Enumerating homelessness in rural Māori communities

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Parity
Volume 30 Issue 8 (Oct 2017)

Kake, Jade

Abstract: In Aotearoa New Zealand, we have a lack of official data on homelessness, and the data we do have is often not adequately differentiated by demographic group. There is also a problem with definitions - who is categorised as homeless, the perceived level of need, and where they are located, all have an impact on policy and how services are funded. In response, many night shelters and other social service providers have conducted street counts to determine the extent and make-up of the local homeless populations. Homelessness in rural Māori communities is a unique challenge, as most experiencing it are not houseless in the conventional sense, instead living in owned makeshift dwellings on ancestral land that would be considered uninhabitable by urban standards.

Parity is a publication of the Victorian Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) and the national homelessness publication in Australia. The aim of this publication is to develop an up-to-date, comprehensive and detailed resource for all those working to respond to homelessness in Aotearoa, whether they are working in government policy, homelessness, mainstream government services, social housing and other welfare sectors, in universities or other research bodies.

The 2017 edition of Parity is intended as an update to the October 2007 “Responding to Homelessness in New Zealand” edition of Parity. The current edition is an opportunity to reflect on the past ten years. What have we learnt? How have we progressed? What new challenges have prevented themselves in the intervening years?