Building Sustainable Papakāinga to Support Māori Aspirations for Self-determination

Fleur Palmer


This practice based research investigates conditions which restrict Māori from building sustainable and affordable housing in urban and rural areas, and investigates ways to overcome these restrictions. Access to housing for Māori is associated with a complex history and ongoing process of colonisation, which restricts Māori from owning land and building Māori-centred developments within urban areas, and limits options for development on Māori-owned land in rural regions. This research considers this legacy in three ways: It identifies the segregating influence of colonisation and legislation over land use and its effect on access to housing. It considers the responsiveness of local government in supporting papakāinga development centred on Māori values for an affordable housing development located in Kaitaia. In collaboration with three communities, a series of proposals aimed at overcoming existing restrictions are developed. These visualisations of future development centre on Māori world views and aspirations for self-determination.


Participatory Action Research; Self-determination of Indigenous people; Māori aspirations for development; Papakāinga and housing development; Visualising alternative futures; Wānanga and collaborative practice



Item Type



Engels-Schwarzpaul, Tina; Mika, Carl; Ka'ai, Tania

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Auckland University of Technology