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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Māori Housing 4-Part Podcast Series
15 July 2019: 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.
Dr Hutchings appointed to NZ's MBIE Science Board
10 July 2019: 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.
Where do we dance? Planning social spaces in the suburbs
9 July 2019: The UK has its pubs. In China, people go out at dusk to exercise in the streets. So, where do Kiwis go to socialise in the suburbs?
In this NZ Local Government Magazine article by Building Better researcher Rebecca Kiddle from Victoria University of Wellington, she writes that research shows a significant gap in planning for neutral ‘bumping spaces’. She presented her findings to date at the recent NZPI Conference in Napier.
"Aotearoa New Zealand suburbs are seemingly the spatial underdog of our towns and cities. As part of the research programme Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities I am leading a project called Where Do We Dance? with dance being the metaphor for socialising, making friends and building community. The project asks where, physically, community happens in this country and how might we improve the way we design and plan our built environments to better serve the making of communities."
Where do we dance? A street mural in Naenae, Lower Hutt. Photo: Rebecca Kiddle.