Responding to homelessness in New Zealand: Homelessness and housing first for Māori: Meaning and optimisation


Volume 30 Issue 8 (Oct 2017)

Rigby, Brennan

Abstract: What does Māori traditional knowledge say about homelessness? What therapeutic approaches do Māori perspectives open up? Could homeless experiences be more richly understood through a Māori lens - and, in an operational entity/nongovernment organisation (NGO). What is a Māori lens? How does the Housing First model respond to indigeneity? 

The thesis of this article is that Māori therapeutic approaches, mātauranga, values and perspectives — and globally those of other Indigenous groups — offer mainstream social services rich opportunities through engagement, relationships and standing and reciprocal learning. These identified opportunities extend the idea of the Indigenous/inclusive solution into the service provider/NGO/public realm. They promote holistic services for mainstream clients, and the effective tailoring of mainstream services for Māori/Indigenous clients.

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?