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Maia Ratana | Kaupapa Māori Researcher in Māori Housing

07 Dec 2023

This week, the Generation Kāinga team are co-designing and planning the build of an urban tiny home in Tamaki Makaurau, as well as holding wānanga to begin their research

In the heart of Unitec's School of Architecture, Maia Ratana, a distinguished lecturer and Kaupapa Māori Researcher, stands as a beacon of innovation and cultural reverence. Her work in Māori housing design transcends the conventional, weaving together traditional Māori principles with modern architectural practices. This article delves into Maia's journey, illuminating her contribution to both the academic field and the community.

Maia's recent involvement in the Generation Kainga initiative highlights her approach to creating regenerative and resilient housing solutions. These projects are not mere constructions; they are embodiments of whenua (land), whānau (family), and tikanga (customs). Her design philosophy underscores the integration of Kaupapa Māori principles, bridging the gap between ancestral wisdom and contemporary architectural practices.

Facing challenges like navigating the regulatory landscape, Maia collaborates closely with local communities and authorities. Her aim is to create culturally relevant and sustainable housing solutions that empower Māori families, enabling them to thrive while maintaining their heritage. This approach is pivotal in fostering community resilience and cultural revitalisation.

To the aspiring architects at Unitec, Maia's work is a testament to the profound impact architecture can have. It's a reminder that your designs can go beyond physical structures to become catalysts for nurturing cultures and communities. As you embark on your journey, let Maia's dedication to cultural values and community empowerment guide you in creating spaces that respect and celebrate our rich heritage.

Maia Ratana's contributions to Māori housing and architecture are a blend of passion, innovation, and cultural empathy. Her journey serves as an inspiration, showcasing how architecture can transcend building homes to building hope and sustaining cultures. Let her story be a guiding light as we strive to create a future that honours our past and embraces innovation.

Kia kaha, and let's build a future rooted in our cultural identity and forward-thinking design.

For more insights from Maia Ratana, listen to the full interview from Waatea News at HERE