and aspirations of the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities Challenge.


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