Huaki: Cultural Landscape Recognition Needed for Māori to Flourish in Housing


  • Diane Menzies
  • Matthew Rout
  • John Reid
  • Angus Macfarlane



Cultural landscape is important for Māori identity and connections to place (Fleming, 2016; Menzies and Wilson, 2020). However, the New Zealand government did not take this into account when it belatedly began to provide Māori with access to state houses. While having a rental house or being able to build a house with state assistance enabled Māori whānau (families and extended families) to form attachments to secure home environments, government planners did not consider either the tangible or the intangible aspects of place, both of which are generally seen as significant for Māori. Instead, they adopted plans and designs that fit with the dominant western culture.
This paper investigates the approach of governments over time to policy, planning and design for state housing, arguing that recognising the tangible and intangible cultural landscape could benefit Māori tenants by addressing historical trauma and ameliorating cultural alienation without excluding others (Kennedy, 2019a, 2019b). This work is part of a government-funded research programme, Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge, and aims to identify which policies have achieved the best outcomes for Māori housing. This paper considers how Māori culture and values could be incorporated into state policy and urban design for housing in ways that increase the wellbeing of residents and support their attachment to place and to Māori cultural landscapes.
In exploring the relevance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (L Henry, 2021) and Māori cultural values in the context of government-planned suburban development, this paper interrogates the opinions of Māori living in the suburbs of Glen Innes, Ōtara and Māngere in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The theoretical method of He Awa Whiria (Macfarlane et al, 2015), implemented as co-design, is an opportunity to implement urban design responsive to Māori culture. Its recognition of the interrelationship of all aspects of the community, including people, place, nature and water, would lead to better housing outcomes for Māori spiritually, emotionally and culturally.


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How to Cite

Menzies, D., Rout, M., Reid, J., & Macfarlane, A. (2022). Huaki: Cultural Landscape Recognition Needed for Māori to Flourish in Housing. Landscape Review, 19(1).