Māori Research in the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities NSC
Research Area: Transforming Homes, Towns and Cities by Understanding and Re-tooling the Architecture and Logics of Decision-Making
This research programme seeks to understand the complex ‘architecture of decision-making’ that shapes our homes, towns, and cities. Three inter-connected groups play a role in this decision-making: critical resource holders (e.g. of land and of money); critical actors on the supply-side (e.g. developers) and demand-side (e.g. owner-occupiers, tenants); and regulating agencies. Component 1 of this research programme examines decision-making logics and pathways. A case study with Ngāi Te Rangi in Tauranga Moana is following the iwi’s journey to understand and support the housing aspirations of their hapū and whānau. Influences on the iwi’s decision-making and their pathways to housing solutions are being documented, from initial ideas through to the potential provisioning of housing. When invited, the research team is contributing their expertise to support decision-making. The aim is to understand how decisions are made within a complex environment, alongside the levers the iwi has to support achieving desired housing pathways. Exploring the experience and responses of a particular iwi operating in an environment shaped by financial and legislative conditions specifically affecting Māori, as well as market conditions that affect all community organisations seeking to meet the affordable housing needs of their communities will illuminate the pinch points that inhibit access to housing. This research complements research work on the experiences of existing Māori housing providers and papakāinga developments.
Revitalising the production of affordable homes to provide for successful, engaged, and healthy lives
The security of home ownership in Aotearoa New Zealand is declining as housing becomes increasingly unaffordable for those wanting to buy their first home and for those burdened with high rents. This programme of research focuses on the value of and demand for low-cost housing and the potential reorientation of the building industry to deliver low-cost housing. An aspect of Component One of this research programme explores the links between low-cost housing and the financial, social, and cultural wellbeing of individuals and families across their life course. This is taken further through a wider engagement exploring wellbeing concepts bound together in holistic understandings of hauora (health) and whānau ora (family wellbeing). A wide range of Māori stakeholders are being interviewed, from whānau (families) to tribal and community leaders, from researchers to those in the building industry, from landlords to social-housing developers. The aim of this project is to understand if low-cost housing is a component of, and contributor to, whānau ora. If it is, then an argument can be made for investment in low-cost housing for whānau as part of the broader platform of whānau ora.
Contact: Dr Fiona Cram, Katoa Ltd., e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mana whenua: Building vibrant communities
This research seeks a systems understanding, from a mana whenua perspective, of what makes vibrant and regenerative tier-two settlements. The project is the northern component of SRA3: Supporting success in regional settlements, and focuses on three settlements in the ‘Golden Triangle’ – Pokeno, Huntly, and Opotiki. Our central research questions are:
(1) what structural changes/trajectories are occurring in these three communities;
(2) what types of physical and social (including health and education) infrastructure contributes to vibrant communities;
(3) how can mana whenua aspirations shape the development of a vibrant community; and
(4) how can structural change, infrastructure and aspirations be modelled to enhance mana whenua in tier-two communities?
While the majority of research is concentrated on tier-one settlements, or predominantly on mainstream voices – this project seeks to articulate Māori/mana whenua views about regenerative activities that positively reinforce these tier-two settlements as vibrant communities. The project, therefore, seeks to identify, within a systems view, levers that can empower and support mana whenua development in these towns, and indeed for the benefit of the town as a whole.
Contact: Jono Kilgour, e-mail email@example.com.
Next-generation information for better outcomes
There is an expanding wealth of digital information, particularly geospatial data, which could be better used to inform developing better homes, towns, and cities. This is particularly relevant to better urban planning. However, much of this data is underutilised or not being translated into good information on the one hand, and is largely incommensurate with Māori knowledge and understandings, on the other hand. In addition, very little data is easily scaled from local to regional and national levels, or vice versa. This Strategic Research Area aims to devise a model and framework to guide the successful incorporation of Mātauranga Māori within urban and semi-urban developments; and to develop and draft cadastral legislation to enable Māori land-right preferences to have a genuine presence within the current cadastral system. A research impact will be that Mātauranga Māori would introduce cultural realities to the wider New Zealand planning debate for improved decision-making in urban environments, which would ultimately lead to stronger communities and a better quality and supply of housing. Research sites are located in Invercargill, Wellington, Waikato, and Northland. The cases represent a mixture of mana whenua and mātā waka to capture the demographic diversity in urban areas and to determine the relevance of geospatial information to Māori – and vice-versa, that is, the relevance of Mātauranga Māori to geospatial information.
Contact: Prof. Angus Macfarlane, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
He Kāinga Pai Rawa: A really good home
This project is a kaumātua-focused, holistic, and cultural approach to creating secure, affordable, sustainable, age-friendly, and healthy housing for kaumātua. The first urban example of community-led culturally-responsive social housing for kaumātua in Aotearoa, Moa Crescent was developed by Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa (and later its subsidiary Ngā Rau Tātangi) during the period 2012-2014. This research applies three Think Pieces based on two phases (2012 and 2014) of the Moa Cres initiative. The first Think Piece, “Te Moemoeā” (The dream/vision/desire), will identify the organising processes, relationships, costs (e.g. financial and time), and leadership required to implement the original kaumātua village initiative. The second Think Piece, “Kia Tūtuki te Moemoeā” (The road to making the dream a reality), will also contribute to developing an organisational best-practice and transferrable model for developing an urban kaumātua village. The third Think Piece, “Kua ea te Moemoeā” (The achievement of the dream/vision), investigates the kaumātua residents and their whānau. The likely impacts of this study will be to improve the quality and supply of culturally-responsive urban kaumātua housing. It will also develop a potential ‘Best Practice Tool’ for use by other Māori organisations and communities, and it will create the foundation for a research agenda to investigate how to translate the successful organising and residential components of Moa Cres for other Māori organisations wanting to provide secure, healthy, and affordable homes for kaumātua and/or whānau.
14 August 2019: 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.
Papakāinga in the 21st Century: Going up
14 August 2019: 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.
In service to homeless whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau
12 August 2019: 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.