Researching Scope, and Connecting within the Community

The scope of comfortable homes was confirmed with the stakeholders at the local council. We sought Iwi perspectives from the beginning. We defined Home Comfort and Wellbeing and outlined where our focus would be, and what would be delivered. We could then get to work on outlining areas where research was needed. In order to get to the future we choose, we need to understand the problem fully, this means we must understand the current technologies and their impacts on the local and global community.

A research matrix was drawn up and research in the necessary areas has begun. An Iwi representative was consulted again this week. In our meeting, I learned the about the history of homes and wellbeing in the Wairarapa from a Māori perspective, as this was missing from the history in the archives.

It was outlined in the scope that this project would focus on homes for the most vulnerable. This was defined as those most affected by unhealthy homes which includes the elderly, families with young children, people with disabilities, and people with lower socioeconomic status. We acknowledge that Māori are often overrepresented in lower socioeconomic areas due to our inherited past. It is therefore important that this project can benefit Māori and to do that it needs to include Māori genuinely.

I alone cannot speak for Māori as I am Pakeha, but I can be the best partner I can be. We have been given the opportunity to continue to korero with an Iwi representative on a weekly basis. This is going to give the project guidance so we arrive at a better understanding of the possibilities that will make sense culturally to those affected by the problem. It is easy to make assumptions about what we think a solution might be, but without fully understanding the problem(s) we might be trying to solve the wrong one.


Poem by Ra Smith


These lands have fed us from Kupe’s footprint

Through the mini ice age freezing our kumara,

But we survived on aruhe, tuna and rongoa.

From lines of fault bubbles glistening waters

That feed the world in paddocks of meat, but

Our whenua isn’t just capitalized potential.

Rivers’ soothing mirimiri chills us in summer,

Beaches’ rhythms are heard in land’s heartbeat,

Mountains’ winds blow through our stresses,

Tangata whenua know the worth of home.

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