What is more basic than home? We start most days in our own homes, we look forward to getting back to our own beds when we’re away, the walls and roof protect our partners, our children, our family taonga. Within this space we’ve forged relationships with not just whānau but furniture, kitchen utensils, the contents of cupboards and fridges and - not least - pets and pot plants. Simply put, our homes encompass the most fundamental physical, financial and emotional investments of our lives.
And we know Indigenous Peoples are rapidly urbanising, with Māori perhaps the most urbanised Indigenous society of all (around 85% of us are now city dwellers). Our urban communities are often away from tribal territories and subject to
socio-economic conditions that may increase their vulnerability.
This urban environment was never especially welcoming and for some it is now positively hostile with too many whanau lacking a roof over their heads (unless you count a car roof as robust housing...).
Ōtautahi (Christchurch) saw many Maori living in damaged homes but many others opening their doors to earthquake refugees in an open and
spontaneous cultural expression of support. What we learnt was the concept of ‘home’ was challenged as the necessary safety – including that of the land beneath – could
not always be guaranteed.
There are more than just 'natural hazards' operating in Aotearoa NZ Inc. of course.
The wider issue is that we have restructured our economy according to quite perverse interpretations of what motivates people, in their engagements with each other and with the wider environment.
The market will decide. Blah blah blah...
Well the market continues to be supported by communal approaches such as those practiced by Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. With marae now housing homeless citizens, we see again Maori cultural practices - manaakitanga, whakawhanaungatanga - continuing to hold this bloody bloodied country together...
I'll not make any comment on the Minister of Housing, a Maori woman who had benefitted from state welfare in the past but now seems one of the demonic apostates. Oh, I wasn't going to comment...read what others say:
Bomber Bradbury: Dear Paula...
Anthony Robbins: What now Paul?
Maiki Sherman: Paula Bennett grilled...