Maori & Housing

Homes Built for Real Lives, Great Futures

This project is being led by Dr Kay Saville-Smith, CRESA, with the multidisciplinary research team. Read more about the project here. The funding for the research programme comes from the government’s Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities. The vision of the Challenge is Ka ora kāinga rua: Built environments that build communities.

A Māori case study within this project focuses on two main questions:

  1. What makes a house a home for whānau Māori?
  2. Does low cost housing for whānau strengthen their whānau ora?

A wide range of people are being invited to share their views on what low-cost housing is, what whānau ora is, and/or how they see housing and whānau ora being linked. A report will then be written about what people have said.

If you'd like to contribute to this study in 2018, contact Fiona Cram (

Getting Decisions for Homes and Cities that Work

This research recognises that there is no 'silver bullet' that will 'fix' the current housing crisis. Rather, this research programmes asks after the logic of decision making so that those wanting homes and those making decisions about housing can find some middle ground to support better homes, towns and cities. Find out about this research here.

A Māori case study within this research programme is following an Iwi (tribe) on their journey to support the housing aspirations of their hapū (sub-tribes), whānau (families) and people.

Life When Renting - Enabling Older People's Independence

This four year programme of research led by Dr Kay Saville-Smith enquires after the responsiveness of the rental housing market for older people. Read more about the project here.

Over 40 people (55+ years old) who are renting their housing in Hawke's Bay have been interviewed about their experiences as renters and what their expectations are of growing older in rental accommodation. The report on this Māori case study is due to be released toward the end of 2018.

Finding the Best Fit: Downsizing and Older People in a Changing Society, 2014-16

The project was led by Kay Saville-Smith, CRESA, with the research team including Dr Bev James, Professor Larry Murphy, Dr Michael Rehm, and Dr Fiona Cram.

In September 2013 we received news of the success of our public-good science fund research application, Finding the Best Fit: Housing, Downsizing and Older People in a Changing Society.

This research was about the practicalities of ‘downsizing’ housing and older people’s functional and financial independence and wellbeing. It was about the decisions older people make about their housing for retirement, and the things that influence these decisions. They may choose to downsize, stay in their current home, move to another location, move home, or move closer to their marae – or perhaps some combination of these and other options. Their decisions might depend on whānau commitments, access to health care, marae and hapū connections and responsibilities, financial circumstances, and other considerations. These are the things this research project explored.

  • Read more about the Māori case study here.
  • Find out more about the full study at Good Homes website.